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Reduction in driving penalties considered

Reduction in driving penalties considered

Amendments to the Traffic Law that would remove jail terms for first-time drunk drivers, as well as those driving without a licence or number plates, are set to go before the National Assembly’s permanent committee today.

Changes to nine articles of the legislation will be discussed by the committee before they are recommended for plenary session vote.

Though declining to detail the complete range of proposed amendments, National Police deputy chief Him Yan said some would drop immediate jail sentences for the three offences while increasing initial fines.

“We have not yet decided how much [for the initial fine],” he said yesterday. “For the second offence, we will send the offender to court and also impose a fine.”

Currently, Article 76 of the Traffic Law sets an initial jail term of between six days and six months for drunk driving and a maximum fine of about $250.

Article 79, which covers penalties for driving without a licence or without a number plate, stipulates a jail sentence from six days to one month and a maximum fine of $50.

The move to lighten penalties for the infractions comes just days after the government announced it had received the UK’s Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

The permanent committee is also expected to set a date for Health Minister Mam Bunheng to appear at parliament and face questions over graft and poor service within his portfolio.

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