The text includes as a novelty the creation of the crime of abandonment of the place of the accident, which will be punishable by between six months and four years in prison and from one to four years without driving if the driver flees after causing a fatal accident or with injuries
As reported by the Ser network, the Plenary Congress of Deputies approved on Thursday a reform of the Criminal Code which hardens punishments to reckless drivers at the wheel that cause accidents with dead or injured, so that they will face up to nine years in prison if they cause several deaths or up to four years in prison if they leave the place of the disaster, as well as victims and cyclists.
The initiative is a Proposal of law presented by the PP in June 2017 from the campaign 'For a just law', flagged by Anna González, who lost her husband after being hit by a truck while riding a bicycle on the shoulder and whose driver left the scene and fled, but was later arrested and later released. The truck driver never got to condemn because the cyclist died on the spot and the law does not contemplate this situation as an omission of relief.
Anna González, promoter of this project published on her social networks the following twwet
- Anna González López (@ANNAGONZALEZLO1) November 22th 2018
At the time of voting, Several live amendments submitted by Ciudadanos y Unidos Podemos-En Comú Podem-En Marea were rejected. Finally, the text had 274 votes in favor, 65 against (of the formation led by Pablo Iglesias) and two abstentions. The initiative will continue its parliamentary process in the Senate before it is finally approved either in the Upper House or after its return to Congress.
Parliamentary groups had achieved a high degree of consensus in recent months after hearing from numerous experts on the matter. Last Tuesday they approved an opinion in the Justice Commission of the Congress of Deputies thanks to the support of the PP, the PSOE and Citizens, while Unidos Podemos-En Comú Podem-En Marea and ERC abstained.
The opinion arrived this Thursday at the Plenary of the Lower House. Representatives of cyclists, such as Perico Delgado, Alfonso Triviño and Paralympic champion Roberto Alcaide witnessed the debate from the hemicycle in the guest gallery.
The text includes as a novelty the creation of the crime of abandonment of the place of the accident, which will be punishable by between six months and four years in prison and from one to four years without driving if the driver flees after causing a fatal accident or with injuries. That penalty goes down from three to six months in prison and from six months to two years without driving if the leak is fortuitous.
In addition, it redefines the assumptions of serious recklessness and less serious recklessness at the wheel. The first of these includes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or speeding and the penalties could be raised one or two degrees higher if the driver causes death or injuries to several people, so that the maximum would be nine years in prison if the number of deaths was "very high."
And it is considered less serious recklessness if the judge stipulates that the accident was caused by a serious violation of traffic regulations. Drivers who cause injuries that require medical or surgical treatment will be punished with a fine of three to 12 months.
We can disagree
The different spokespersons who attended the speakers' platform showed their support for the reform of the Penal Code, although some of them argued certain reluctance. The most dissenting intervention was that of Jaume Moya, from Unidos Podemos-En Comú Podem-En Marea, who described the text as “punitive populism” considering that modifying the Penal Code “is not an effective strategy” to reduce traffic accidents , while considering the proposal as "technically deficient".
Moya defended that the prevention of traffic accidents should be approached from "a comprehensive perspective" that includes education, awareness, the elimination of black spots and compliance with regulations, and indicated that the proposal maintains "the privileges of insurance companies ”, with which he recriminated the PP and Ciudadanos for not betting on reforming the insurance law, and the PSOE for its“ elusive attitude ”in this regard. "It is a lost opportunity, today the insurers win, today they lose citizenship," he said.
For his part, Óscar Gamazo, from the PP, recalled that former ministers Rafael Catalá and Juan Ignacio Zoido also worked on the reform of the Penal Code this Thursday, and stressed that the popular have defended "vehemently" the reappearance of the crime of flight of a accident for considering such attitude as "an intolerable fact" and that the legal reform will stop "road violence".
Pablo Bellido, of the PSOE, stressed that the parliamentary groups had reached "a unanimous agreement" with the text until last Tuesday in the Justice Commission, indicated that the text is "a fair law that involves people" and replied to Moya de as follows: "If a driver knows that he has a greater penalty by hitting the road and abandoning the victim than by attending to the accident scene and calling the emergency services, lives may be saved."
Irene Rivera, from Ciudadanos, commented that with the reform of the Penal Code "the victims win", since they will once again be protected by the criminal jurisdiction when they are currently more protected in 90% of the cases (which are referred through civil ), and added that it includes the "powerful message" that "whoever escapes, pays."
Carolina Telechea, from Esquerra Republicana, announced the favorable vote of her group "due to responsibility", although her speech was quite critical when she understood that "criminal sanctions have to be limited to the circle of the indispensable", that insurance companies must "put on their part ”and that other measures related to education and investments in road safety should be undertaken.
Íñigo Barandiaran, from the PNV, stressed that the reform of the Penal Code aims to "respond to the affected groups, particularly cyclists and pedestrians," although he also advocated other initiatives related to education, driver training and technological improvements. to avoid traffic accidents.
Lourdes Ciuró, from PDeCAT, indicated that the increase in road accidents in recent years and the “feeling of impunity” in the face of certain accidents force drivers to modify “the criminal reproach”, and Íñigo Alli, from UPN, commented that the road safety "is not a matter of the left or of the right"