NC authorities say road rage hard to police
Posted March 27, 2013
Cary, N.C. — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol issued 145 citations for aggressive driving, but they say laws against road rage are difficult to enforce.
First Sgt. Jeff Gordon, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol, said the incidents happen so quickly and often boil down to a difference of opinion between two drivers.
"I would say it probably lasts one minute, if that," Gordon said. "It's a he-said, she-said type of situation, so anything that is going to kind of add more evidence, per se, will assist us in our jobs."
Such evidence includes a cellphone video of a weekend situation in Carteret County that was posted on YouTube.
Bradley Russell Turner, of 3432 Institute Road in LaGrange, appeared in court Wednesday on charges that he fired a gun at a pickup that had run him off U.S. Highway 70 on Sunday afternoon.
His wife, Christy Marie Turner, allegedly handed him the gun as the driver of the pickup and his friend started beating up her husband.
The two men in the pickup, who recorded and posted the video, are recovering from broken bones received in the fight. They said they broke off the altercation when they saw the Turners' child crying in the couple's SUV and tried to leave quickly when they saw the gun.
"It's a very dangerous and scary situation for everybody involved," Lt. Tracey Barker of the Cary Police Department said as he watched the video of the incident online.
Cary has a "road watch" line to try to prevent interaction between heated drivers. Anyone can call and report problems on the road.
"The most important thing is that people can do that – report it to this line – without having to confront someone with it," Barker said.
The aggressive driving statute that covers road rage incidents in North Carolina also includes careless and reckless driving. Last year, people charged with aggressive driving caused 3,851 injuries, up 3 percent from 2011.
Gordon said drivers can avoid road rage situations by either slowing down on the highway or getting off at the nearest exit and calling authorities. People can reach the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP on their cellphones, and the number for the Cary hotline is 919-319-4521.