Wednesday, August 19, 2009

States get tough on driving menaces

"States are trying to put the brakes on bad driving by targeting "super speeders," lane hogs and those guilty of multiple moving violations."

"Florida is leading the way with a new law that sends its worst drivers back to driving school. A driver found at fault in three crashes in three years will have to pass a driver education course and a driving test, just like novice drivers."

"These people have proven themselves to be chronically bad drivers. You have to try everything you can to change their behavior," says Electra Theodorides-Bustle, executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The cost for additional training will be passed on to violators, she says."

"The moves come as a growing body of evidence suggests that aggressive driving — including speeding, tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, ignoring traffic signals and weaving in and out of traffic — is deadlier than drunken driving. An April study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that aggressive driving was a factor in 56% of all fatal U.S. crashes from 2003 through 2007."

"Florida's new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, is unlikely to eradicate bad driving in the Sunshine State: Highway safety officials have identified 3,200 people — out of about 15.5 million licensed drivers — who would currently fall under the new law."

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