Fast and furious? End up in jail…

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    THE House committee on transportation yesterday approved a bill imposing stiff penalties for those drag racing on public roads, including drivers of public utility vehicles who compete against each other when picking up passengers.

    The panel chaired by Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento approved House Bill No. 3391 which seeks to impose a penalty of P300,000 to P500,000 or one year imprisonment.

    “Normally and usually damage is being done to property, to persons, and to the community and not only that, it brings about noise pollution,” Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo, the bill’s principal author, told the panel, lamenting that people die because of some irresponsible drivers.

    The bill defines drag racing as two or more private or public vehicles driven side by side at high speeds, competing against each other.

    Castelo said this often happens also when drivers of public utility vehicles try to outdo each other in picking up passengers, a practice which endangers people’s lives.

    She noted that in 2012, a traffic enforcer of the Metro Manila Development Authority was assaulted after he tried to stop an drag racing event in Pasay City.

    Castelo said Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City is also being used as a drag racing spot like the Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City and other major thoroughfares in the country.

    While there are other laws and ordinances that ban drag racing, Castelo said there should be a comprehensive law that would stringently penalize the illegal activity.