Ohio bill that sought to toughen rules on road rage on hold for now

| 12/19/2007

A bill in the Ohio Senate intended to help curb incidents of aggressive driving in the state will have to wait until next year to find out whether it will become law.

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 from injuries sustained in a wreck, but the other driver could not be cited because the vehicles didn’t touch, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.

Grendell’s 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 – remained in a Senate committee when the first year of the two-year session wrapped up Dec. 12. It can be brought back for consideration during the 2008 session, which begins Jan. 2, 2008.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Ohio in 2007, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor