|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
([Your city, Your state]) Drivers who routinely speed, dart among traffic lanes, fail to signal intent, and improperly pass may soon be penalized severely for their behavior behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with local law enforcement agencies and community organizations to increase public awareness of the dangers and the penalties of aggressive driving. In [name of county or municipality], drivers who ignore basic traffic safety laws could be subject to substantial fines, points against their licenses and mandatory traffic school attendance. "Similarities exist between aggressive driving today and the impaired driving issue of twenty-five years ago. It is no longer socially acceptable to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs and attitudes about aggressive driving must change and also be unacceptable in society." Says [name of official], [title].
Aggressive driving encompasses a number of unlawful and dangerous actions, including exceeding posted speed limits or driving too fast for road conditions, changing lanes without signaling or yielding to other drivers, and passing in emergency lanes or on road shoulders. The more highly publicized "road rage" is a criminal offense that goes beyond carelessness to willful disregard for the safety of others. Aggressive driving, NHTSA points out, can escalate into road rage, sometimes with tragic consequences.
A recent survey sponsored by NHTSA indicates that the majority of U.S. drivers consider unsafe driving practices a major threat to their personal safety and that of their families. According to NHTSA, drivers who tailgate, exceed speed limits, run red lights and switch lanes without warning are likely contributors to the more than 6 million crashes that occur in the United States each year.
Several states have already adopted aggressive driving statutes that carry severe penalties, and more may follow suit. "We want to take steps now to restore safety and civility to our roadways," said [local official]. "By consistently enforcing traffic laws, increasing fines and other penalties against offenders, and impressing upon citizens the importance of their own safe driving habits, we can drive home the message that this dangerous behavior simply wont be tolerated."
For more information on aggressive driving, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
* National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Datos sobre seguridad de tránsito 1998, Departamento de Transporte de los Estados Unidos, Octubre 1999.