The Law and Road Rage
Can you guess which state is the most densely populated? If you selected New Jersey as your top pick, you are correct. With higher numbered drivers comes the potential for more angry motorists. Traffic is particularly heightened at this time of year. Do you know the particulars of the law and road rage?
What is Road Rage?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage has become a national phenomenon. We all recognize it or may have been tempted to exhibit some form of road rage against another driver. Consider your feelings for that soccer mom who glided into the mall parking space, as you patiently waited for it. If you managed to control your temper without exhibiting any ill feelings, you are unique. Even such a small example can mark the inception of some form of road rage.
Road rage can be as simple as an exchange of verbal profanities or equally unpleasant hand gestures. It can escalate to the use of a car as a deadly weapon. Sometimes, road rage can become life threatening or cause serious personal injury. Some individuals become so outraged that they resort to other types of assault, including fist fights and weapons.
Road Rage and Jessica’s Law
Consider the case of Jessica Rogers. She became the victim of road rage when she was just sixteen years old. In 2012, news articles report that Governor Chris Christie signed a law in her honor. The law sets up penalties for drivers that are guilty of road rage.
Jessica is paralyzed from her waist down as a result of a road rage event. While she was a passenger in a car, another vehicle cut in front of them. The driver of Jessica’s car decided to get back at the culprit. This required the driver to swing back and forth between other vehicles. Of course, the whole chase was unsafe. Ultimately, Jessica was severely injured when the car rammed into a telephone pole. After twenty four surgeries, her condition remains compromised.
Jessica’s Law makes a road rage conviction a third degree crime. What does this mean? In Jessica Roger’s case, it meant that the driver was jailed for four months. However, a judge can sentence someone convicted of a third degree crime to jail for up to five years. Fines many be assessed up to $15,000.