Senate bill seeks longer prison sentences for reckless drivers

Higher monetary fines are also being proposed.
by Drei Laurel | May 7, 2019
PHOTO: Drei Laurel

If one senator were to have his way, reckless drivers might be facing almost 15 years in jail instead of just two to six.

Senator Koko Pimentel has filed Senate Bill No. 118, which will amend Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, and impose stiffer penalties and longer prison sentences on those found guilty of reckless imprudence and negligence.

According to the senator, such changes will help deter cases involving damage to property and loss of lives. Pimentel went on to cite the 2014 Bulacan State University field trip accident, among other tragedies involving vehicles, as an example.

“The tragedies were caused by people who recklessly disregarded standards of care which our laws have imposed,” Pimentel says. “To avoid similar episodes in the future, it is proposed that Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code be amended to provide our law on reckless imprudence and negligence more teeth by increasing the penalties of imprisonment and fine therein.”

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Senate Bill No. 118 intends to increase the penalty on imprudence or negligence that causes the death of a person from “prision correccional to prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its minimum period.”

“This means increasing the period of incarceration from the existing two- to six-year imprisonment to a minimum of 10- to 12-year jail sentence to 14 years and eight months,” the Senate statement reads. Pimentel also hopes to increase the P200 to P40,000 monetary fine for light felonies.

“One of the purposes of criminal laws is the protection of members of society from potential wrongdoers,” Pimentel says. “These laws are directed against acts or omissions which society does not approve of and therefore serve as deterrents against incidents that may claim lives or cause damage to property.”

Will stiffer fines and prison sentences help make our roads safer? What do you think?

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PHOTO: Drei Laurel
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