Lawmakers propose new wrong-way driver penalties

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - State lawmakers have proposed tougher penalties for wrong-way drivers in the wake of several wrong-way crashes on area highways.

State Senator Mark Wagoner is one of two sponsors of a bill that will put forward hefty consequences for wrong-way driving. Currently, a driver will receive points on their driving record and a fine.

The new bill would take away the driver's license for a year if they drive more than 500 feet in the wrong direction.

"If you spend more than 500 feet driving in the wrong direction, frankly you're just not paying attention," Wagoner said.

If a wrong-way driver is caught driving without his or her license in that year, the consequences could include up to a year in jail and up to a $1000 fine.

If a driver kills or injures a person while driving the wrong way, he or she could lose their license for two to ten years. In addition, the driver could receive up to three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The driver would be charged with a third degree felony.

Wagoner said he knows the bill will not stop all wrong-way drivers, but he is hoping the bill will make a positive impact.

"You can't legislate common sense, but what you can do is increase the penalties," he said.

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