The bill that stipulates prison sentences ranging from 6 months to 15 years for persons who collect parking fees without being authorised to do so or who cause or facilitate the committal of such acts received a favourable report from the Senate Judiciary Committee. The report was unanimously adopted on Monday.
The bill was tabled in April, by PNL’s Ovidiu Raetchi and Alina Gorghiu.
According to the bill, “the collecting of parking fees, in any manner and under any title, by a person who is not authorised in this sense or who does not have the right to use the space concerned is punishable by 6 months to 1 year in prison.”
“If the fee is collected for a space that is the state’s public or private property, the property of an administrative unit or of any legal person who owns, manages or uses goods that are public property, the punishment is 9 months to 2 years in prison,” reads Article 2 of the bill.
Much harsher punishments are stipulated for those who cause or facilitate the acts incriminated by the bill.
Thus, Article 5 stipulates that “causing or facilitating the committal of the acts incriminated by the present law or obtaining patrimonial benefits from their committal is punishable by 2 to 7 years in prison and the suspension of some rights.”
If the committal of the acts was caused via coercion, the punishment is 3 to 10 years in prison, and if the acts are committed toward a minor or a person with disabilities the special limits of the punishments are hiked by a third, and could reach 15 years in prison.
The bill also stipulates that the first offender can choose to serve 50 days of unpaid community work, but the court would have to issue a prison sentence against a repeat offender.
The bill will be sent to the Senate plenum for debate and final vote. The Lower House will have the final say on the bill.
USR bill lowering fines for bicyclists is greenlit by Senate Judiciary Cttee
On Monday, the USR bill that seeks to lower fines for bicyclists received a favourable report from the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, tabled in March by several USR MPs, aims to modify the Traffic Code in the sense of lowering the fines for bicyclists from their current level of RON 870 – 1,160 to RON 290 – 435. The signatories argue that because of the fine that is far too high, on one hand police officers do not issue fines against bicyclists who break traffic regulations, and, on the other hand, the high level of the fine deters many from using bicycles as an alternative means of transportation.
USR MPs basically propose that bicyclists should be slapped with fines that are included in Class I of Traffic Code sanctions, namely 2 to 3 fine points (RON 290 – 435).
At present, a bicyclist’s failure to observe traffic regulations is punishable by fines included in Class III of Traffic Code sanctions, namely 6 to 8 fine points (RON 870 – 1,160).
USR MPs argue that bicyclists should be included in the same class of sanctions instituted for mopeds, vehicles with animal traction or the lead vehicles of military convoys, funeral processions and organised groups. “The social danger of failure to observe legal provisions is reasonably close for all the aforementioned groups. Despite the unitary approach to these categories, their treatment from the standpoint of sanctions is differentiated, (…) the level of fines [for bicyclists] being three times higher,” reads the substantiation of the bill.
“Such a regulation often means that the bicyclists’ lawbreaking goes unpunished, the fine’s exaggerated level deterring police officers from fining bicyclists as they would pedestrians. (…) Consequently, a smaller level of the fines would mean that bicyclists who break traffic rules would also be fined, thus leading, in the long term, to the learning and observance of Traffic Code regulations,” USR MPs add in their substantiation.
Another argument is that “the current level of the sanctions has the effect of discouraging the use of the bicycle among those for whom it represents an alternative means of transportation that has beneficial effects on health, pollution and traffic, and for whom the bicycle is not a choice but a necessity.”
The legislative proposal is signed by USR Lower House lawmakers Sergiu Cosmin Vlad, Cosette Chichirau, Vlad Durus and Iulian Bulai and fellow Senate lawmaker Adrian Wiener.
The Senate is the first House notified in this case, and the Lower House will have the final say on the bill.