Bill seeks to prevent road rage by toughening penalties for bad driving

Bill seeks to prevent road rage by toughening penalties for bad driving

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than a dozen states, including Hawaii, have passed laws against aggressive driving.

Now City Councilman Joey Manahan wants to take it a step further with an ordinance that would outlaw bad behaviors that provoke road rage.

The argument: Bad driving behavior like tailgating and screaming matches can lead to serious road rage incidents.

A recent case led Manahan to act.

Earlier this month, road rage-fueled stabbings on the H-1 Freeway near Kunia left one man critically injured and two others seriously injured. The suspect, 58-year-old Mark, has a history of violent behavior and allegedly taunted the victims before getting into an altercation with them on the side of the roadway.

"We have the highest incidence of road rage here in Hawaii and it's sad we're known for that," Manahan said.

The bill looks to toughen up penalties for more than a dozen bad driving habits.

The list includes intentionally cutting off another driver or stopping your vehicle to keep someone from passing, as well as using offensive or threatening language and gestures.

"I think we should have stiffer fines and possibly jail time for a second or third offense," Manahan said.

So could the bill actually pass? It's got support from drivers like Hector Hoyos.

"I think it's very important because I'm someone who experienced road rage," he said. "Something needs to be done to hold people accountable for it."

But driver Jeanine Jones wonders if the measure is actually necessary.

"Compared to when I lived on the mainland, It seems to be a lot of aloha when people drive," she said.

The bill will go before the City Council next month.

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