Michigan bad driver bill advances

| 6/16/2003

Michigan’s habitually bad drivers would pay up to $1,000 to keep their driving privileges under a plan approved by the Senate June 3.

“Drunk driving, reckless driving and road rage-related incidents have made Michigan’s roads and highways more dangerous than ever,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac, said in a statement. “The time has come for us to send a serious message to those drivers who threaten the greater public’s safety with their reckless behavior behind the wheel.”

SB509 would put a $100 yearly fee on people who rack up seven or more points on their driver’s license within two years. Drivers with more points would be charged $50 per point. Those convicted of serious crimes, such as drunken driving or driving without a license, could face fees between $500 and $1,000.

“With Michigan’s roads and highways busier than ever, we need to do something further to get the attention of drivers with the worst driving records,” Gilbert said. “Our message is: If you habitually ignore traffic safety laws, it is going to cost you.”

A recent Detroit News article found one of every six traffic deaths in the state involved a driver with multiple traffic violations, a rate exceeded by only three other states. The report also found that between 1994 and 2001, the state ranked fourth in the nation in the percentage of crash deaths involving drivers with bad records.

The bill has been forwarded to the House Appropriations Committee.