If a Utah state lawmaker gets his way, residents could call
in anonymous tips about dangerous drivers.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, has offered a bill
that is intended to help people report relatives that might not be able to
Utah law now requires that drivers be given the name of who
reported them to officials.
The measure - SB84 - would allow anonymity to those
reporting drivers whose impairments could pose imminent threats to their own
and others' safety, The Salt Lake Tribune
The rule would apply to anyone, regardless of age. However, Christensen
said his focus is elderly drivers.
"One of the principle pushers of this is my own mother,"
Christensen told The Tribune. "She
thinks nothing of getting in the car and driving to California. It's getting
scary. There are people who won't police themselves."
Christensen said he believes granting anonymity would make
the tough decision easier on everyone involved.
Opponents said older people shouldn't be singled out as the
problem. Others cite statistics from the Utah Department of Public Safety that
show in 2004 drivers older than 65 accounted for just 5.6 percent of the nearly
97,000 drivers involved in wrecks, The
Tribune reported. Drivers up to 29 years of age were involved in 47.5 percent
To prevent harassing people, the bill includes a provision
that would make reporting false concerns punishable up to 90 days in jail
and/or up to a $750 fine.
SB84 is awaiting assignment to a committee for the session
that begins Jan. 15.