Local News

Road Rage On Rise In Raleigh; Police Advise Motorists To Relax

Posted November 22, 2002 6:56 a.m. EST

— Trying to get through rush-hour traffic is tough enough without the growing amount of violence on Triangle roads.

Raleigh Police say road rage incidents are up 50 percent. And the disputes are not just people yelling at each other.

Police say what's happening after people get out to discuss their traffic troubles is alarming - and gettting downright nasty.

For example, a nice Sunday drive turned ugly in a hurry for Barbara Sparks.

Sparks was on her way to Yoga classes - something that's supposed to be relaxing. Driving down Wade Avenue, she honked at a driver who she said was swerving all over the road.

"I slammed on my brakes," Sparks said. "I just barely missed her."

Sparks thought nothing of the incident until she got to her yoga class. The other driver followed her there.

"When I tried to open my door and push her away," Sparks said, "she dragged me out of my car and threw me to the ground."

Sparks suffered a concussion. The other driver, a female in her 30's, got away.

That type of scene is something police are seeing happen all too often lately. They've seen two angry drivers want to play car tag back and forth. They've seen the person in front actually hem the other person in with their vehicle and punch them in the face. They've seen somebody throw hot coffee out a window at somebody after supposedly being cut off.

Police say retaliation is the worst thing to do; then an incident report becomes a two-sided affair. Their advice is to relax.

Perhaps the best way to catch a road-rage offender is to get the person's license plate number. One easy way to do that, according to police, is to call your voicemail or answering machine, fully describe what's happening and include the license place. That way police have a full version on tape of what happened.