Indiana bill targets reckless drivers

| Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If an Indiana state lawmaker gets his way, drivers who show little regard for the safety of others could face stiff penalties.

Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, has offered a bill that targets reckless driving and other poor driving decisions.

Indiana law now calls for anyone found guilty of driving in a reckless manner to face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 fines.

In addition to fines and possible jail time, the bill calls for anyone found to be driving a tractor-trailer “in a reckless or deliberate attempt” to endanger others to face a lengthy amount of time off the road. If such actions result in injury to another person, a judge could recommend a one-year license suspension. Injuries that result in death could result in a three-year ban.

According to the fiscal impact statement attached to the bill, there were 35 occurrences of truck drivers being cited for reckless driving during the five-year period that ended in 2009.

Any motorist or other driver who fails to dim “bright or blinding lights” would face 30 days off the road. If the act results in injury to another person, the penalty would be 90 days; and 180 days if a death results.

In Indiana, driving in a reckless manner can result in loss of driving privileges ranging from 30 days to one year. The bill would add a one-year driving ban for injuries caused. A three-year ban would result for someone’s death.

Drivers convicted of causing injuries or death resulting from aggressive driving or failure to yield to an emergency vehicle could lose their driver’s licenses for one year and three years, respectively.

The bill – HB1087 – is awaiting consideration in the House Roads and Transportation Committee.

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

Editor’s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.