|Michigan State Police On-Line Aggressive Driving Report Form
Michigan does not currently have a law that defines "Aggressive Driving" or what has commonly become known as "Road Rage". However, even though there is no specific definition the practice of aggressive driving is addressed in the Michigan Vehicle Code.
Two separate statutes currently include the concept of aggressive driving. They are "Careless Driving" and "Reckless Driving".
MCL 257.626b defines careless driving as; "A person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property, but without wantonness or recklessness, is responsible for a civil infraction."
MCL 257.626 defines reckless driving as; "(1) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond or other place open to the general public, including, but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both."
The difference between careless and reckless driving is one of intent and/or the possible consequences of such an act.
Careless driving often consists of multiple hazardous violations that are unsafe and negligent, committed at approximately the same time and location. The driver need not show intent to damage property or injure a person, or even a knowing disregard for that safety for the offense of careless driving to apply. An example may be, a motorists driving at an excessive rate of speed and running a red light. The act has to be one that is careless or negligent in manner and likely to endanger a person or property.
On the other hand, reckless driving is an intent crime. In this case, the driver is aware of the unsafe act(s) in which he or she is engaging, but does so anyway. An example might be, a motorist driving at an excessive rate of speed on the freeway, executing multiple lane changes, and cutting off traffic. As the motorist continues, he or she tailgates other drivers and then uses the shoulder to pass. In so doing, other vehicles are forced to take evasive action to avoid being struck by the offenders’ vehicle. The intent and/or possible consequences are a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others.
Aggressive driving may fit the definition of either careless or reckless driving.
The bottom line? Any operation of a vehicle that is either careless or negligent and likely to endanger another or cause damage to property, or is in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others, IS A VIOLATION.
What can you do to combat Aggressive Driving?
Be courteous to other motorists and avoid non-verbal communication.
What to do if you encounter an Aggressive Driver?
Remain calm and either pull over and call 911 or drive to a nearby venue to call the police.
Give the police as much information as possible.
Be a good witness, not a victim.
What is the Michigan State Police doing to combat Aggressive Driving?
The Michigan State Police has launched an online web site to report Aggressive Driving/Road Rage incidents. The purpose of this new reporting method is to identify areas throughout the state that show a propensity for this type of conduct. Once these areas are identified, measures such as increased police presence, engineering studies, and strict enforcement can be undertaken.
To report Aggressive Driving incidents online
If you wish to make a specific complaint against another driver then you must contact the local State Police post or appropriate local law enforcement agency with detailed information about the offending vehicle and driver. In addition you must be willing and able to testify in court should an arrest be made.
Even if you do not wish to make a specific complaint against an individual please take the time to report the dangerous behavior by completing the Michigan State Police On-Line Aggressive Driving Report Form.
Michigan State Police On-Line Aggressive Driving Report Form