Friday, July 19, 2013

ISP partners with ITD and other law enforcement to focus on aggressive drivers July 19-Aug. 4

BOISE - Last year, aggressive driving contributed to more than half of all motor-vehicle crashes in Idaho, killed 66 people and seriously injured another 629. That’s why the Idaho Transportation Department will fund extra law enforcement patrols and a media campaign targeting aggressive Idaho drivers July 19 – Aug. 4.

“Idaho’s law enforcement agencies have zero tolerance for aggressive driving on our roads,” said Col. Ralph
Powell, with the Idaho State Police. “We see too many families destroyed because of speed and other types of aggressive driving.”

You are an aggressive driver if you drive in a pushy, bold or selfish manner, explained Jo O’Connor, with ITD.

She added that young drivers, ages 19 and younger, are more than four times as likely to be involved in an
aggressive driving crash than all other drivers.

Speeding, not obeying traffic-control devices, following too close (tailgating), driving too fast for conditions,
weaving in and out of traffic, making improper lane changes, passing on shoulders in an unsafe manner and
unnecessary honking are considered aggressive-driving behaviors and traffic violations by law enforcement.

Screaming or flashing lights and making rude hand or facial gestures are additional aggressive-driving
behaviors that may also escalate to road rage, a criminal act.

Road rage is a deliberate act of assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the occupant of one vehicle against the occupant of another vehicle, O’Connor said. Often, the person who incites the road rage may not have done so intentionally.

Road rage can lead to criminal offenses or charges. 

O’Connor advises motorists to stay calm and safely get out of the way if confronted with an aggressive driver. Do not challenge him or her, avoid eye contact and ignore gestures. Always be sure that seat belts are fastened in case abrupt movements cause a loss of vehicle control.

Citizens have the right to report an aggressive driving or road-rage incident to law enforcement if witnessed in the absence of an officer.

“Find a safe place to call 911, or call dispatch when you get home. Try to provide time, location, license plate, vehicle and driver description,” O’Connor said. “Describe the incident in detail and be prepared to appear in court, if needed.”

Idaho drivers can access information on how to distinguish between aggressive driving and road rage, and learn what they need to know in order to report an incident to law enforcement by clicking here.