Magistrate slams careless drivers

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, February 9, 2011

THE numbers of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents in the country have increased significantly because people no longer have any respect for traffic rules, a district court magistrate said.
Lihir district court magistrate Bruce Tasikul highlighted this recently when sentencing Emmanuel Samson to 12 months imprisonment for dangerous driving causing death.
He said the courts should impose stiffer penalties to deter others and send out messages that if drivers did not observe traffic rules, they should not expect leniency.
The court heard that on March 29, 2009, the defendant was driving a Toyota Landcruiser registration no RAI 241 and was driving from Lissel village to Lakakot Resort.
Samson was speeding and when approaching a corner, he lost control and ran off the road and hit the pedestrian who was walking on the right side of the road.
The pedestrian was taken to the Lihir medical centre.
He died the next day.
Tasikul said the penalty under this provision was a term not exceeding five years imprisonment under section 328 (5).
However, he said there had been numerous cases both in the district and national courts for this offence.
He reminded the defendant that in his case an innocent person lost his life and even though he was not drunk,
he only had a learner’s permit and not a proper licence.
“You drove without a licenced driver accompanying you as required by law,” the magistrate said.
Tasikul added that Samson had not paid any form of compensation to the deceased’s relatives but the defendant said he gave them two pigs.
“The value of these two pigs are no match to the value of a human life,” he said.