Come down hard on road bullies, says crime expert

PETALING JAYA: Harsh penalties should be imposed on road bullies as a deterrent and to ensure the safety of motorists.

Criminologist Datuk P. Sundramoorthy of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Policy Research said severe punishment would send out a resounding message to potential violators that violence would not be tolerated.

Commenting on the case of IT employee Yew Wei Liang, 45, who was given 16 years’ imprisonment for causing the death of Syed Muhammad Danial Syed Shakir, he said although he respects the court’s decision, the sentence meted out should have been harsher.

“A human life was lost over a simple case of a road mishap. It should not have happened. The maximum jail term would be more appropriate for the offender and as a deterrence to others.

“Road rage cases are becoming rampant.

“Although not many involved death, we should not take it lightly. Motorists should have peace of mind knowing they can drive safely without fearing road bullies,” Sundramoorthy told The Star.

He said apart from stricter road traffic regulations and enforcement, a multi-dimensional approach which included awareness campaigns should also be taken to address the menace.

Psychologist and counsellor Assoc Prof Dr Fauziah Mohd Saad of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris said road rage could lead to tragic consequences as seen in this case.

“It is crucial for individuals to prioritise safety and diffuse conflicts when faced with a road bully. Avoid confrontations and do not argue with the aggressor as it may provoke them.

“We do not want a tense situation to escalate. Seek help by calling the police or driving to the nearest police station,” she advised.

Prof Fauziah said individuals who struggle with anger issues and have road rage tendencies should seek professional counselling to manage their condition.

“This way, they can prevent harm to others and also themselves.

“As for those who often spend long hours travelling and getting caught in traffic jams, they should find ways to stay calm and relieve stress like listening to soothing music in the vehicles,” she said.
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