Inattentive driving scofflaws best be on alert in Auburn from now on

Sometimes motorists get away with blindingly stupid stuff because state and City laws are silent about their particular misdeed.

Inattentive driving, which is a real problem on today's streets, roads and highways, must be near the top of the list.

Auburn City Council members on Monday night created a new section of the City Code to deal with this very problem.

The new section provides a violation that addresses instances when drivers are inattentive but makes it a lesser violation than negligence or recklessness.

The ordinance defines "inattentive driving" as operating a vehicle in a manner that:

• Fails to maintain a careful lookout for persons or property in the direction of travel

• Evidences a lack of attentiveness required to operate a vehicle and a lack of

• attentiveness that would permit the driver of a motor vehicle to observe anything resting on, or traveling on, or entering the roadway in time to take appropriate action, as circumstances require.

A violation of the new law constitutes a traffic infraction "punishable by a monetary penalty of $250, plus all mandatory court costs, fees and assessments."

City Attorney Dan Heid said in language attached to the ordinance that "it gives the police a tool that provides flexibility where the violation does not necessarily constitute action that is criminally chargeable, but yet should be addressed as a traffic infraction under City codes."

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