Indiana road rage, drunken driving bills sent to governor

| Monday, March 20, 2006

The Indiana General Assembly has wrapped up its work for the year, but lawmakers approved a couple of highway safety bills before the session ended March 14.

The measures have been sent to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who must sign them before they become law.

Lawmakers gave final approval to a bill intended to combat “road rage” by making aggressive driving a specific crime.

Drivers who commit three of nine offenses listed in the bill during a single trip could be charged with aggressive driving.

Punishable acts include the repeated flashing of headlights, unsafe slowing or stopping, following too closely, or unnecessary honking.

Violators would face up to a $1,500 fine and/or a year in jail. If aggressive driving results in injury to another person would face up to a $10,000 fine and six months to three years in prison. If another person is killed, offenders would face a $10,000 fine and two to eight years in prison.

A separate bill that earned legislators’ approval would allow courts to take vehicles from some people convicted of drunken driving. Courts would be permitted to seize a drunken driver’s vehicle if the driver had at least two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated within the previous five years.

The road rage bill is HB1108. The drunken driving bill is SB145. They have been sent to Gov. Mitch Daniels for his signature.