More than ever, it will pay to keep your cool behind the wheel. Lose your temper at your own peril. It may even land you behind bars.
In a bid to reduce the occurrence of road rage incidents in the country, a lawmaker has proposed a bill penalizing erring motorists who exhibit aggressive behavior on the road.
San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Rep. Florida Robes recently filed House Bill 5759 or the “Anti-Road Rage Act” as a means to address the rising number of road rage incidents.
The proposed bill aims to imprison erring motorists from six months to six years and will be fined not less than P250,000. Aside from that, the violator’s driver’s license will also be revoked and will be prohibited from renewal for five years.
In her explanatory note, Robes said that studies “showed that eight out of 10 drivers admit to exhibiting aggressive behavior at least once a year, while nine out of 10 drivers think of aggressive driving as a threat to their personal safety.”
It added that the World Health Organization indicated that “road traffic deaths continue to rise in the Philippines, with an estimated 12,690 deaths in 2016. Robes, citing the WHO Global Status Report for Road Safety 2018, said that road traffic injuries “are now the leading killer of children and young people aged 5-29 years around the world.”
Citing a statistical report by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Robes said that one person is killed in a road crash every 21 hours.
“These casualties come from 90,258 road crash incidents recorded in 2014 involving all manner of road crashes, from multiple collisions to hit-and-runs,” according to the proposed bill.
Robes said that a significant portion of these road crashes was due to road rage.
In the proposed bill’s Section 3, Robes defined road rage as “any aggressive, hostile or violent behavior in traffic or on the road by a motorist which may include mild to moderate screaming, wild gesturing at others, cursing or using bad language, physical attack at another or an attempt thereof, reckless driving, any kinds of threat or intimidation, any use of force against another person and other analogous circumstances.”
Meanwhile, Robes specified in the bill’s Section 8 that “being under the influence (of) alcohol, any illicit drug, or any other mind-altering substance shall not be a defense under this Act.”
A case of road rage incident spread like wildfire on social media recently. The incident involved a supposed doctor who berated another driver at a gas station over a traffic argument.