GEORGE TOWN: Penang police are exploring existing laws to mete out heavier penalties to errant motorists who cause road fatalities.
State police chief Comm Datuk T. Narenasagaran said instead of the usual Road Transport Act, they would look into other available sections of the law to go after those who drive without a licence or valid documents, as well as car owners who lend their cars to unlicensed drivers.
“The sentencing under the Road Transport Act is not heavy enough.
“We want to send a deterrent and strict reminder to the people that one should not handle vehicles if one does not have a valid licence, or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs that can lead to fatal accidents.
“We will go after car owners who allow their unlicensed friends or children to drive their cars. If the driver commits a traffic offence, the car owner will be held liable.”
Comm Narenasagaran was commenting on two fatal accidents caused by unlicensed drivers, including a Chinese national.
On Oct 25, Chinese national Liu Shasha, 24, was charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants and causing the death of a 58-year-old Penang Island City Council public health assistant along Jalan Datuk Keramat.
She pleaded not guilty to the charge under Section 44 (1) (b) of the Road Transport Act.
On Nov 7, a 16-year-old student and part-time pizza delivery boy was killed instantly after a bus rammed into him at the traffic light junction of Jalan Kelicap near Setia Triangle.
The 49-year-old accused, Peter Paul Santanam, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Several others were also injured in the accident.
On Friday, a garbage collector working at 6.40am was knocked down by a Vietnamese woman who fled on foot after the accident.
Outgoing George Town OCPD Asst Comm Che Zaimani Che Awang said Penang Hospital could not save the man’s mangled leg and had to amputate it.
Comm Narenasagaran said they would go after the registered bus owner who allowed Peter Paul to drive it.
“We will take action against the bus owner. How could you employ a driver without a bus licence?
“You can’t say you didn’t know as it’s your responsibility to know who operates your bus, ” he said.
On mat lajak, Comm Narenasagaran said parents should not allow their children to cycle in the middle of the night.