State Rep. pushes for harsher penalties for aggressive driving - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State Rep. pushes for harsher penalties for aggressive driving

Cpt. Tom Jackson, Dougherty County Police Department Cpt. Tom Jackson, Dougherty County Police Department
Princess Allen, Albany Resident Princess Allen, Albany Resident
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Aggressive driving could become a serious crime in Georgia.  State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow felony charges against aggressive drivers who cause serious injuries. 

Officers said drivers are becoming more aggressive around Albany.  They said the proposed legislation could be a good way to crack down on offenders.  Some drivers are aggressive the minute they start their car.

"They cut you off when you're trying to get over.  You put on your blinkers, lights and you know, they don't want to let you over," said Princess Allen, Albany Resident / Driver. 

Speeding and tailing are other common problems.

"Everybody is in a hurry.  They feel like I'm the most important, I need to get where I need to be, you know, above anyone else," said Cpt. Tom Jackson, Dougherty County Police Department. 

Officers said drivers get more pushy on the highways.

'Yeah, when I'm trying to get over and maybe I'd missed my turn, I maybe speed up and try to get over.  So I, you know...I'm not among the big bunch, but I am," said Allen. 

It's a growing trend around Albany that's landing some behind bars.  "We made an arrest here recently with someone driving 99 miles an hour in a 55 mile per hour zone," said Cpt. Jackson.  "That's an aggressive driver that we can charge with it, and actually place them in jail." 

State Representative Kevin Turner hopes to prosecute aggressive drivers who cause serious or fatal accidents with a felony. 

"Traffic laws apply to everyone and traffic laws exist for one rationality.  They make traffic more safe.  That's the reason we have to have them," Jackson said.   

Chelsea's Law is named after the 20 year-old Dawson County mother Chelsea Gerrish.  She was killed in a traffic accident in Gainesville last October when a driver swerved into oncoming traffic. 

"We need to leave a little bit sooner to get where we need to go and we need to drive a little bit safer and be more considerate of other people on the roadway," said Jackson. 

It's a simple step that could save lives. 

Police say you should never engage with an aggressive driver.  Instead, just move out of their way, and try to write down their license plate number to report them to law enforcement.  

 

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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