The House of Representatives moved on Tuesday night to penalize thrill seekers who have put lives of innocent motorists and passengers in serious danger by throwing hard objects onto moving and stationary vehicles.
All 240 congressmen who were present in the virtual plenary session held Tuesday voted to pass House Bill 7838 on third and final reading.
HB 7838 seeks to impose penalties against the act of hurling stones onto speeding or parked vehicles. Such dangerous acts are usually done by thrill seekers or persons under the influence of drugs or liquor.
Defended on the floor by Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, chairman of the House Committee on Justice, HB 7838 is a re-filed bill originally proposed during the 16th and 17th Congress by then Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Farinas.
Farinas’ children, Reps. Rudys Caesar G. Farinas (Ako Probinsyano Partylist) and Ria Christina Farinas (NP, Ilocos Norte) co-authored the re-filed version of the bill.
Veloso said HB 7838 makes it a criminal act for any person to throw stones, bricks, bottles, or any other hard object at onrushing or stationary vehicles.
Persons found guilty of throwing other materials such as eggs and feces that will cause obstruction or will impede the driver’s vision will be similarly penalized.
HB 7838 penalizes persons found guilty of committing the illegal act with a one year imprisonment and a fine of P10,000 if no physical injury resulted in the crime.
Cost of the repair of the damaged vehicle will also be shouldered by the guilty party.
If the throwing of hard objects resulted in the death of any person, penalty provided is 25 years imprisonment and a fine of P100,000. Civil liabilities for the repair of the vehicle and medical expenses may also be imposed.
In addition to the criminal and civil liabilities imposed by the courts, government is tasked to revoke the convicted person’s non-professional drivers license for the second conviction. A first conviction will result to the suspension of the driver’s license.
Deaths and serious injuries on persons have been reported to the police as a result of stone-throwing incidents on trains and vehicles.
“By penalizing the act of throwing stones and hard objects at vehicles and providing stiff penalties for the crime, people will be forewarned of the consequences of such crime thereby serving as deterrent to future wrongdoers,” explained the authors of the measure.
They noted that authorities have been “at a loss on how to prevent” the commission of the offense, usually filing a light offense of malicious mischief against the culprits.
“Worst, offenders got scot-free and end up making this hazardous act a habitual pastime,” the authors stressed.