Driving is something many Pennsylvania residents take for granted. If you are like most people, you learned the rules of the road in a drivers’ education class. You might have forgotten some of the finer points of traffic laws and formed your own habits since that time. We often represent clients who have misdemeanor traffic violations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the phrase “aggressive driving” encompasses a category of dangerous on-the-road behavior.
Signs of aggressive driving
Although aggressive driving and road rage are often thought of as the same thing, the behaviors are quite different. Aggressive driving includes a combination of traffic offenses that endanger other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists nearby. Typically, a single incident triggers anger or road rage in a driver. If you exhibit several of the following behaviors, you may be an aggressive driver:
- Passing illegally on the left
- Speeding up on yellow lights
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Merging in and out of traffic
- Speeding excessively
- Running stop signs
Penalties for aggressive driving
Aggressive driving behaviors often become routine and you may not realize that they can have significant consequences. If property damage or bodily injury occurs due to your driving habits, the traffic violation that would normally be a summary offense could become a misdemeanor. Depending on the unique circumstances of your situation, it could increase to aggravated assault by a vehicle, which is a 3rd-degree felony.
In Pennsylvania, license suspension or permanent loss is likely with repeat offenses. Although summary offense conviction can cost $200 or more in fines, a felony charge could result in up to $10,000 in fines and two years in jail. Having a strong defense can help avoid losing your license and getting jail time.