Symposium, Bills Tackle Road Rage

January 22, 1999

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Three-quarters of respondents to a national survey believe it is very important to do something about road rage, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater last week at a symposium on preventing aggressive driving.

The survey of 6,000 drivers conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found public support for increasing law enforcement against drivers who weave in and out of traffic, speed, tailgate, make unsafe lane changes and run red lights.
“In the survey we are releasing today, more than 60% of drivers believe unsafe driving – including speeding – by others was a major personal threat to them and to their families,” Slater said.
The survey and symposium come at a time when states and municipalities are looking at stiffer penalties for aggressive and reckless drivers.
In Utah, a bill that would raise the minimum fine for such behavior from $25 to $200 won the unanimous endorsement last week of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.
And Gresham, OR, may be the first city to make aggressive driving a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 or up to six months in jail. The ordinance also would apply to threats of injury to a driver or a vehicle. The city council will debate the issue in tomorrow’s council meeting.

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