Jus­tice Min­is­ter gets tough on cy­cling deaths

Costa Levante News - - SPANISH NEWS -

NEWS Staff Re­porter AS AN­OTHER cy­clist died on Spain’s roads last week­end, the gov­ern­ment was launch­ing pro­pos­als for tougher sen­tences to be im­posed on mo­torists who are in­volved in such ac­ci­dents.

A longer prison sen­tence could be handed to any driver found guilty of caus­ing a death, and a new of­fence of leav­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent may be in­tro­duced.

The 66-year-old vic­tim of Satur­day morn­ing’s ac­ci­dent on the CM-4004 road in Toledo died af­ter be­ing struck by a car whose driver aban­doned his ve­hi­cle and fled into the coun­try­side. A 28year-old man was later de­tained nearby at his home in Palomeque.

Jus­tice min­is­ter Rafael Catalá, who an­nounced the plans to amend the coun­try’s Pe­nal Code on Fri­day, said these would in­clude an im­proved def­i­ni­tion of reck­less­ness which leads to penal­ties, and will re­gard as 'se­ri­ous' any of­fence re­lated to speed­ing or the ef­fects of drugs and al­co­hol.

The max­i­mum cus­to­dial sen­tence, he con­tin­ued, will rise from four to nine years if an of­fence re­sulted in death.

In­tro­duc­ing a sen­tence of up to four years for leav­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent, the min­is­ter un­der­lined that the of­fence will be re­garded as be­ing dif­fer­ent from reck­less­ness. He de­scribed the ac­tion of leav­ing some­one in­jured or dy­ing as an “in­trin­sic evil”.

The min­is­ter said the pro­pos­als had been prompted by his meet­ing with the wife of a cy­clist who died in an ac­ci­dent with a lorry whose driver fled the scene but was con­demned only for a mis­de­meanour. He also noted that there had been a re­cent spike in the num­ber of cy­clists who have died in traf­fic ac­ci­dents.

The changes, he added, will be made “as soon as pos­si­ble”, prob­a­bly reach­ing par­lia­ment in Septem­ber.

Catalá wants stiffer sen­tences brought in as soon as pos­si­ble

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