Bill To Crack Down On Road Rage Advances [AUDIO]
Jessica was 16 when the car she was riding in, operated by a driver who had been cut off , slammed into a pole attempting to pass another car on the shoulder. Jessica's still dealing with permanent, serious injuries. The bill calls for heavy fines and even jail if someone winds up seriously hurt or killed because of a road rager.
Co-sponsor Assemblyman Daniel Benson says it's time we consider a motor vehicle a potential weapon. He says the actions that we take from that moment on can take a life, or in Jessica's case, inflict a lifetime of injuries.
Under the bill, it would be a crime of the fourth degree if the aggressive driver causes bodily injury, such as physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition), and a crime of the third degree if the aggressive driver causes serious bodily injury, (for example, an injury creating substantial risk of death, or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.
A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to 10-thousand dollars, or both. A third degree crime is punishable by imprisonment of three to five years, a fine up to 15-thousand dollars or both.
The bill goes to the Assembly and Senate next week.
There were 82 more highway fatalities in New Jersey last year compared to the year before. Some experts pin part of the increase on a, "general recklessness" by some drivers.