New North Carolina law toughens aggressive-driving penalties

| 8/18/2004

Erratic drivers in North Carolina could be charged with the new crime of aggressive driving under provisions of a bill signed into law by Gov. Mike Easley.

The new law, which takes effect Dec. 1, creates a misdemeanor offense for any driver who is cited for speeding or reckless driving while committing two other traffic violations. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to 120 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

The offenses that would have to be violated to cite someone for aggressive driving include running a red light, running a stop sign, tailgating, failing to yield right-of-way and illegal passing.

A conviction of aggressive driving would carry a six-point penalty for commercial drivers and a five-point penalty for other drivers. A driver could have their license revoked if convicted twice within a year.

Supporters are hopeful the new law – previously H1046 – will change the way people drive.

“I hope the bill deters conduct, we’re not out to take people’s driver’s licenses,” Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Chapel Hill, recently told News 14 Carolina. “We’re out to promote safer driving and so to the extent it has some impact, maybe it will save a life somewhere down the line.”