The newly amended Road Transport Act will come into effect on 23 October 2020 after it has received the commencement appointment date from the Attorney General’s Chambers, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
“With this, I wish to inform that the Road Transport (Amendment) Act 2020 which carries heavier penalties for traffic offences, particularly related to Sections 41 to 45, will come into operation from Oct 23.
“We hope that the latest amendments will create greater public awareness among road users to obey traffic laws to ensure that our roads will be safer for all, ” said Dr Wee.
Under the newly amended Act, those who cause death due to recklessness or driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs will have to face stiffer penalties.
For example, Section 41 stated that those found guilty of dangerous or reckless driving causing death could face between five and 10 years as well as a fine of not less than RM20,000 and not more than RM50,000.
They will also have their driving licence suspended for five years.
Amendments were also made to Section 44 of the same Act involving the offence of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving and divided into two categories, namely cases causing injury and those resulting in death.
Those causing death while driving will be jailed between 10 and 15 years and fined between RM50,000 and RM100,000, with the driving licence being disqualified for a period of 10 years for first-time offenders.
The amendment also carries a jail term of 15 to 20 years, a fine not less than RM100,000 and a maximum fine of RM150,000, as well as the licence being disqualified for a period of 20 years, for subsequent offences.
The Bill also proposed to amend the new alcohol content limit of 22 microgrammes in 100 millilitres (ml) of breath; 50 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100 ml of blood and 67 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine.
Wee said the Road Transport Act (Amendment) 2020 took public views into account via a survey conducted by the Ministry involving more than 345,000 respondents, with 94% agreeing with the heavier penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.