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New Law Could Put Drivers Who Cause ‘Serious Bodily Injury’ Behind Bars For More Time

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file photo (Sean Murphy/Getty Images)

file photo (Sean Murphy/Getty Images)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –
Road rage that leads to critical injury could soon land offenders in jail for a longer period of time in New Jersey. Years of effort to toughen state law are one signature away from success.

The driver of a car who chased another person who cut him off, only to slam into a tree and paralyze a teen riding with him, got just six months for assault by auto and only did four.

That was seven years ago, and New Jersey State Senator Linda Greenstein has worked ever since to put more teeth in the law. After tweaking the bill several times, she came up with a plan her colleagues could live with.

“When serious bodily injury is caused, it’s a third degree offense, punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison,” Greenstein explains.

There’s an 18 month max if the injuries aren’t that serious. The bill also clarifies what “road rage” actually is, which makes the crime easier to prosecute.

The bill has received unanimous legislative approval and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Christie.

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