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Administration around global toughing laws on dangerous driving

Monday’s fatal Tampines crash shocks Singapore, igniting demands for harsher penalties on reckless driving. Globally, administrations are toughening laws on dangerous driving, with some imposing life imprisonment for drivers who cause fatal accidents.



(LEFT): In Guangzhou, a 22-year-old driver was sentenced to death for dangerous driving, resulting in five deaths and 13 injuries; (RIGHT): A businessman driving a Porsche fatally struck a Singaporean attendant in Taipei in Nov 2022. He faces a potential sentence ranging from five years to life imprisonment.

On Monday (22 April) morning, a fatal multi-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Tampines Avenue 1 and Tampines Avenue 4, claiming two lives.

Among the deceased is a 17-year-old student at Temasek Junior College, while the other victim is identified as a 57-year-old female passenger in a van. Both succumbed to their injuries after admission to the hospital.

The Singaporean community mourns the loss of two lives: Temasek JC student Afifah Munirah Binte Muhammad Azril and Norzihan Bte Hj Juwahib, an employee of a pest control company.

Ms Norzihan had recently realized her dream of owning a home by purchasing a two-room flat in Sengkang just three months ago before the accident.

Observing comments on Singapore’s state media, many netizens express sadness upon hearing the news, offering condolences to the deceased’s family.

Additionally, some call for authorities to investigate the culprit behind the fatal accident and advocate for heavier punishment for reckless drivers.

A 42-year-old male car driver, identified as Muhammad Syafie Ismail, was brought to Singapore court on 25 April, facing total of four charges, including dangerous driving causing death under Section 64(2)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1961.

The charges are concerning the accused’s involvement in the tragic Monday’s accident.

Footage captured from multiple dashboard cameras revealed that a black Saab, purportedly driven by Syafie, was observed speeding and sideswiping a white car before reaching a junction.

Subsequently, the vehicle ran a red light, resulting in a collision with other vehicles at the intersection.

In Singapore, under section 64 of the Road Traffic Act, those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving can expect a minimum of two years and a maximum of eight years imprisonment, along with a mandatory minimum disqualification from driving for 10 years.

For causing death by driving without due care or consideration, offenders may face up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for a first-time offence, coupled with a minimum disqualification from driving for 8 years.

Furthermore, under section 304A(a) of the Penal Code, motorists held responsible for causing death through reckless acts can be sentenced to a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.

Maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death in the UK: Life imprisonment

When examining how other jurisdictions handle individuals convicted of dangerous driving causing death, the United Kingdom sets a precedent with life imprisonment as the maximum penalty.

Following a government consultation in 2016, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 increased the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years’ custody to life imprisonment.

Additionally, the maximum penalty for causing death by driving whilst disqualified was raised from 2 years to 10 years’ imprisonment in 2015.

In October 2023, a case exemplified the severity of these penalties when a driver, responsible for the death of a 38-year-old pregnant mother of two, saw his jail term increased from 12 years to 15 years.

The accused, a 22-year-old motorist, was captured on film driving at speeds of up to 123 mph before losing control of his father’s BMW and colliding with the mother’s vehicle on 13 May 2023.

Death sentence for 22-year-old driver in Guangzhou, China, convicted of killing five and injuring 13

In a shocking incident in January 2023, a 22-year-old man named Wen Qingyun in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, drove his car into a crowd, resulting in the deaths of five individuals and injuring 13 others.

Surveillance camera footage captured the Guangdong native driving his BMW SUV into a group of people at a zebra crossing.

Eyewitness accounts revealed that Wen deliberately and maliciously drove his car into pedestrians who were waiting at the zebra crossing, further underscoring the gravity of his actions.

Following his arrest, Wen was sentenced to death in April 2023 for endangering public security.

Recently, according to Chinese media reports, he was executed in Guangzhou.

Taiwan: Life imprisonment for re-offender in drunk driving case resulting in death

Currently, in Taiwan, under Criminal Code (刑法) Article 185-3, individuals convicted of dangerous driving causing death can face imprisonment for a term ranging from three to 10 years.

Regarding drunk driving, first-time offenders are subject to imprisonment for a duration of not less than three years but less than ten years, along with a fine.

For repeat offenders who commit drunk driving offences resulting in death within ten years of a previous offence, they can receive a sentence of life imprisonment or imprisonment for not less than five years.

In July 2023, Taipei prosecutors indicted a Taiwanese businessman driving a Porsche for his second drink-driving offence within a decade, which led to the death of another person.

This implies that the defendant, identified by the surname Hsiang, could potentially face a sentence ranging from five years in jail to life imprisonment, in addition to a fine of up to NT$3 million (approximately S$127,400).

Hsiang was involved in an incident on 1 November 2022, where he fatally struck a Singaporean flight attendant on Dunhua South Road. The victim sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital.

Malaysia: Stricter penalties for dangerous driving introduced in 2020

In 2020, Malaysia, Singapore’s neighbor, made significant amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987, intensifying penalties for dangerous driving to combat incidents involving alcohol and drug impairment, as well as reckless driving, to enhance public road safety.

Under Section 41(1) of the law, individuals convicted of causing death due to reckless and dangerous driving face a minimum jail sentence of five years, extending up to a maximum of 10 years, along with a fine of RM50,000 (approximately US$10,482).

Similarly, according to Section 44(1), first-time offenders driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, resulting in fatalities, may be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 10 to 15 years.

Additionally, they could be fined between RM50,000 to RM100,000 and face a mandatory license disqualification for at least 10 years.

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You can have the “toughest” laws on Earth and even in the universe.

But if you practice one country two systems. Then those laws just become words on a piece of paper.

Like everything else that’s happening and going on on the island, … this regime has shown that they are totally off, and “not on the ball” !!! However, when it comes to crafting and varying pathetic new laws, ie POFMA and Public Order Act that wholly supports their heinous agenda, … they are in a class of their own !!! Just look at the range of sentencing here, from 2 to 8 years, and, … what about the sentencing of the FuJian gang for their billion dollar laundering exercises !!! This regime is so dreadfully out of touch, and, …… Read more »

In Singapore, only the noose and the cane can really do wonders. No point sentence life imprisonment to the offenders. No point fining the offenders.
And these 2 things apply to the female counterpart too, for equality and fairness.

How can you get tough law on dangerous driving while on the other hand promotes Singapore Grandprix F1 Night Racing ?

Deterrance Right ?

ICAC Deterrance Right ?