Romanian Chamber of Deputies Passes “Anastasia Law” to Crack Down on Drunk Driving Manslaughter
The Romanian Chamber of Deputies has approved a new bill that imposes stricter penalties on drivers found guilty of manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol and without a valid driver's license, sending them straight to prison.
The legislation, named the “Anastasia Law” in memory of a tragic incident involving the death of a 4-year-old girl, aims to deter dangerous driving behaviors and raise awareness about the severe consequences of such actions.
The catalyst for the “Anastasia Law” came from the heart-wrenching incident that occurred on June 1 when a 4-year-old girl named Anastasia was playing near the road side with some friends, then was hit and killed in front of her house by a 28-year old woman who was speeding and not only under the influence of alcohol but also did not possess a valid driver's license.
According to investigators, she did not have a valid driver's license in Romania. She may have attended certain driving courses, however, abroad and which would not be recognised here, and blames everything on the fact that she was in a hurry to get to a relative who had died during the previous day.
The incident sent shockwaves across the nation and galvanised lawmakers to take immediate action.
Romania has been grappling with a disturbing distinction: having the highest number of road fatalities in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). The alarming statistics have underscored the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address this issue and make Romanian roads safer for all users.
The bill, initiated by PSD Senator Robert Cazanciuc and PNL Senator Daniel Fenechiu, who are both members of the ruling coalition, highlights the pressing need to prevent and reduce road tragedies and emphasises the punitive consequences of reckless driving.
Under the newly passed law, drivers who cause a fatality while intoxicated and without a valid driver's license will face direct imprisonment. The legislation aims to send a resolute message that such irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated, and severe consequences will follow. By imposing strict penalties, the law aims to act as a deterrent and make individuals think twice before engaging in reckless driving practices.
The adoption of the “Anastasia Law” reflects the government's commitment to improving road safety and addressing the significant issue of road fatalities in Romania. The country has consistently recorded the highest number of road deaths in the European Union and the European Economic Area. Factors such as alcohol consumption and a lack of adherence and enforcement of traffic regulations have contributed to this troubling record.
While the new legislation has received widespread support, some critics argue that additional measures, such as enhanced education and rehabilitation programs for offenders, should be considered alongside strict penalties. They emphasise the need to address the underlying causes of reckless driving and promote long-term behavioural changes.
As the “Anastasia Law” advances to the Senate, Romanian citizens remain hopeful that their representatives will prioritise road safety and take decisive action to address the pressing issue of road fatalities. The bill represents a significant step toward fostering a culture of responsible driving and ensuring justice for those who endanger the lives of others through their reckless actions.