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Aggressive Driving: Definitions, Laws and Prevalence

May 26, 2009
Aggressive Driving: Definitions, Laws and Prevalence
Prepared for Division of State Patrol
Prepared by CTC & Associates LLC, WisDOT Research & Library Unit
May 15, 2009

PDF 14 pages:

Request for Report
Aggressive driving has been a concern in the United States since at
least the 1990s. In recent years, Wisconsin legislators have attempted
to enact penalty enhancers to punish aggressive driving, defined as a
series of specific traffic offenses occurring in a chain of events that
collectively define a single act of "aggressive driving," but the
legislation has failed to pass.

WisDOT's Division of State Patrol requested a synthesis report about
aggressive driving laws, focusing on the following questions:

. Which states have defined "aggressive driving" as a stand-alone
traffic offense or as a penalty enhancement for a series of traffic
. Have state aggressive driving laws been sufficiently well-defined for
the law enforcement community, for prosecutors, and for the courts?
. What does the research literature say about the reality and perception
of aggressive driving-is it getting worse, or more prevalent?

This synthesis report is divided into three sections:
. Legal Definitions of Aggressive Driving and Their Enforceability,
which is divided into subsections on comparisons of state aggressive
driving laws, recent legislation, and the effectiveness of these laws.
. General Resources on Aggressive Driving, including major studies that
address both the prevalence and definition of aggressive driving,
including its distinction from road rage.
. Are Road Rage and Aggressive Driving Overhyped?, which includes
studies addressing the media dramatization of road rage, as well as
studies confirming the prevalence of aggressive driving as distinct from
road rage.
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