A bill that would have allowed people to call in anonymous
tips about dangerous drivers in Utah has died.
The Senate voted 18-10 to kill a bill that sought to allow
anonymity to those reporting drivers whose impairments could pose imminent
threats to their own and others' safety.
Utah law now requires that drivers be given the name of anyone
who reports them to officials.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, said the bill - SB84
- was intended to help people report relatives that might not be able to drive
safely. The rule would have applied to anyone, regardless of age. However,
Christensen said his focus was elderly drivers.
Opponents said they didn't like the idea of people
anonymously tattling on someone.
"It's always troubled me when we can't look our accuser in
the face," Sen. Darin Peterson, R-Nephi, told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Others said older people shouldn't be singled out as the
problem. They 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 of wrecks.
To prevent harassing people, the bill included a provision
that would have made reporting false concerns punishable by up to 90 days in
jail and/or up to a $750 fine.