SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - You’ve probably seen it on the roads or fallen victim to it. Aggressive driving and road rage can unfold in the blink of an eye and affect a person’s life forever.
Now, Louisiana Democratic State Representative Sam Jenkins of Shreveport has proposed a state law to make aggressive driving a crime. And from what we’ve heard so far there appears to be widespread support for the idea.
According to government figures, 66 percent of traffic deaths in this country are caused by aggressive driving.
That’s prompted Representative Jenkins to propose Louisiana House Bill 6 in the upcoming 2019 regular legislative session that gets underway at noon on Monday, April 8 and adjourns no later than 6 p.m. on June 6.
"What we're trying to do is curtail that behavior. If we can get you before the court, before someone is seriously injured or hurt, that's the goal here. And a lot of states are beginning to enact these laws."
Jenkins' new law would put speeders, tailgaters or anyone who commits any one of a dozen poor driving habits under arrest if they commit 3 violations in a single trip.
Many drivers have their own experiences with aggressive driving and road rage. Just ask longtime Shreveport driver Andrew Young.
"I saw some guys up on Monkhouse about four years ago. They got out and man they went to fighting."
And consider that 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm. Government figures also show that in a 7 year period there were 218 murders on our roads and 12 and a half thousand injuries all because of road rage.
That comes as no surprise to drivers like Andrew Young. "People kill ya about nothin' now. They believe in shooting. They don't do too much talking no more. They shoot."
If LA HB 6 becomes law, the offense would carry a maximum $500 fine, 6 months in jail and require a court-approved driver improvement plan.
Offenders would also lose their driver's license for 6 months, with a potential restricted license for their job.
A second offense within 3 years would carry a maximum of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Law enforcement would have discretion over whether to make an arrest or issue a summons.