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Harsher hit-and-run penalties

Published on 14/02/2007

14 February 2007

BRUSSELS- The parliamentary committee on infrastructure unanimously approved two proposed bills on Wednesday to enforce harsher penalties for people who flee the scene of a crime (hit-and-run offenders). The bills were proposals from Dylan Casaer (SP.A) and Hilde Vautmans (VLD).

Hilde Vautmans’ bill stipulates that people who flee the scene of an accident in which people have been injured will be required to pass a driving exam again before being allowed to drive.

Under current legislation the court is already required to revoke a person’s license in such a case, but unlike in a hit-and-run involving a death, offenders do not have to take a driving exam again. The new law will make these two situations equal.

The bill from Dylan Casaer imposes harsher penalties for repeat offenders of hit-and-run crimes.

Under current legislation, a person who commits a second hit-and-run offence gets the same penalty as for the first offence: a fine of 400 to 5,000 euro and/or a prison sentence of 15 days to 2 years. The new law doubles the penalty. This harsher penalty already exists but only applies in cases where the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“It seems justified to me to impose a harsh penalty on the repeat offender here, the real traffic offender, as a sign to society that we cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour,” said Casaer. Vautmans is also pleased about the vote in the committee. She thinks this kind of despicable crime must be punished more harshly.

[Copyright Expatica 2007]

Subject: Belgian news