Louisiana lawmaker wants to make aggressive driving a crime

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - You’ve probably seen it on the roads or fallen victim to it. Aggressive driving and road rage can unfold in the blink of an eye and affect a person’s life forever.

Now, Louisiana Democratic State Representative Sam Jenkins of Shreveport has proposed a state law to make aggressive driving a crime. And from what we’ve heard so far there appears to be widespread support for the idea.

According to government figures, 66 percent of traffic deaths in this country are caused by aggressive driving.

That’s prompted Representative Jenkins to propose Louisiana House Bill 6 in the upcoming 2019 regular legislative session that gets underway at noon on Monday, April 8 and adjourns no later than 6 p.m. on June 6.

"What we're trying to do is curtail that behavior. If we can get you before the court, before someone is seriously injured or hurt, that's the goal here. And a lot of states are beginning to enact these laws."

Jenkins' new law would put speeders, tailgaters or anyone who commits any one of a dozen poor driving habits under arrest if they commit 3 violations in a single trip.

The violations listed in the bill include:

(1) Exceeding the posted speed limit.
(2) Violating the maximum speed limit or the general speed law.
(3) Failing to obey traffic control signals or devices.
(4) Overtaking and passing another vehicle on the right by driving off the pavement or main traveled portion of the roadway.
(5) Engaging in unsafe lane changes.
(6) Following too closely.
(7) Failing to yield the right-of-way.
(8) Failing to drive within a marked lane of traffic.
(9) Failing to yield to approaching traffic when approaching or entering an intersection.
(10) Failing to signal when turning or stopping.
(11) Failing to stop at stop signs or yield at yield signs.
(12) Overtaking and passing a school bus when visual signals are in operation on the school bus.

If LA HB 6 becomes law, the offense would carry a maximum $500 fine, 6 months in jail and require a court-approved driver improvement plan.

Offenders would also lose their driver's license for 6 months, with a potential restricted license for their job.

A second offense within 3 years would carry a maximum of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Law enforcement would have discretion over whether to make an arrest or issue a summons.

You can view the bill here.

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