NEGLIGENCE AND INTENTIONAL ACT

 In Articles

Laurences Aulina

Traffic accidents are an occurrence that is very difficult to predict when and where it happened. Accidents not only cause trauma, injury, or disability but can also lead to death. Based on Article 1 Paragraph 24 Law No. 22 of 2009 on Road Traffic defines, “Traffic accident shall mean an unpredictable and unintentional occurrence on the road involving the vehicle with or without other road users causing the casualty and/or loss of assets.”

Recently, a traffic accident happened to a couple of Indonesian celebrities and it is still being investigated. The driver is suspected of being negligent or intentionally causing the accident.  The driver’s mistake which led the passengers to death can be categorized as a crime. One of the considerations in determining the punishment is the element of intentional act or negligence. In this case, the driver is suspected of driving while intentionally using their smartphone at high speed. What exactly is the difference between negligence and intentional act?

Intentional Act

Based on Article 311 Paragraph (1) and (4) Law on Road Traffic,

  • Anyone who deliberately uses a motorize vehicle by a manner or condition which is dangerous for lives or goods shall be punished with imprisonment at the maximum period of 1 (one) year or penalty at the maximum amount of Rp3.000.000,00 (three million rupiah).
  • In the event that such act as referred to in section (4) causing death to others, the wrongdoer shall be punished with imprisonment at the maximum period of 12 (twelve) years or penalty at the maximum amount of Rp24.000.000,00 (twenty-four million rupiah).

the traffic accident regulated by this article is caused by the intentional act of the driver which is dangerous for others’ lives. “Any person driving the motorized vehicle on the road shall drive the vehicle reasonably and in full concentration”, based on this Article 106 (1 Law on Road Traffic, we have an obligation to drive in full concentration. The driver who uses a smartphone while driving is fully aware that it can distract the concentration. Therefore, this action is determined as an intentional crime even though the driver doesn’t mean the accident to happen.

Negligence

The traffic accident caused by the driver’s negligence is stipulated by Article 310 (4) Law on Road Traffic, “In the event such accident as referred to in section (3) causing death to others shall be punished with imprisonment at the maximum period of 6 (six) years and/or penalty at the maximum amount of Rp12.000.000,00 (twelve million rupiah)”.

The primary difference between intentional act and negligence is the intent. The Intentional act claim, the defendant is alleged to have harmed someone else on purpose. In a negligence claim, the defendant is alleged to have harmed someone else by merely being careless. It can be determined through evidence.

For example, a car accident is just that, an accident. If neither party intended to hit the other, the case would be one of simple negligence. The offending driver had a duty not to drive his vehicle in an unsafe manner. He breached that duty which caused the victim to sustain injuries and vehicle damage.

Conclusion

The primary difference between intentional act and negligence is the intent or the mindset of the person who commits the crime. In the case of the driver who uses their smartphone while driving, it is determined as an intentional crime because he is fully aware that it can distract his concentration. He breached his obligation to drive in safe manner. Therefore, this action shall be punished according to Article 311 Paragraph (4) Law on Road Traffic, even though the driver doesn’t mean the accident to happen.

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