Ohio bill would toughen rules on road rage

| 10/5/2007

A bill in the Ohio Senate intended to help curb incidents of aggressive driving in the state could draw consideration as the end of the legislative session approaches.

Sponsored by Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, the bill would define road rage and set penalties. Drivers convicted of moving violations would face fines between $100 and $250, as well as jail time, if police note the incident as road rage. Included would be a requirement that aggressive drivers complete a “road rage abatement seminar” and remedial driving class.

Grendell said the bill would close a loophole in state law that results when one driver causes a wreck without coming into contact with a vehicle. He cited an injury to a constituent caused by a reckless driver. Janet Jedlicka is partially paralyzed but the other driver could not be cited because the vehicles didn’t touch, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.

The bill doesn’t target drivers who use hand gestures, shout or honk their horns. It goes after those who use their vehicles to express anger.

The bill – SB91 – is in the Senate Judiciary-Criminal Justice Committee. It must pass the Senate and House prior to the end of the regular session, which is scheduled for the end of December. If not, it can be brought back for consideration during the 2008 session.

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