Road rage should be a punishable offence! Kerala HC draws attention to growing menace

High Court

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has observed that there was no provision in the Motor Vehicles Act or penal statutes that list road rage as a punishable offence and the lawmakers should give attention to this. Countries such as Australia, Germany, and Singapore had made road rage a punishable offence, it pointed ouut while considering a case in this regard.

Justice V J Arun made the observations while granting bail to Thrissur native Sunny Thomas, who is accused of deliberately ramming his truck on to a High Court car that was parked by the National Highway at Vaniyampara.

The incident happened on March 4. After parking the car, the driver went to a nearby shop for buying a bottle of water. Sunny, who came that way in his truck, demanded that the car, which was blocking his entry to the shop premises, should be immediately moved. Though the driver said that he would move the car after buying water, the accused got angry and rammed the truck on to the car, causing damage, as per the case.

The accused also shouted ‘do not think that the red-letter board of High Court (on the car) gave the right to do whatever one wanted’, according to the case.

The prosecution informed the court that the HC car was badly damaged in the incident and the accused was subsequently arrested.

Though a bail plea was submitted at the magistrate court, it was rejected. The petitioner said that the incident was caused by an emotional outburst and it was not a premeditated act, as alleged by the prosecution.

Bail conditions

Considering that he had been in judicial custody since March 4, the court granted bail against a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the like amount.

The petitioner also has to pay Rs 1.5 lakh for the damage caused to the car, surrender his licence at the court for 3 months, and appear before the probe officer every second Saturday for three months or until the final report is submitted.

What Motor Vehicles Act says

Several cases are being filed over incidents of road rage that endangers both the driver and passengers. The Motor Vehicles Act mandates that the vehicle should be driven with care and caution at all times, and that the driver should be in control of the mind and body. As per the Act, a person can be disqualified from holding a licence for driving vehicles that pose a danger to the public, the court pointed out.

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