Summary Report Aggressive Driving and the Law May 1999

Executive Summary




Appendix I

Appendix II



Summary Remarks

Phil Recht, Deputy Administrator, NHTSA
Mr. Recht provided closing remarks on the meeting, thanking those who helped to make it a success and summarizing some of the key points and recommendations raised by participants. He acknowledged the many different groups involved in bringing this aggressive driving symposium from concept to reality, including the intermodal aggressive driving team, whose members served as recorders. Special recognition was given to Kay Chopard, Office of Communications and Outreach at NHTSA, and to Chuck Peltier, Traffic Law Enforcement at NHTSA, for "keeping the flame burning" in the face of enormous demands and limited resources--a credit to their good relationship with the legal, judicial, and law enforcement communities. Mr. Recht then introduced Rose McMurray, the new Associate Administrator of the Traffic Safety Programs Office at NHTSA, and identified two people in attendance who, along with performing their regular duties, serve pro bono in the Judicial Fellows Program: Judge G. Michael Witte, Dearborn County Court, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and Judge Karl B. Grube, Pinellas County Court, Florida.

Mr. Recht thanked all participants for their active involvement and their willingness to share their expertise and provide thoughtful recommendations. He said their input reinforced the notion of aggressive driving as a behavioral problem requiring education and good law enforcement solutions. Although recommended solutions may not fit every community, they are no less valid; they need only be adapted to a community's specific needs and makeup. This brought Mr. Recht to his main point: he strongly encouraged participants to put energy into implementing these recommendations, adding that symposium organizers would focus on the following:

  • Eliciting media attention for this effort.
  • Getting the meeting summary out to participants.
  • Proceeding with the aggressive driving working group.
  • Developing stock speeches for judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, and others to use in the community.
  • Implementing other recommendations as its authority and resources allow, to help participants advance the recommendations that make sense for their communities.

Mr. Recht emphasized that attacking the aggressive driving problem demands a two-way partnership. State and local levels must work together with national resources and assistance. He called on participants to individually exercise their option to start immediately, to do something in their communities to further this effort, such as letting the press know they were here and what transpired. Bring your recommendations to reality, he urged participants, so we can say we participated in an event that led to the saving of countless lives and to solutions that improved our lives and made our communities safer and better places to live.