Indiana Part of 6-State Crackdown On Aggressive Driving

The joint effort began Sunday and runs through Saturday, involving state troopers from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia

The Indiana State Police are participating in a six-state joint enforcement aimed at reducing crashes by curtailing aggressive and reckless driving.

The joint effort that began Sunday and runs through Saturday involves state troopers from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In the state of Indiana, aggressive driving is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and fines reaching $5,000.

A motorist can be charged with that offense if they commit any three of the following infractions in a single episode of continuous driving: unsafe operation, passing on the right, unsafe stopping or slowing, unnecessary sounding of the horn, failure to yield, failure to obey traffic signals, following too closely, driving at unsafe speeds, and repeatedly flashing headlights.

Findings released last week from a 2014 survey conducted by the AAA Foundation show nearly eight of every 10 U.S. drivers admit expressing anger, aggression or road rage at least once in the previous year.

While that's dangerous enough, an estimated 8 million drivers engaged in more extreme behavior on streets and roads that might be considered "road rage," including bumping or ramming a vehicle on purpose or getting out of their cars to confront another driver, the foundation said.

No surprise to sociologists, the most aggressive and aggrieved drivers are young men ages 19 to 39. Male drivers were three times more likely than females to have gotten out of a car to confront another driver or rammed another vehicle on purpose.

Nearly nine in 10 drivers saw aggressive driving as "a serious threat to their personal safety," the foundation said. And more than half of drivers perceived road rage as a bigger problem than in a survey three years earlier.

About one in 4 drivers said they had purposely tried to block another driver from changing lanes, and nearly 12 percent reported they had cut off another vehicle on purpose.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about two-thirds of crash deaths involve aggressive driving. The agency recently reported that traffic deaths surged last year to 35,200 as drivers racked up more miles behind the wheel than ever before.

Jake Nelson, AAA's director of traffic safety advocacy, urged motorists to "maintain a cool head and focus on reaching your destination safely."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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