Bill seeking penalty for road rage proposed in House

Screenshot from viral video of the road rage incident involving dismissed policeman Wilfredo Gonzales
Screenshot from viral video of the road rage incident involving dismissed policeman Wilfredo Gonzales

LAWMAKERS at the House of Representatives proposed a measure that seeks to penalize acts of road rage.

Representatives Erwin Tulfo, Edvic Yap, Jocelyn Tulfo, Eric Yap and Ralph Tulfo filed House Bill 8991, or “An Act Penalizing Acts of Road Rage and For Other Purposes.”

Under the bill, road rage was defined as aggressive, hostile or violent behavior in traffic or on the road by a motorist. This may include wild gesturing, cursing or using bad language or any form of verbal insults, any physical attack, reckless driving, any kinds of threat or intimidation, any use of force and other analogous circumstances.

The measure aims to make roads safer for all and protect all road users from all acts of road rage that not only cause unwarranted road obstruction but physical harm and even death in extreme cases.

It sets a penalty of six months to one year imprisonment and/or a fine not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000, at the discretion of the court, for any person who engages in road rage when no injury or death occurred.

In road rage cases resulting in physical injury, regardless of the degree, a penalty of imprisonment of two to four years and/or fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P250,000, on top of all the other damages incurred from the incident, shall be imposed at the discretion of the court.

If such incident resulted in death to any of the person involved in a road rage incident, a penalty of imprisonment six years to 12 years and/ or a fine of not less than P250,000 but not more than P500,000, exclusive of all the damages incurred, shall be imposed at the discretion of the court.

Government officials or employees who will be involved in such cases will also suffer an accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from government service.

The measure added that the driver's license of a person who engages in road rage shall be revoked by the issuing authority upon notice and shall not be eligible for renewal for the next five years following the revocation.

“Nothing in this Act shall preclude a victim of Road Rage from instituting a separate civil, criminal, administrative, or other legal action, as may be appropriate,” read the bill.

“If a more serious crime is committed during a Road Rage, the latter shall be considered an aggravating circumstance as provided under Article 14, Section 1 of the Revised Penal Code,” it added.

It also noted that being under the influence of alcohol, any illicit drug, or any other mind-altering substance shall not be a defense under the measure.

The measure also assures provision of necessary protection to victims and witnesses of road rage incidents throughout the legal process.

The bill was filed following the viral road rage incident involving an armed dismissed policeman, Wilfredo Gonzales, who hit a cyclist in his head before cocking his gun to him after a traffic altercation.

The Senate has launched an inquiry on the matter. (SunStar Philippines)

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