States Mount Attack On “Aggressive Driving”


Steve Geller, a Florida state senator, wants police to write $80 tickets to “me-first” drivers who cut in front of others, reports USA Today. Lawmakers in at least 12 other states are part of a growing effort to enforce civility on inconsiderate motorists. They want to reduce problems like tailgating, abrupt lane changes, excessive speed, and passing on the shoulder – that federal data say is a factor in three of five highway collisions.

Some states are adding enforcement. Massachusetts has started two-week “mobilizations” that put extra state troopers on the road to ticket drivers for aggressive behavior. The first ended last week; police issued 2,772 extra citations during the 14-day crackdown. A Massachusetts study found that nearly all drivers engage in at least one behavior a month that can be classified as aggressive. The study found that young male drivers – those ages 16-30 – do most of the aggressive driving.

A proposal in South Carolina would add a $10 surcharge on tickets for offenses that fall under the aggressive driving heading. A Colorado measure would boost certain fines by 165 percent. Lawmakers in New Jersey, Michigan and Rhode Island propose that police should be allowed to cite a driver for a pattern of aggressive driving – two or more violations at the same time, like speeding and changing lanes abruptly.


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