Roadrageous™ Aggressive Driver Containment Course for Law Enforcement
Driving is a challenge for everyone. Crowded roads, busy schedules, and
a non-stop parade of poor or even dangerous drivers around every
corner. It becomes so easy to respond in kind and make poor decisions
behind the wheel.
Enforcement Personnel have an even more difficult assignment. To
contain their own natural aggressive driving tendencies and handle all of the
distractions that come with the job AND to deal with other drivers on the
road and help them change their driving behavior.
is why the Roadrageous Aggressive Driver Containment Course for Law
Enforcement Personnel was created. The course helps Law Enforcement
Personnel correct their own driving habits and gives solid strategies to deal
with the aggressive drivers they pull over in the line of duty
States Army Forces Command
FORSCOM News Service
Selects American Institute For Safety Campaign
American Institute for Public Safety
The U.S. Army has selected the American Institute for Public Safety’s
innovative interactive programs to help limit loss of life from automotive
crashes involving soldiers and their families while operating Privately
The American Institute for Public Safety (AIPS), based in North Miami,
Fla., signed a contract in mid-June with the Army’s Forces Command,
headquartered at Fort McPherson, Ga.
“The Army is making a step change to save lives,” said Chris O. Huffman,
president of AIPS. “The leading cause of death for soldiers is not in
combat with the enemy. It’s when they drive in their privately owned
The Army’s safe driving campaign will operate under the “Combat
Aggressive Driving” brand name. The campaign that will be built on use of
AIPS’ aggressive driver course, called “RoadRageousTM.”
RoadRageousTM is the nation’s first comprehensive course on aggressive
driving. Presented in eight one-hour segments, the course was developed by
AIPS in conjunction with three leading experts on aggressive driving, Dr. Leon James and Dr.
Diane Nahl, both of the University of Hawaii, and Dr. Arnold
Nerenberg, a Ph.D. psychologist in Southern California known as “America’s
road rage therapist."
James and Nerenberg have testified before Congress on aggressive driving
and road rage, now ranked by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration as the leading concern among drivers today. In addition,
Nerenberg has taught numerous seminars for the California Office of Traffic
Safety and has appeared on major television network newscasts as the
recognized expert on aggressive driving and road rage.
The Army campaign will be launched at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell,
Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Polk,
La., and Fort Stewart, Ga. All three versions of the course will be
utilized for Military Police and local law enforcement, general adult
education and education for teens.
Huffman said the “Combat Aggressive Driving” program is more than just
educational courses. AIPS will coordinate instructor training, public
awareness campaigns, and outreach to communities and state and local
governments to insure that principles of non-harmful driving are
communicated to soldiers, families, and civilians at key Army posts where the
“Combat Aggressive Driving” program will be used.
“After extensive research, the Army selected AIPS because we’re more
than a course provider,” Huffman said. “The Army program we designed is an
all-embracing campaign that features education, public awareness, community
integration with state and local initiatives and even websites to deal with
an overall approach to traffic safety. This approach will also include
defensive driving, driving under the influence, seat belt usage, child
safety seats, distracted driving, cell phone safety and other related auto
“This builds on AIPS’ success delivering leading-edge driver safety
programs across the nation. Our programs feature new and innovative ways to
teach responsible driving to motorists with a proactive approach to
behavior modification,” Huffman said.
California this year:
SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE Bill No: SB 2004 Senator BETTY KARNETTE,
Chair Author: speier VERSION: 5/4/2000 Analysis by: Randall Henry
SUBJECT: Pursuit intervention termination management system.
DESCRIPTION: This bill would mandate the installation in all vehicles of
a specified electronic or electromechanical device which could deactivate
the fuel system of a vehicle when it is the subject of a pursuit by law
COURT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Rufus King III, Chief Judge March 23, 2001
Administrative Order No. 01-07 It is hereby ORDERED that in cases where a
violator is convicted in traffic court the person will be required to
complete educational programs from the American
Institute for Public Safety. This referral process does not change any
court administrative procedures. Records will be electronically transferred
for processing the violator through the educational programs. Violators who
are convicted in traffic court of a coded offense that carries 2-3 points
against their driving record are required to take the "Aware
Driver" Defensive Driving Course. Violators who are convicted in
traffic court of a coded offense that carries 4 to 8 points are required to
take the aggressive driver course, "RoadRageous". Violators who
are convicted in traffic court of a coded offense that carries more than 8
points will be required to take both courses. This order applies to violators
who are residents and non-residents of the District of Columbia. This order
shall be effective May 1, 2001.
18, 2000 In England...
Dangerous Drivers Face Ten Years In Jail
Dangerous drivers who persistently break the law could find themselves
behind bars for ten years, with a lifetime driving ban and their car
The measures are part of a tough new package due to be announced by the
Government this week.
Drivers found guilty of road rage will also face new penalties.
The moves, announced by Home Office minister Charles Clarke, will see
more people disqualified for speeding and drink driving, harsher sentences
for drivers who kill people in crashes, and a new punishment systemfor
those who drive at more than 100mph.
The Government will encourage the courts to enforce the penalties more
thoroughly. Although drivers can be sentenced for up to 10 years
imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving, at present the power
is rarely if ever used.
According to The Observer, those who continue to drivewhile banned could
be faced with the "short, sharp shock" punishment of having their
cars impounded. Research suggests as many as 800,000 people are driving in
Britain without a licence or insurance.
Other measures could include a "two-strikes" rule, banning
drivers for up to10 years if they are involved in a second drink-driving or
serious speedingoffence. Lifetime bans will be considered for drivers who
break the law three times.
The existing 12 points system for banning drivers who break the law will
also be re-examined. A 20-point system is being considered so that courts
can differentiate more clearly between minor and serious offences. (...)
Your Turn: A little courtesy
on the road helps a lot
By Al Philippus
I was in line at the grocery store the other day when this occurred to
me: Why are shoppers so courteous and mindful of the rules of checking out,
but motorists cut through traffic, speed, shout at slower drivers and too
frequently act like terrors?
Maybe it's because driving has become so impersonal, so focused on the
goal and not the process, that drivers in San Antonio experience such
rudeness and illegal behavior.
Think about it. Would you cut in line at the grocery store, bump the
cart in front of you and explain it all away by saying: "I'm late to
work. Get out of my way."
A recent survey of San Antonio drivers shows that aggressive driving is
on the increase. Conducted by the San Antonio Police Department and Dr.
Leon James of the University of Hawaii, a noted expert on driver behavior,
the survey of 837 drivers indicated nine out of 10 found driving in the
city more aggressive. What's more, 90 percent had encountered up to 10
incidents in the week before the survey.
One finding I find disturbing is that some 25 percent of the San
Antonians surveyed don't consider speeding and improper lane changes
The San Antonio Police Department is charged with enforcing the laws of
the city and protecting its residents. In April, in recognition of the
threat to public safety that aggressive driving poses, we initiated the
Drive Smart® — Be a Cool Operator program. In conjunction with the San
Antonio Municipal Courts, we have blended enforcement, education and
judicial programs to make an impact on aggressive driving.
Already, we're seeing the effects. Our traffic personnel are stopping
motorists for speeding, improper lane changes, following too close and
other aggressive behaviors. These violators are getting tickets or a
warning and a Traffic Enforcement and Education card that describes the
dangerous and illegal behaviors in which they engaged.
Citations alone will not effect change. Sure, the tickets can add up.
One driver recently received three tickets that cost him $351.
Those who frequently show up in Municipal Court after being ticketed for
aggressive driving behaviors may find themselves in remedial driving
Voluntary compliance is the best prevention for aggressive driving,
which leads to collisions, casualties and substantial property damage.
To that end, the Police Department, City Hall, San Antonio Municipal
Courts and several community leaders, such as USAA, are organizing a Labor
Day event to focus attention on driving smart and being a cool operator.
This Labor Day weekend, we urge all drivers to slow down, observe the
traffic laws and don't take out their aggressions on the road.
If you can be courteous in the grocery store, what's stopping you from
being polite on the road?
Al Philippus is chief of the San Antonio Police Department.
State Law Enforcement Officers Association Conference
Workshop Presentation by Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl
PREVENTION, EDUCATION, LEGISLATION
Leon James, Ph.D. and Diane Nahl, Ph.D. are professors at the University
of Hawaii. They are Driving Psychology educators who are responsible for
the first national aggressive driving prevention course called RoadRageous,
and have created a workshop for law enforcement that has trained officers
in San Antonio and N. Miami Beach that other states are also considering.
They have been frequently consulted by safety professionals and the media
on road rage, and their book ROAD RAGE AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING will be on
bookshelves in September.
This presentation will review the psycho-legal approach to aggressive
driving prevention. Law enforcement and the legal system need to become
more aware of the social dimension of aggressive driving, seeing it as a
habit acquired in childhood from parents and other adult drivers, TV and
movies, and video games. Most of the aggressive driving acts that officers
face are committed by automatic habit rather than motivated by anger or violence.
Enforcement and education must combine to overcome the "awareness
gap," since most drivers believe they are not aggressive but think
everyone else is. Legislators need to frame aggressive driving laws using
behavioral language that refers to specific driver behavior, that is
observable by an officer and does not involve judgement or opinion. Courts
need to recognize what type of specialized instruction is needed for
aggressive driving violators beyond traditional defensive driving courses.
Portions of the RoadRageous video course and the Aggressive Driving
Prevention Course for Law Enforcement: Officer Workbook can be viewed after
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 09:27:25 -1000
Subject: Website/Aggressive Driving
I like your site. There is a lot of good information there. I'm a Police
Sergeant in Southern California. I occasionally publish to a couple of
local papers. Would you please allow me to use some of your information and
may I link to your website from mine?
Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
A tip from the Crime Prevention Archives "Automobile Safety: Assault
With a Deadly Steering Wheel" by Ron Corbin, PhD - Crime Prevention
Specialist, presents the road rage definition by Dr. Leon James. December
The rapid population growth in Las Vegas, which brings in more vehicles,
which creates the need for more street construction, which causes more
congestion, all contribute to more impatience on the part of drivers. As
impatience intensifies, tempers shorten and "driving courtesy"
becomes non-existent. Safe driving habits become forgotten and are replaced
by reckless ventures in tailgating, speeding, running stop signs and red
traffic signals, excessive lane changes, all of which are many times
preceded by a hand wave from the driver using only "one finger".
Worst case scenarios are when tempers lead to high speed chases, or the
shooting of a handgun from one vehicle towards another.
This problem goes even deeper in the psychic of a person. More people
today are acquiring an arrogance of "To 'Hell' with everyone else,
I've got mine,"... or a "Me first" attitude. Leon James, a
psychology professor at the University of Hawaii (USA Weekend, Sept 5-7,
1997), states that the root of the problem for people's reaction to these
type traffic disturbances is caused when a "...person's anger is
triggered by their own self-righteous indignation."
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, "Aggressive
Driving" can be defined as "an angry motorist attempting to
intentionally injure or kill another driver because of a traffic
dispute." However, many accidents are caused by those drivers who
really don't intend to injure or kill others, but allow their "Road
Rage" mentality to override their common sense.
DRIVING AND THE LAW A SYMPOSIUM
JANUARY 22, 1999
The federal government has made safety the Administration’s highest
transportation priority --investing $6.8 billion over the next six years to
increase safety on our nation’s highways.
Aggressive driving is one of the leading safety concerns among America’s
drivers. More than 60 percent of drivers believe unsafe driving --including
speeding --by others was a major personal threat to them and to their
Speed --improper lane changes --improper passing --red light running
--operating a vehicle in a manner which endangers or is likely to endanger
others all fall under the category of aggressive driving.
Government Report on Aggressive Driving
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Ricardo Martinez, M.D.,
Aggressive Driving Victim
Rodney Slater, Secretary
Ricardo Martinez, M.D.,
NHTSA Survey Results
Research Report on Focus
Overview and Background
for Aggressive Driving
Panel Discussion -
Issues, Research, and Approaches of National Organizations
Insurance Institute for
AAA Foundation for
Traffic Safety, Inc
National Association of
Governors' Highway Safety Representatives
Speeding and Aggressive Driving
Findings and Recommendations
Appendix I - Symposium
Appendix II -
APRIL 4 2000
Police aim to curb 'road rage'
Tailgaters, lane weavers beware
By Bill Hendricks/Express-News Staff Writer
San Antonio police have targeted aggressive drivers, and traffic
enforcement officers have fixed their sights on a long list of suspects,
Chief Al Philippus said Monday.
They're construction workers in pickups who cut off other drivers in
They're retired schoolteachers driving four-door cruisers who speed up
to sail through a yellow traffic light before it turns red.
They're college kids in sports cars who change traffic lanes more often
than they punch up a new tune on the stereo.
And they're stockbrokers who follow cars so closely that the drivers in
front of them yearn to slam on their brakes and have the brokers' BMWs plow
into their back bumpers.
Philippus said too few motorists are willing to acknowledge that they
themselves sometimes fit the profile of the aggressive driver.
But almost everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car occasionally
resorts to dangerously aggressive driving tactics, the police chief said in
announcing a program he hopes will curb the worst offenders.
"Aggressive driving crosses all spectrums of our society,"
Police have a plan to identify the worst offenders.
Developed by Capt. Tom Polonis, who heads the traffic division, the
program has been named "Drive Smart — Be a Cool Operator."
Officers are after more than the rare but spectacular road rage
episodes, in which two hot-tempered drivers shoot it out, Polonis said.
The program is geared toward the far more typical assertive driver who
takes out aggressions on other drivers.
Police and Municipal Court officials will use traffic enforcement and
prosecution as education tools aimed at changing driving habits, Philippus
And they'll use police and court records to record a statistical
analysis of aggressive drivers as well as how well the new enforcement
Although rarely as spectacular as the combative behind-the-wheel
demonstrations known as road rage, the milder forms of aggressive driving
were a factor in about 25,000 of the roughly 55,000 traffic accidents San
Antonio police investigated last year, Philippus said.
In 1996, a study of national traffic data for the Surface Transportation
Policy Project showed that 56 percent of U.S. traffic deaths were linked to
In recent weeks, San Antonio police trained 120 traffic officers to
identify such driving.
Beginning today, the officers will seek out those drivers who turn San
Antonio freeways into danger zones that sometimes are a combination raceway
and bumper-car thrill ride.
The officers will hand out traffic tickets to drivers who follow too
closely, weave in traffic, change lanes without signaling and otherwise
threaten the safety of other drivers. Fines could exceed $100.
Along with either a traffic ticket or a warning, officers will pass out
a written checklist for drivers that tells them what actions constitute
aggressive driving and what to do about it. [using DrDriving's TEE cards]
Police have turned a plain, dark blue police car into a vehicle specially
equipped to cruise freeways in search of aggressive drivers. Philippus said
he considered carefully before adding the unmarked car to the program,
adding that he conferred first with officials at the Rape Crisis Center.
Philippus said he didn't want women driving alone to be frightened if a
police officer in an unmarked car orders them to pull over and stop.
The police car, equipped with flashing lights, will be driven by a San
Antonio police officer in full uniform, Philippus said. But those who don't
recognize the car as a police vehicle should keep driving until they reach
an area in which they feel safe before stopping, he said. Officers have
been instructed not to cite people for evading arrest in such situations.
Drivers who take their cases to Municipal Court probably will find they
are required to take classes devoted to curing their poor driving habits.
Philippus has support from Bexar County Sheriff Ralph Lopez and from
insurance giant USAA.
Lopez said he has ordered his deputies to join police in the effort to
identify the worst offenders, and added his belief that suburban police
departments will join the effort.
to work with Dr. James
I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. James through our aggressive
driving program here in San Antonio. There is no doubt he is the foremost
expert on the subject. Although I have not been able to read the complete
book at this time I have skimmed through it and it appears to reflect many
of the ideas we have discussed over the previous few months. Through his
guidance we have established what I feel is a very comprehensive aggressive
driver program here.
Any aggressive driving program must be a comprehensive team effort of
education, enforcement and a strong judicial effort. The police alone can
not be the only element in an anti-aggressive driver program. The officers
in the program must be trained in not only what behaviors identify a person
as an aggressive driver but also why that person behaves in that manner.
The public must be made aware of and constantly reminded of what
constitutes aggressive driving and how to deal with out ever increasing
traffic congestion and lack of driving manners by other drivers.
Enforcement must re-enforce those sanctions against bad driving while being
supported by a judicial system that can not only impose monetary punishment
when necessary but also act as an extension of the re-education effort.
In a time period when we are all bombarded with a constant messages of
"do it now" and "just do it" and other messages of
instant gratification, patience and tolerance seem to have disappeared from
many individuals life styles. Voluntary compliance to traffic laws and
conditions must be the goal of any aggressive driver campaign and regular
and constant awareness and education must play a large part in this effort.
Dr. James efforts go a long way in accomplishing this goal.
Tom Polonis, Captain
San Antonio Police Department
Commander, Technical Support Section
Department of Motor Vehicles
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
WHAT IS AGGRESSIVE DRIVING?
Aggressive driving can refer to any display of aggression by a driver. It
is often used to describe more extreme acts of physical assault that result
from disagreements between drivers. "Road Rage" is a term
believed to be coined by the American media, originally to describe the
most violent events.
Although the media currently seem to refer to all aggressive driving as
road rage, the New York State Police have pointed out that there is an
important difference. "Road Rage", such as using the vehicle as a
weapon or physically assaulting a driver or their vehicle, is NOT
aggressive driving. Such acts are criminal offenses, and there are laws to
deal with these violent crimes.
The New York State Police define an Aggressive Driver as one who:
Operates a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without
regard for the rights or safety of the other users of the streets and
Road Rage Study -
(The Automobile Association, Group Public Policy Road Safety Unit -
This study was published by the Automobile Association in Great Britain in
March 1995. British motorists were surveyed to find out what types of
aggressive behavior they had experienced while driving. First they were
asked if they felt that motorist behavior had changed in recent years. Of
those surveyed, 62% said they felt driver behavior was worse. They were
then asked what types of aggressive behaviors they had experienced from
other motorists in the last 12 months.
In addition to the results reported above, this study also found that:
Congested roadways and pent-up frustration lead to aggressive driving.
How you feel before you even start your vehicle has a lot to do with how
stressed you will become while driving.
Humans are territorial. When people feel that their space has been invaded,
the natural instinct is to protect themselves. Some drivers carry this
tendency too far by trying to assert dominance by chasing another driver.
This behavior by a driver may have fatal consequences.
An earlier study conducted in 1992 by the Automobile Association (AA) in
Britain examined lifestyle factors of young men who had previously been
identified as "safe" or "unsafe" drivers. The study
revealed that mood influenced the "unsafe" driver to a greater
extent than it did the "safe" driver. It also revealed that being
in a bad mood had a negative effect on driving behavior, especially for the
"unsafe" driver, who was more likely to react to the actions of
other road users.
This supports the view that some people are more likely to succumb to
"road rage", but it does not mean that "road rage"
cannot be controlled. Although the 1992 study was specific to young men,
the 1995 study indicated that there was very little age or gender
difference in the prevalence of "road rage".
Driver Aggression Study -
(The Automobile Association, Group Public Policy Road Safety Unit -
In November of 1996 the AA in Britain published a follow-up to the March
1995 "Road Rage" study. It examined why people experience
"road rage" while driving. The study looked at the role of
environment in contributing to aggression and compared driving environments
to pedestrian environments.
Does the driving environment give rise to aggression?
Is aggressive emotion more likely to be translated into violent behavior in
the driving environment?
If the driving environment itself can provoke negative and dangerous
emotion, then driver aggression needs to be addressed in terms of
aggression in general and not just related to driving. As early as 1968, a
study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry which examined fatal
accidents, showed that in 20% of the cases studied, the drivers had been
involved in aggressive altercations within a six hour period before their
deaths. The danger is that an inability to effectively deal with anger may
mean that aggression influences a motorist's own driving ability. A
driver's aggression may be more dangerous to the person experiencing it
than to fellow motorists.
This study also looked at environmental factors that influence
Noise -- While not provoking aggression, noise has been shown to
influence the intensity of a pre-existing case of aggression.
Temperature -- In a study conducted in 1986, it was found to that there was
a direct relationship between temperature and driver aggression. The hotter
it was the more aggressive the subjects became. Most past studies of
temperature and its effect on aggression have been inconclusive because if
the subject was too hot, they could ask that the temperature be adjusted.
This perception of control would lessen frustration and aggression. In the
1986 study there was no control of temperature on the part of the subject.
Overcrowding -- This is a subjective environmental factor. In experiments
where all the subjects agreed to the fact that conditions were overcrowded,
and especially in the case of traffic congestion, aggression may reach
detrimental levels. Noise and heat may exert the most influence on
motorists in a traffic congestion situation.
Territoriality -- Furthermore, individuals often view their vehicles as an
extension of their home. At home, one sets standards for oneself that may
be fine in the privacy of one's home but would not be acceptable in public.
The car seems to straddle the boundary between private space and public
CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDIES
According to the Driver Aggression study published by the Automobile
Association in Britain in November of 1996, there were only six fatalities
in Britain in 1996 resulting from road rage. An individual is much more
likely to die in a fatal car crash than as a result of road rage. The media
has presented high profile stories about incidences of road rage, which
when compared to other traffic safety initiatives, do not warrant such
extensive coverage. Part of the cure for road rage is to return the
public's perception of this problem to more realistic proportions. The
study indicates that the focus of the traffic safety community should not
be removed from areas such as alcohol and speed which are and continue to
be significant causes of death and injury on the highway.
THE NEW YORK STATE POLICE AGGRESSIVE DRIVER PILOT PROGRAM
Over the July 4, 1997 holiday weekend, the New York State Police initiated
an aggressive driver pilot program on Long Island and in the southern
Hudson Valley. The State Police define the aggressive driver as one who:
Operates a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without
regard for the rights or safety of the other users of the streets and
Since 1995, the State Police have had an anti-aggressive driver program
"without fanfare". The Hazardous Violations Program was initiated
in an effort to cut down on aggressive driving behaviors, in particular
excessive speed and reckless driving, throughout the state. Now the State
Police have initiated an enforcement and public information and education
campaign which specifically targets the aggressive driving behaviors listed
Aggressive driving may be characterized by the following traffic
Frequent or Unsafe Lane Changes
Failure to Signal
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
Disregarding Traffic Controls
Maryland's "Aggressive Driver Campaign"
The Field Operations Bureau of the Maryland State Police implemented a new
program entitled "The Aggressive Driver Campaign". The program
placed the usual emphasis on public information, education and enforcement.
There was a kick-off press conference on May 25, 1995. The media picked up
on the focus and were very supportive in their reporting. The Public
Affairs Unit of the Maryland State Police issued an educational brochure
titled "The End of the Road for the Aggressive Driver". A public
service announcement was developed using the slogan "Stopping the
aggressive driver before he stops you!". Enforcement efforts were
BE AWARE OF ACTIONS WHICH CAN PROVOKE AGGRESSION
Motorists are advised to be patient and courteous to other drivers. You
should correct any unsafe driving habits that may endanger, annoy or
provoke other drivers. Be aware of the actions that have resulted in
violence in the past. Many of these actions are simply eliminated by
practicing common courtesy. Others are behaviors which are, or may be
Avoid behaviors which are likely to provoke aggression:
Gestures -- Obscene or offensive gestures irritate other drivers. Be
aware that any gesture may be misinterpreted by another driver.
Car phones -- Don't let your phone become a distraction. Car phone users
are perceived as being poor drivers and presenting a traffic hazard. Data
shows that aggressive drivers are particularly irritated by fender-benders
with motorists who were talking on the phone.
Displays -- Refrain from displaying a bumper sticker, slogan or vanity
license plate that may be considered offensive.
Eye contact -- If a motorist tries to pick a fight, do not make eye
contact. Get out of the way without acknowledging the other motorist. If the
driver follows you, do not go home. Go to a police station or location
where you can get help and there will be witnesses.
Aggressive tailgating -- Riding the bumper of the vehicle in front of you
is both annoying and unsafe.
Aggressive horn use -- Leaning on the horn to express anger is aggravating.
Aggressive headlight use -- Flashing headlights to denote irritation is
rude and unsafe.
Use common courtesy:
Lane blocking -- Don't block the passing lane on multiple lane highways.
Allow vehicles to pass you.
Tailgating -- Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle
in front of you.
Signal use -- Don't change lanes without using your signal, and make sure
you can change lanes without cutting another driver off. After changing
lanes or turning, turn your signal off.
Horn use -- Use your horn sparingly. Noise is shown to be a contributor to
Failure to turn -- In many areas, including New York State, right turns are
allowed after a complete stop for a red light unless an intersection is
marked otherwise. Avoid the right lane if you are not turning right.
Don't take up more than one parking space
Don't park in a space reserved for people with disabilities unless you are
Don't open your door into the car next to you
When parallel parking, do not tap the vehicles in front or in back of yours
Always look carefully before backing out of a parking space
Headlight use -- Keep headlights on low beam, except where lighting
conditions are poor. Dim your high beams for oncoming traffic, when
approaching a vehicle from the rear or when another vehicle is passing you.
Merging -- When traffic permits, move out of the right hand acceleration
lane of a freeway to allow vehicles easier access from on-ramps.
Blocking traffic -- If you are driving a cumbersome or slow moving vehicle,
pull over when possible to allow traffic to pass you. Do not block the road
to stop and have a conversation with another driver or a pedestrian.
Alarms -- Be sure you know how to turn off the anti-theft alarm on any
vehicle you are driving. If you are purchasing an alarm, buy one that turns
off automatically after a short time.
ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE
Give the other driver the benefit of the doubt.
We all make mistakes. Do not assume that all unsafe driving actions are
intentional or personal.
Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn't.
KEEP YOUR COOL... THINK BEFORE YOU REACT
Self-control is crucial in managing stress and aggression.
It is important for individuals to have a set of responses to cope with
frustration. The most important advice is to remain patient in traffic
congestion. You can gain a sense of control by realizing that people behave
differently in different situations and that environmental factors may effect
others to a greater or lesser degree than they effect you. Information
about why a driver may be acting in a certain way will make their behavior
more predictable to you, and you will be able to take action to avoid a
confrontation, if necessary.
Drivers must pay more attention to their own levels of emotion.
Evidence suggests that drivers who allow their emotions to spiral out of
control while driving are a much greater risk to themselves than to those
around them. It is important not to try to alleviate aggressive emotion
with an outburst. Research shows that this does not help to overcome the
situation, and the risk of retaliation increases.
Several psychologists suggest a "cooling off" period such as
going for a walk or using relaxation techniques. Although many people,
particularly men, go for a drive to "cool off", it is not
recommended. Any activity that is an attempt to "cool off" must
be distracting enough to interfere with the train of anger-inducing
Avoid all conflict if possible.
If you are challenged, take a deep breath and get out of the way, even if
you are in the right.
Finally, before reacting, think about the possible consequences of your
Aggressive behavior behind the wheel could result in serious injury or even
death to yourself or someone else. Don't let an impulsive action ruin the
rest of your life.
Since there is currently not much information on aggressive driving, New
York State is continuing to research the issue of aggressive driving as a
traffic safety hazard.
Road rage incidents are criminal offenses, while aggressive driving
incidents are traffic violations.
The New York State Police program is addressing aggressive driving through
enforcement of the traffic violations which are generally considered to be
November 27, 1999
Special to the Star-Bulletin
Leon James and Diane Nahl, both professors at the University of Hawaii,
teach drivers how to control their emotions while on the road.
Isle drivers not immune to road rage
The Hawaii Traffic Safety Forum will look at losing control behind
the wheel, and what to do about it
By Jaymes K. Song
Two weeks ago, three men in a Toyota Camry pulled alongside a
20-year-old woman on the H-1 Freeway near Pearl City and shot at her. On
Oct. 22, a 57-year-old trucker was arrested for punching a man after a
driving altercation in Kaimuki. On Oct. 19, a 19-year-old Waialua man was
arrested for ramming a car driven by a 17-year-old boy at Leeward Community
College because he was driving too slowly.
These recent incidents show that road rage is alive even in the Aloha
State. It is a dangerous and deadly disease that has infected the American
culture in the past 10 years.
A five-day conference starting Monday -- the Hawaii Traffic Safety Forum
-- at the Hilton Hawaiian Village plans to address road rage and dozens of
other traffic safety issues plaguing the island's roadways. Topics range
from child-restraint seats to new designs to make safer roads.
Dr. Leon James, a University of Hawaii psychology professor and a
nationally known expert on road rage, will introduce "TEE Cards"
at the conference.
James proposes police officers hand out the TEE -- Traffic Enforcement
Education -- cards to motorists who are stopped for aggressive driving
violations such as speeding, passing dangerously or running a red light.
"When the police officer stops somebody to give them a ticket or
warning, they've got the person's attention right there to give them a
mini-lesson," said James, who is also known as Dr. Driving. The card
includes an aggressive-driving checklist of violations the officer
observed, tips to prevent aggressive driving and road rage and a
self-survey that measures a motorist's road-rage tendencies.
"It's learning how to deal with it in a better, more positive way
than beating the traffic," James said. "By trying to gain some
time, you're actually threatening other people."
Police Sgt. Robert Lung said the Honolulu Police Department is looking
into handing out brochures with driving tips and ways to control road rage,
but not specifically the TEE card.
"We see it on the road every day," Lung said. "We see
cars traveling fast, darting in and out of traffic, making unsafe changes
"They don't use signals. They're speeding, tailgating."
James and police acknowledged that most ticketed motorists probably will
rip up any literature they receive, or not read it at all. But if it
reaches just a few of them, it's worth it.
The TEE Cards are a good first step, but more aggressive driving courses
are needed, James said.
Lung, who is on the conference's road rage panel with James, will speak
on initiatives he will introduce to the state Legislature designed to curb
He noted that there are no specific laws in Hawaii addressing aggressive
"We can only give citations for individual violations," Lung
said, adding there is nothing that informs police that the offender is a
repeat-aggressive or dangerous driver. "It's a problem across the
DRIVING COMPLAINTS The top 10 driving complaints in the nation are:
1. Cutting off, cutting in and slowing down.
2. Changing lanes in a reckless manner or, weaving through traffic.
3. Turning without signaling.
4. Cruising in the passing lane and not moving over.
5. Taking too long to turn or to get moving.
6. Yelling, insulting or gesturing at other drivers.
7. Rushing or being impatient all the time.
8. Tailgating and following too close.
9. Passing on the right shoulder when a car is turning left.
10. Running a red light or speeding up to a yellow light.
Source: Dr. Driving
Lung wants to make aggressive driving a new category that would fall
under the "reckless driving" category. It would be considered a
misdemeanor offense that could result in up to a $1,000 fine or up to one
year in jail.
An aggressive-driving ticket would be cited when a motorist commits two
or more aggressive driving violations -- such as speeding, tailgating,
changing lanes unsafely -- within a certain distance, Lung said.
Traffic experts say driving habits and personalities have changed
through the years, while the laws have not.
"More people are at risk today of losing their self-control,"
There are two main reasons for that, he said. There are more cars and
congestion, which makes people feel more challenged, and people aren't
taught how to deal with emotional challenges.
Plus there are several obstacles drivers deal with now which they never
People are regularly using electronic navigation systems and cellular
phones. Computers with E-mail also are being installed in many cars.
Lung, a 28-year veteran with HPD, said people also are taking their
frustrations from work and home out on the road.
Aggressive driving is responsible for most of the nation's car accidents,
There were 10,000 road-rage crashes from 1990 to 1996, claiming 218
lives and injuring 12,610 others, according to a study by the Automobile
Association of America.
Next week's forum is sponsored by the state Department of Transportation
and will include dozens of experts from Hawaii as well as the mainland.
The conference was created as a result of several transportation surveys
on Oahu in the past year, and will focus on education, enforcement and
"We found there were areas where people need more education and
communication," said Marilyn Kim, state DOT spokeswoman.
The state is spending about $100,000 to host the conference. The money
came from the $800,000 the state received from a federal incentive grant
for lowering the legal blood-alcohol level to 0.08.
You can get more information about TEE CARDS and road rage online at
© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin http://starbulletin.com
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 05:18:41 -1000
To: "'dyc@DrDriving.org'" <dyc@DrDriving.org>
Subject: Definition of road rage
I am a public affairs specialist at USAA, the nation's sixth largest auto
insurer. We are based in San Antonio, Texas. More than a year ago, a
colleague and I went to the San Antonio Police Department to propose some
initiates to counter aggressive driving. We were told by the PIO that San
Antonio didn't have a road rage problem. Several months later, the national
survey on cities with road rage problems identified San Antonio.
The local media has picked up on the term "road rage." I've
attached a recent article. Reading the article, I cannot find what might be
readily identifiable actions that could lead the law enforcement community
or the media to conclude this was an incident of road rage.
So, my question, what's your working definition of "road rage"
and "aggressive driving." I'm interested because I anticipate
writing an op-ed column for one of our senior executives for publication in
the local newspaper. Any help would be appreciated.
Partly this is a semantic and stylistic issue. Some people react negatively
when they hear that expression, thinking it's media hype and not much has
changed over the decades. More importantly, some people are opposed to
aggressive driving initiatives. They feel it's intrusive, first, and
second, they feel it's the wrong focus: get the guy who causes us to be
aggressive. In other words, drivers who block the left lane, or break the
local norms and drive differently, thus disrupting the flow that the
regulars expect. Also: drivers who are inattentive, and drivers who are
tool old. Get these drivers off the road and there'll be no aggressive
driving and road rage, only nice , safe, "assertive" competitive
healthy competent driving.
I am summarizing for you the attitude out there among many drivers. I
call it "automotive vigilantism" because it wants to discriminate
and punish rather re-educate and accommodate. See this article on Quality
Driving Circles (QDCs):
My research on the pulse of the nation's drivers indicates that a schism
is being formed in the minds of drivers: those for more enforcement
(including electronic "surveillance" devices) and those for less.
I discuss some of these results in this article, towards the
You may have already seen my page listing various law enforcement initiatives
around the country: http://www.drdriving.org/legislation/
>From what you have told me, I can surmise that you have run up
against this bi-polarization of attitudes when someone, say the police
chief in a county, says We don't have an road rage problem here. So to
compromise and still achieve your goal, you can use a less extreme
expression like "aggressive driving" or even less extreme than
that like "reckless driving" which is well accepted already.
So it depends on the social context what you can call it for the least
amount of political friction.
What's important, and what makes it into a law enforcement driving
initiative, is that drivers and police officers have a clear definition of
what it is that's being proposed, legislated, or enforced. This is where
the threat and the opposition develops at all levels. And I entirely agree
that this is crucial.
My suggestion: First you and your team need to work on the wording of
specific driver behaviors that a police officer can recognize, or that
other drivers can recognize, if it's a call-in situation. You can use other
initiatives as a lead, and I'd be willing to look it over for you to give
you my assessment.
Second, you circulate the list among the various political echelons who
have to go along, starting with the police department, and including
citizen groups and media forums. In this process the definitions get
modified to suit everyone--and this is good. You end up with an initiative
that is enforceable and does not disrupt or antagonize a third of the
Good luck, and write back any time.