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Utah to implement first-ever road rage law

Interstate I-15 traffic toward Salt Lake City
jovannig - stock.adobe.com
Interstate I-15 traffic toward Salt Lake City

Utah is on the road to becoming the first state in the nation to establish an enhanced road rage law which goes into effect July 1.

Law enforcement officers at the state, county and city levels have reported an increase in the severity of road rage incidents, which promoted the effort to enhance road rage safety and driver accountability.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Cameron Roden said the new law will help inform drivers of the dangers of road rage.

“We're just trying to get people to realize that these events can escalate and transpire into really serious events like we've seen lately,” Roden said. “We've seen way too many of these that have gone from just a basic driving mistake and escalated into something that could definitely have been prevented or stopped.”

The Utah State Legislature passed House Bill 30, “Road Rage Amendments,” during the 2024 Legislative session, sponsored by Utah State House Rep. Paul Cutler and Utah State Sen. Todd Weiler.

Roden said road rage has always been illegal. Now the new law will increase penalties and fines for serious road rage criminal behavior and discourage drivers from engaging.

“Following too closely, extreme speeds, cutting people off, all of those things have been illegal already. That's what we see with road rage. But it gives officers the ability to enhance penalties now.”

Offenders can expect to pay thousands in criminal penalties, have their vehicles impounded and their licenses suspended. Felony and aggravated assault charges are also possible.