New Utah law allows anonymous reporting of ‘bad drivers’

| 3/20/2008

People will be allowed to call in anonymous tips about dangerous drivers, under a bill signed into law in Utah. It is intended to help people report relatives who might not be able to drive safely.

In the past, Gov. Jon Huntsman signed a bill into law that required drivers to be given the name of who reported them to officials. The new law, previously SB34, allows anonymity to those reporting drivers whose impairments could pose imminent threats to their own and others’ safety.

Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, said the rule will apply to anyone, regardless of age. However, Christensen said the focus is on older drivers.

Christensen offered a similar version during the 2007 session, but the full Senate rejected the bill because of concerns about people anonymously tattling on someone. Others said older people shouldn’t be singled out as the problem.

To prevent harassing people, the bill includes a provision that would make reporting false concerns punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $750 fine.

The new rule takes effect in May.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Utah, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor