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 Traffic Emotions Education   








Tee Cards Part 2

by Leon James and Diane Nahl


Aggressive Driving Prevention Course for Law Enforcement
The Three Es: Engineering, Enforcement, Education
Enforcement and Education: A Necessary Partnership--FAQ
Types of TEE CARDS
The New Driver Education for the Year 2000
RoadRageous Video Course
Definitions of Aggressive Driving--Review of the Language in Aggressive Driving Legislation
Rating  the Strength of Language in Legislation
Listing of Complaints--What makes me mad--Motorists Speak Out
Top Ten Road Rage Hot Spots
San Antonio Police Department's Cool Operator Program
News Articles About TEE-cards
Letters from Readers


International Association of chiefs of Police

IACP Resolution on Aggressive Driving

WHEREAS, aggressive driving can be defined as “committing a sequence of moving traffic violations in a short period of time which occur in the presence of other vehicles and endangers persons and/or property”; and

WHEREAS, aggressive driving frequently leads to the assaultive behavior that has become commonly known as “road rage”; and

WHEREAS, traffic crash statistics show that aggressive driving habits are causal factors in a significant number of traffic deaths and injuries; and

WHEREAS, public opinion polls indicate that citizens fear aggressive drivers and support increased police traffic enforcement; and

WHEREAS, failure to address aggressive driving undermines public confidence in law enforcement and promotes disrespect for the law; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police urges all law enforcement agencies to adopt strategies to curb the incidence of aggressive driving; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is encouraged to develop incentive programs that provide additional highway safety funds for intensified traffic enforcement efforts to jurisdictions with laws that enable law enforcement to use technology; as well as promote research into the psychodynamics of aggressive driving; and that prosecutors and courts are encouraged to treat aggressive driving as the danger to public safety that it is; and that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the National Highway Safety Administration; National Sheriffs’ Association, the National Center for State Courts; and the National District Attorneys Association.

original here


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.

original here


Aggressive Driving Prevention Course

For Law Enforcement

Traffic Enforcement Education with TEE Cards



Leon James, Ph.D. and Diane Nahl, Ph.D.

Traffic Psychology Educators

The Officer Workbook and Instructor Guide are recommended for use in conjunction with RoadRageous Aggressive Driver Video Course (American Institute for Public Safety) Road Rage and Aggressive Driving, (Prometheus Books, Amherst, N.Y.)




Aggressive Driving Police Initiatives

Definition of Aggressive Driving

Threshold Method for Profiling Aggressive Driving

Aggressive Driving Legislation


2. Dual Role: Traffic Enforcement and Education

Handing Out TEE Cards in Traffic Stops

A Sample of 10 TEE Cards

Why We Need Traffic Emotions Education



Aggressive Driving Is an Important Social Problem

Managing an Angry Driver During a Traffic Stop

The Chain of Escalation in Angry Exchanges

Causes and Prevention of Emotionally Impaired Driving

The Aggressive Driver Mentality

Analyzing the Thinking of Vigilante Drivers

Aggressive vs. Supportive Driving


Public safety officers in the 21st century have more qualifications because advanced training is required to meet the new demands on officers' technical knowledge. The federal government requires certification training for officers who use Radar Speed Detection devices, and new certification training is required for those with access to crime information centers that maintain criminal records. Some states require police officers to have annual training to maintain their powers of arrest. This is the age of aggressive driving and officers have a new opportunity to play the dual role of traffic enforcement and education. State legislatures began passing new aggressive driving laws in 1997 using a variety of definitions for violations. Some laws use vague language that makes it difficult for officers to accurately identify the target behavior. Traffic officers now need specialized training in the technicalities of aggressive driving laws, aggressive driving behavior, and prevention :


  • What language does the law use to define aggressive driving?
  • How serious is the problem nationally?
  • What police initiatives have been tried?
  • What can law enforcement do to educate the public about aggressive driving?
  • What are TEE Cards for Traffic Enforcement Education and when do officers hand them out?
  • How do officers deal with aggressive drivers during a traffic stop?
  • What are good interaction principles to follow during a traffic stop?
  • What are the causes and how can we prevent emotionally impaired driving?

As new aggressive driving laws are applied, law enforcement is increasingly called upon to testify in court in aggressive driving cases. Officers are exposed to more angry people during traffic stops for aggressive violations, yet they are expected to take more verbal abuse and show greater restraint in the use of force. Special training in aggressive driving prevention has become a practical necessity for all security and peace officers involved in traffic control.

The dual role of law enforcement as Traffic Enforcer and Educator is supported by the federal government as one of the new ways to contain aggressive driving. In order to enhance public support and cooperation, officers need to be prepared to adequately explain their dual role without lecturing or preaching. This workbook helps to accomplish this by:

    • Providing a better understanding of the aggressive driver mentality
    • Providing appropriate educational responses to motorists

This Officer Workbook is designed for either self-study or classroom use to provide specialized training on aggressive driving prevention. An Instructor Guide is available for classroom use in Police Academies or officer training centers. The course was first used in March 2000 by the San Antonio Police Department in conjunction with the Aggressive Driver Video Course RoadRageous distributed by the American Institute for Public Safety. It is also recommended for use in conjunction with the authors' book, Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books, 2000). More information on the Web: DrDriving.org.

Leon James, Ph. D. and Diane Nahl, Ph.D.

For more information please email Dr. Leon James at DrDriving@DrDriving.org


Definition of Aggressive Driving

by Dr. Leon James

Aggressive driving is driving under the influence of impaired emotions. There are three categories of impaired emotions:

  1. Impatience and Inattentiveness
  2. Power Struggle
  3. Recklessness and Road Rage

The majority of motorists drive in an emotionally impaired state at certain times. Some motorists drive in this state more often than others, and pose a serious risk to themselves and others. Driving violations can be identified by reference to these three categories of impaired emotions. Each category of impaired emotion leads to different types of traffic violations.

Category 1: Impatience and Inattentiveness

  • Driving through red
  • Speeding up to yellow
  • Rolling stops
  • Cutting corners or rolling over double line
  • Blocking intersection
  • Not yielding
  • Improper lane change or weaving
  • Driving 5 to 15 mph above limit
  • Following too close
  • Not signaling when required
  • Erratically slowing down or speeding up
  • Taking too long

Category 2: Power Struggle

  • Blocking passing lane, refusing to move over
  • Threatening or insulting by yelling, gesturing, honking repeatedly
  • Tailgating to punish or coerce
  • Cutting off in a duel
  • Braking suddenly to retaliate

Category 3: Recklessness and Road Rage

  • Driving drunk
  • Pointing a gun or shooting
  • Assaulting with the car or battering object
  • Driving at very high speeds


Milwaukee aggressive driving study
may become national model

August 08, 2000   Associated Press

MILWAUKEE-- A one-of-its kind federal grant to combat road rage helped cut traffic accidents, and a program the city developed may become a model for addressing tailgating, speeding and running red lights nationwide, authorities say.

Milwaukee was a test case for federal officials looking for ways to reduce road rage incidents nationwide, and officials used a $500,000 grant to boost patrol units, purchase new traffic monitoring tools and launch a media campaign with slogans such as "The Rude Attitude Patrol."


State officials decided to fund anti-aggressive driving measures in other areas after a 1998 survey showed 89 percent of respondents witnessed aggressive driving the month before.


"After the first wave of ticketing, aggressive driving went way down, traffic crashes went down and it became harder to give out tickets," Dane County Sheriff's Sgt. Gordon Disch said.


For example, the fine for following too closely is $67.90, but upgrading the charge to reckless driving costs $227 plus six points on a license. Disorderly conduct fines can go up to $646, Munger said.

But educating drivers about the dangers of driving aggressively is even more effective than ticketing, Munger said.

"When people are pulled over, we tell them about the risks of escalating aggression," Munger said. "In an instant you can turn from villain to victim."

Last summer, Denise Koenigs, her husband and their two children were injured when a 53-year-old man who said they were driving too slow rammed their vehicle through two lanes of traffic into a ditch on Highway 60 near Hartford. Koenigs said she still has nightmares.

"For a long time it was very emotional just to get in the the car," she said. "Now I'm much more alert and cautious. I'd rather be ten minutes late than dead."

Time and traffic jams top the list of excuses for aggressive driving, said John Evans, director of the state Bureau of Transportation Safety, which set up a road rage task force three years ago.

"Anyone who is 15 minutes late is a prime candidate," he said.


A study done for the National Highway Transportation Safety Board found during the six-month enforcement period:

-- Crashes in Milwaukee went down 12.3 percent in program areas compared to the same six months the year before. Crashes citywide decreased 4.8 percent.

-- Injuries and fatalities in Milwaukee were down 11.3 percent compared to the same time in 1998. Citywide, injuries and deaths were down 6.6 percent.

-- City police wrote 12,378 more tickets for aggressive driving, a 29 percent increase over the previous year. Those tickets did not include speeding.

-- Sheriff's patrols on Milwaukee's freeways wrote 2,700 tickets for aggressive driving, excluding speeding, a 55 percent increase over ticket-writing from March to September 1998, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Capt. Randy Tylke said.

"That's 2,700 more people who wouldn't have realized they were being watched for aggressive driving. Generally they'll stop once they get a ticket," Tylke said.

Unmarked squad cars are key to catching aggressive drivers because "you have to sneak up on them," Tylke said. During the first week, an officer in an unmarked car had a tomato thrown at him. The driver was ticketed for tailgating and littering, Tylke said.

Besides more patrols, police blanketed the media with anti-aggressive driving mini-campaigns such as the "Basket Patrol," which targeted drivers who "weave" in traffic, and the "Flasher Patrol," to enforce using turn signals.

The "Rude Attitude Patrol" got so much attention a civil liberties attorney appeared on television to explain that rudeness is not against the law, Tylke said.

Nationally, NHTSA plans to base other anti-aggressive driving programs on Milwaukee's strategies, said Joe Ann O'Hara, of the agency's traffic law enforcement division.


"We found that if you do a good job on enforcement, you'll spend less time investigating accidents," Kuhlman said.

orignal article here


Patrolling roadways from the air

Aggressive drivers see red twice in Minnesota

By: Anna Cornish

Date: 2000-09-01

Anna Cornish is a Public Information Officer with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Communications.

The Minnesota State Patrol is implementing a new means of apprehending aggressive drivers—shooting them (with a video camera, of course). As it heats up outside, so do drivers' tempers on roadways in Minnesota, USA. This flux in dangerous driving behavior has the Minnesota State Patrol going to great lengths to address the issue of aggressive driving.

"Aggressive driving is a lethal cocktail of dangerous driving behavior—speeding, following too closely, running stop lights and signs, weaving in and out of traffic, and passing on the shoulder," says Minnesota State Patrol Lieutenant Mark Peterson. "Speed alone is cited as a contributing factor in approximately 30 percent of all fatal crashes. Combining this grim statistic with other aggressive driving behavior is not only risky—it's deadly."

The Minnesota State Patrol is targeting areas in the Twin Cities area known for aggressive driving with troops on the ground and in the air. Aircraft are equipped with FLIR Systems Inc U6000 Series Thermal Imagers. These cameras include both a daylight video camera and a thermal imager for use at times of low light or darkness. The pictures and images from the cameras are transmitted to a portable receiver in a police squad car on the ground. During the operation, fixed wing aircraft pilots spot aggressive driving behavior, notify officers on the ground, who in turn apprehend the driver.

The process doesn't end there. After the ground trooper apprehends the driver, the offender is afforded the opportunity to review his/her actions by watching the footage shot from the fixed-wing aircraft above. Patrolling roadways from the air has been a common practice by the Minnesota State Patrol for many years, but not until recently has there been a direct link from an aircraft video camera to a car-based monitor.

Twin cities media will also receive copies of the aggressive driving and eventual arrest footage. The goal of this operation is to end aggressive driving through education, enforcement, and a high prosecution percentage. This new technology provides actual footage of dangerous driving behavior—not of a stranger on a television screen, but by you, in your car. Accountability is a powerful deterrent to intentional hazardous behavior—especially when that behavior is on the six o' clock news.

original article here


Learner drivers to get 'road rage' practice

Learner drivers in Singapore have a new test to pass before getting their license - mock road rage attacks from angry drivers.

Before learners can tear-up the L-plates, they will have to pass the 'practical' - a confrontation with a mad, red-faced bulging-eyed 'motorist' to check how they handle verbal abuse and physical intimidation during road rage incidents.

Jittery new drivers, often the target of abuse from more experienced motorists, will get the mock 'stress' tests as a new part of the country's Highway Code.

As well as learning the 'mirror, signal, manoeuvre' mantra, they will be taught how to behave under road rage conditions; how NOT to react; and advised to count to 10 if they feel the red mist descending.

The new curriculum, to be introduced by Singapore's road transport department next month, will also help learner drivers to deal with accidents, emergencies and driving in heavy traffic through cities.

Mr K Balakrishnan, a spokesman for the department, said: "They will now be taught how to control their emotions in an enacted scenario."

"When facing situations like these, drivers are most likely to feel anger, shock, panic or confusion," he told the New Straits Times.

A recent case of road-rage in the sub-tropical country resulted in a road bully, a karaoke lounge waiter, being jailed for 10 years for killing a factory worker following an accident.

Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the Automobile Association, said the 'practical' will probably not catch on in the UK, but road rage is a problem the world over.

"The British Highway Code has begun to have little bits of warnings about keeping your cool and being courteous," he said. "It is all about common sense, being courteous to others and calm.

original here

The Three Es: Engineering, Enforcement, Education

by Dr. Leon James


An effective partnership must be created between the three Es--Engineering, Enforcement, Education.  This partnership can work to maintain a highway learning atmosphere that will support  in the public's mind, the concept of Lifelong Driver Self-improvement.

Drivers in traffic need to be taught to act as a team with a structure that requires

  1. voluntary cooperation for a collective traffic goal among otherwise independent strangers
  2. voluntary obedience to traffic control regulations
  3. commitment to achieving high predictability in motorist behavior
  4. lifelong participation in a Quality Driving Circle (QDC)

afety1.gif (14785 bytes)


"TEE CARDS" stands for Traffic Enforcement Education Cards.    They are created by DrDriving for law enforcement officers who make a traffic stop for aggressive driving.  The traffic stop can  be a window of opportunity  for delivering Aggressive Driving Prevention Information at a time when the motorist is especially focused to receive and listen to such information.  The officer chooses from one of several categories of aggressive driving information cards and hands it to the motorist.  The purpose is to build the motorist's awareness of what the law considers aggressive and which behaviors were observed by the officer.  The officer chooses whether or not to issue a citation.

TEE CARDS express and promote DrDriving's approach called Driving Psychology.  This is the idea that driving habits occur in three domains:  emotions, thoughts, and sensory-motor actions.  These three must act together to be effective.    TEE CARDS can also be used in other settings such as

  • law enforcement education
  • public schools
  • driving schools
  • safety clubs
  • court mandated classes
  • family or individual efforts at Aggressive Driving Prevention.
  • driver self-improvement programs
  • commercial fleets
  • quality driving circles
  • public information programs
  • radio campaigns
  • posters
  • books and readers

The educational objectives for TEE CARDS are:

  1. to serve as a reminder and warning at a time the motorist is focused on the officer
  2. to give motorists a feedback assessment on their mistakes
  3. to point out emotionally intelligent alternatives to aggressive driving
  4. to strengthen a driver's sense of social responsibility to other drivers
  5. to provide facts and statistics about the consequences of aggressive driving
  6. to promote the idea that anger management takes serious practice
  7. to provide information on self-improvement activities for drivers
  8. to promote acceptance of a personal Lifelong Driver Self-improvement Plan
  9. to promote acceptance of Quality Driving Circles or QDCs
  10. to help de-glamorize aggressive driving
  11. to reinforce appropriate driving attitudes to children passengers riding in the stopped car
  12. to remind parents of their responsibility to model appropriate motorist behavior for the sake of their children's future driving attitudes

Each card stands as a true mini-lesson unit that takes into account three types of behavioral objectives:

  • affective objectives (regarding attitude, responsibility, emotions, alertness)
  • cognitive objectives (involving knowledge, judgment, emotional intelligence)
  • sensori-motor objectives (competence in vision and vehicle control).


San Antonio Police Department uses DrDriving's RoadRageous Video Course in conjunction with the Officer Workbook to train its traffic officers in the dual role of Traffic Enforcer and Traffic Educator.  Dr. James is a consultant to the aggressive driving survey conducted by SAPD in March, 2000.


Definition of "aggressive driving"
(Arizona Law)

For aggressive driving, a person must be caught violating the state's ''reasonable and prudent speed'' law, plus at least two of the following:

• Failing to obey a traffic control device.
• Making an unsafe lane change.
• Overtaking and passing a vehicle on the right by driving off the           pavement.
• Following too closely.
• Failing to yield.

The driver also must create an immediate danger to another person or vehicle.

Aggressive driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor that can carry a six-month jail sentence, a fine up to $2,500, plus a 30-day suspension of driver's license and 8 points on the driver's record. original here

If you are struggling with aggressive driving a new car may settle you down. Check out Midway used car dealerships in Phoenix AZ to find the calming car you need.


Original article athttp://www.dot.gov/affairs/1999/12299sp.htm

JANUARY 22, 1999

President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made safety this Administration’s highest transportation priority --investing $6.8 billion over the next six years to increase safety on our nation’s highways.

Your attendance and commitment to finding workable solutions regarding aggressive driving shows that safety, too, is your highest priority.

Aggressive driving is one of the leading safety concerns among America’s drivers. In the survey we are releasing today, more than 60 percent of drivers believe unsafe driving --including speeding --by others was a major personal threat to them and to their families.

And as Secretary of Transportation I have met with the survivors of crashes caused by aggressive driving.

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.

Who are these aggressive drivers? Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the drivers in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) survey admit to unsafe driving. Why? --late for meetings --traffic congestion --frustration --we all, at one time or another, have either purposefully or unwittingly taken on the role of an aggressive driver.

We can and must do better --which is why we are here today. We must raise the bar on safety. It requires a three-pronged approach --education --enforcement --and strong judicial efforts to prevent this life-threatening behavior from occurring again and again.

A majority of drivers from the NHTSA survey believe that the amount of law enforcement is about right. At least twenty-two states and the District of Columbia currently have active programs to reduce aggressive driving violations.

The Federal government, law enforcement agencies and local communities are partnering through programs like "Smooth Operator" to combat aggressive driving and we are seeing results.

Right now in Wisconsin, a $476,000 NHTSA grant is helping the Milwaukee Police Department to reduce aggressive driving. This 18-month demonstration project, the first in the nation, will provide information and enforcement results to law enforcement agencies across the country. I am pleased to announce we will expand the project into two additional communities later this year.

The Federal Highway Administration next month will release the results of a very successful, $600,000 "Red Light Running" campaign. Through education and enforcement, crashes at 31 sites throughout the nation dropped significantly --some by as much as 43 percent. Communities are so delighted with the results they are continuing the campaign indefinitely --and without federal funding.

(...) We have a great opportunity, through this symposium, to formulate a national policy regarding the seriousness of aggressive driving and to develop recommendations for consistent treatment of offenders.

We can shift the paradigm on aggressive driving penalties just as we shifted the paradigm on drunken driving penalties. No longer can these offenders expect a slap on the wrist --there will be serious judicial consequences for their actions. We want --the public demands --the same course of action for aggressive driving offenders.

America is making progress in the battle for safer roads, but safety is everyone's responsibility and we must all continue our vigilance. Through education, enforcement and uniform judicial policies we can raise the bar on safety. (...)


oadrageous_anim.gif (67940

Leon James, Ph.D.
Diane Nahl, Ph.D.
Arnold  Nerenberg, Ph.D.


RoadRageous Video Course by AIPS

"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. Through his guidance we have established what I feel is a very comprehensive aggressive driver program here. 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



Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 19:27:49 -1000
From: sm sm@juno.com
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org

Subject: Traffic infraction

Dr. Driving,

About five years ago I had a very large furniture box in the back of my minivan which I was taking to my home about 1 mile through residential streets. My son, approximately 10 years old was inside the box holding onto the inside handle of the back liftgate because it could not quite close due to the box. I was traveling at quite a low rate of speed (10-15mph) to keep from making the liftgate bounce and further endangering him. (The speed limit on those streets is 20 mh)

The local police chief put his flashing lights on and stopped me. In answer to his question I told him I had no idea that I had broken any law. He returned to his car, brought his vehicle citation book and required me to read out loud the rule applying to the situation. (It said that hanging on to the outside of the vehicle was against the law). My son was not outside the vehicle at any time. The officer did not write a ticket but his attitude was very condescending and irritating. Furthermore, when my son piped up with his (inappropriate) comment that he hadn't been outside the vehicle, the officer verbally came down on him and said that if he was his son what he would do with him. I had corrected my son for addressing the officer as he did. I was horrified that the officer was being the kind of model he was in front of my son in his first interaction with a police officer. It was exactly what I would NOT have wanted to happen. The officer was abrasive, accusative, commanding, rude and authoritarian. So much for the friendly officer looking out for the good of the citizen.

In my view there was nothing wrong with him stopping me and finding out what my thinking was. From there he could have politely told me the vehicle code I had transgressed, even warned me, and advised me what I should do instead. I feel that when local police or state police treat citizens with polite respect they will further the cause of observing the law and respecting authority. As it was the police officer showed no reason for me to encourage my child to respect his position and made it more difficult for me to maintain my parental teaching.

I hope this can help some other officer to think of what he is representing to the children in the vehicle when the adult they care about is in the wrong. It really can make a difference in how the children, and the adults, view those in law enforcement as for us or against us.

S. M.

Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 08:47:40 -1000
From: Leon James leon@hawaii.edu

Subject: Re: Traffic infraction

Hi SM,

thanks for your contribution, I appreciate it.  It will help officers to read letters, including yours, that bring some awareness to their mind of how deeply their behavior and attitude affects the citizens they stop on the road, especially law abiding people who are shocked and frightened to be treated this way. And disappointed. I think better training and education for law enforcement is a necessity. Is there a Ride Along program in your local police department? Citizens can be influential in having this service started and and then you and your son can ride along to observe and influence them.

Take care.
Leon James


Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 17:27:27 -1000
From: BR <br@net.com>
To: DrDriving@DrDriving.org

Subject: Traffic Stops

Dr. Driving,

This is in response to your request for information on traffic stops. I am an 18 year old male driver in PA, and have been stopped twice but not ticketed.

1. I was driving at approximately 50 MPH in a 45 zone approaching a traffic light at the entrance to a development, which was on my left. A police officer had pulled up to the intersection from the development, triggering the sensor and making the light yellow in my direction (I didn't see him, he was blocked by trees). When the light turned yellow, I braked briefly and then decided that I did not have enough room to stop without turning my passenger into chunky salsa. The light turned red just as I hit the stop line of the intersection. That's when I saw the patrol car.

I was pretty sure he'd pull me over, so I just coasted until he put on his lights, and then pulled over. He approached on the passenger side and did the standard 'license and registration,' bit and asked if I knew why I was stopped. I don't play stupid, so I said something making reference to the traffic light. After checking my registration & license, he let me go saying "Had you been doing 35, you would have been able to stop." Notice it was a 45 zone. I made it a point to check. Nothing to dwell on, though.

2. This past July 4th weekend I was driving back from upstate NY in my new Mustang. I had gotten off at the wrong exit on the highway, but was on a road that I knew would eventually get me home, so I continued. This section of US 202 went through some small towns, and I tried to keep my speed down (I even thought to myself: "Wonderful...Driving on small roads like this will increase my chances of getting pulled over! :) ). After I passed through one small town, I noticed car with Ford headlights pull up behind me quickly. I immediately thought to myself that it looked like a standard police Crown Victoria. Sure enough, he put on his lights just then.

I downshifted and pulled over promptly. I thought for sure he'd nail me, since I was in a new sports car. He approached on the driver's side and asked for my license and registration, and told me that he pulled me over for doing 42 in a 30. I nonchalantly said "Well, if that's what you clocked me at." He told me he'd be back shortly after checking my registration. He briefly looked at all items in plain view in the interior and proceded back to his car to check his registration. After he walked away, I had a funny feeling I'd get out of this one. Sure enough, after waiting 5 or so minutes, he let me go saying, "Try to pay attention to the signs." I thanked him, and drove away.

I'm very interested in knowing how commonly people handle traffic stops with such ease. I realize that officers have no idea what they're up against during a traffic stop, treating each one as a potentially life threatening situation. It always helps to be as nice as possible and know as much about the law and what you can & can't do in such a situation. Hope this helps.


Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 08:54:57 -1000
From: Leon James leon@hawaii.edu
To: BR<ryll@net.com>

Subject: Re: Traffic Stops

Thanks for your descriptions of traffic stop experiences. You gave good details that can be helpful to those who don't know how to behave and are all emotionally peeved or oversensitive. Also, it's a good perspective for officers in training to have.

Take care.
Leon James
DrDriving Says...The way you drive is contagious!


International Association of Chiefs of Police

IACP Resolution on
Condemning Racial and Ethnic Profiling in Traffic Stops

WHEREAS, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, the majority of traffic crashes are caused by moving traffic violations and kill 41,967 people a year, injure another 3.4 million persons, and cause a societal loss of $150 billion dollars a year; and

WHEREAS, intensive traffic enforcement efforts have been proven to reduce traffic crashes and increase the apprehension of criminal offenders; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies have seized more illegal drugs resulting from traffic enforcement than they have from undercover enforcement strategies; and

WHEREAS, traffic stops utilizing plainview and consent searches annually lead to the interdiction of millions of dollars in illegal substances and stolen property; and

WHEREAS, careful analysis of the actions and behaviors of criminal offenders who use motor vehicles in the commission of crimes reveals commonalties which, after the traffic stop, can be used to develop probable cause; and

WHEREAS, such strategies, when based upon articulable suspicion that an infraction of the law has been committed, have been upheld as constitutionally appropriate by the U.S. Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, traffic stops should not be made on the basis of the motorist’s race, ethnicity, or economic status, but rather on articulable suspicion or actual violation of a law; and

WHEREAS, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and professional law enforcement organizations' training courses teach that biased or unprofessional enforcement practices are prohibited and will not be condoned; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police urges all law enforcement agencies to utilize the “IACP Guiding Principles of Proactive Traffic Enforcement” when developing strategies for crash prevention and crime control; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, all law enforcement agencies are urged to examine their interdiction strategies and their mission and value statements, training programs, field supervision, evaluation of citizen complaints and traffic stop data and other efforts to ensure that racial or ethic-based traffic stops are not being employed within their agencies and that all citizens are treated with the utmost courtesy and respect when they encounter our officers; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the United States Department of Justice are urged to form a closer partnership for the purpose of providing financial support to state, county, municipal law enforcement agencies for training programs or in-car audio and video systems, and to assist in the voluntary collection of appropriate data relative to this resolution.

IACP Highway Safety Committee

Statement of Guiding Principles of Proactive Traffic Enforcement (Attachment to Preceding)

Law enforcement officers committed to the lifesaving benefits of proactive traffic enforcement are aware of its ancillary benefits in terms of crime prevention, reduction, and criminal apprehension. Proactive traffic enforcement should be carried out in a manner that strikes a balance between the right of citizens to enjoy a quality of life free from crime and traffic crashes and the right of citizens to be free from unreasonably intrusive police conduct; therefore, the International Association of Chiefs of Police proposes the following Guiding Principles:

Sir Robert Peel, in 1829, said that the first duty of the police is the prevention of crime; that the police can only be effective if they earn the trust of the public; and that the law must be enforced equally and impartially for all citizens. These principles are as sound today as they were in Peel’s day.

Community policing as practiced today involves a partnership between the police and the public that addresses crime, neighborhood deterioration, traffic problems and other quality of life issues.

Lessons can be learned from the most successful officers who are able to go beyond the traffic stop and apprehend criminal suspects.

Police officers should be assigned to areas where there is a high likelihood that crashes will be reduced and/or criminal suspects will be apprehended.

Achieving a higher rate of compliance in the use of safety belts and child safety restraints through proactive enforcement will save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of disabling injuries from traffic crashes each year. Citizens of particular age, socioeconomic, and ethnic groups appear to have lower compliance levels in the use of these safety devices than other groups and therefore may be disproportionately represented in enforcement action for violations of safety belt and child restraint laws, but to the extent that enforcement of these laws brings a greater number of these citizens into compliance, these citizens will also disproportionately share in the lifesaving benefits of such enforcement.

Enforcement efforts can be enhanced by effective public information efforts.

Officers involved in traffic enforcement should be properly trained.

Training programs in traffic enforcement must emphasize the need to respect the rights of all citizens to be free of unreasonable government intrusion or police action.

Traffic enforcement programs must be accompanied by effective supervisory oversight to ensure that officers do not go beyond the parameters of reasonableness in conducting such activities.

Traffic stops should be made only with articulable suspicion that the person stopped has committed a traffic violation.

Appropriate enforcement action should always be completed at traffic stops, generally in the form of a warning, citation, or arrest.

No motorist, once cited or warned, should be detained beyond the point where there exists no reasonable suspicion of further criminal activity.

Officers making traffic stops shall not make them based on race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Motor vehicle driver license information regarding the race of drivers stopped for traffic violations should be recorded whenever available and this data utilized by police departments to determine the extent to which racial minorities are stopped for traffic violations in proportion to their absolute numbers in the area’s population, and the number of minority stops which result in criminal apprehension versus the overall numbers of stops that result in such violations.

In jurisdictions where racial data is not contained on driver licenses and the racial characteristics of motorists are not visibly apparent, police officers should not be required to risk offending citizens by asking them their race at the time of a motor vehicle stop.

Incorporation of Racial Background as a Data Element on Driver’s Licenses Submitted by the Highway Safety Committee

WHEREAS, national concerns have been raised regarding the extent to which racial profiling may or may not exist as a triggering element in traffic stops and drug interdiction strategies; and

WHEREAS, some law enforcement agencies are required to record the race and ethnicity information of the subjects of police traffic stops; and

WHEREAS, race or ethnicity is no longer a data element on most states’ driver’s licenses; and

WHEREAS, without this element the only accurate way to determine the race or ethnicity of most drivers is for the officer to make a direct inquiry of the motorist; and

WHEREAS, such an inquiry often leads to embarrassment, resentment, misunderstanding and even confrontation; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police urges states to incorporate race and ethnicity as a data element and print it on the driver’s license to facilitate the capture and accurate recording of this information; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the federal government is encouraged to provide funding to assist states wishing to modify their driver’s license and databases for this purposes; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the United States Attorney General, Secretary of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, The National Governors' Association, The National Association of Governors' Highway Safety Representatives, and the National Sheriffs' Association, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

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original here

City will launch offensive on aggressive drivers

By Monica Scandlen The Indianapolis Star May 30, 2000

If you've driven in Indianapolis, you have a stupid-driver story to tell. Maybe you had to hit the brakes while another driver swerved across three lanes of traffic in front of you. Or held your breath while a sport-utility vehicle crawled up your bumper as you drove 75 mph down the highway. Or just tried to stay out of the way while other drivers cursed, gestured and traded paint. More than once, you've probably wondered: "Where are the police when you need them?"

An answer to that question comes today from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which will announce a $200,000 federal grant to combat aggressive driving in Indianapolis. The money will be used to hire police officers to work overtime patrols, targeting aggressive drivers on interstates and heavily traveled city streets within the circle formed by I-465.


It's hard to say exactly how many aggressive drivers there are in Indianapolis. But local and national surveys show it is a growing concern. Last year, the traffic partnership surveyed 276 law enforcement officers in Marion County. Eighty-six percent said drivers are more aggressive than they were five years ago. Sixty-three percent of those officers said they see aggressive driving every day. Also last year, a national survey by the national highway safety agency found that one in three people think drivers in their area were more hostile than the year before. It isn't so hard to figure out why. Lt. Don Bickel, a 30-year veteran of the Indianapolis Police Department, who will head up the enforcement against aggressive drivers, has some ideas. People are in more of a hurry.

They drive longer distances to work. They have more distractions, such as cell phones and pagers. Most of all, Bickel said, they are less courteous and more likely to yell or make rude gestures. "But you can't just say, 'It's a sign of the times, so it's OK,' " he said. Although it might be hard for typical motorists to tell the difference, police officers distinguish aggressive driving from road rage. Road rage usually involves violence, like one car running another off the road or one driver pointing a gun at another. An aggressive driver is someone who commits several violations at once, like speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and changing several lanes at once. "What we'll be looking at is the overall picture, the person's driving behavior," Bickel said.

He plans to do that in several ways, including having officers on overpasses to spot aggressive motorists and radio to other officers, who will pull over the drivers. Officers also will patrol roads in unmarked cars and target construction zones, where aggressive driving seems more common. Ann Stickford, the local traffic partnership's project director, would like to see a 5 percent decrease in crashes at the end of the 18-month grant. Marion County has averaged about 35,000 vehicle wrecks a year for the past five years. The most common causes for those crashes were speeding, following too closely, failure to yield the right of way, disregarding signs or signals and impaired driving. "The aggressive driver is more dangerous than the driver who rolls through a stop sign," Stickford said. "The aggressive driver shows multiple behaviors. "In this day and age, we have so much going on that, when we get in our cars, we all become a little bit aggressive."

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Enforcement and Education:  A Necessary Partnership--FAQ

Monday April 3, 2000

San Antonio Police Department Targets Aggressive Driving

SAN ANTONIO, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The San Antonio Police Department today announced a public-awareness campaign and enforcement initiative intended to combat aggressive driving on highways within the city. This program has been developed through the efforts of the San Antonio Police Department, USAA, Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl, traffic psychologists with the University of Hawaii and the American Institute for Public Safety.

The campaign will be called Drive Smart_ -- Be a Cool Operator and will include education, enforcement and judicial efforts. In conjunction with this initiative, the San Antonio Police Department will survey San Antonians on attitudes toward aggressive driving.

``With more congestion on our highways, and a seeming lack of regard for courtesy on our roads, we're seeing more and more incidents of aggressive driving,'' said Al A. Philippus, chief of the San Antonio Police Department. ``We've trained traffic officers to target aggressive driving, which is not only dangerous, but illegal. Of course, we'd like drivers to show courtesy and respect while in an automobile, but if my officers observe aggressive driving, we're going to write tickets and follow-up with materials so drivers know how they are breaking the law.''

Philippus said that there are sufficient laws currently available to police to combat aggressive driving, but the initiative gives traffic officers additional training to identify and ticket such behavior. Each of the 120 officers assigned to the department's Traffic Section recently attended an intensive eight-hour instruction providing specialized training at the department's academy. For the first time, officers will be issuing citations in conjunction with Traffic Enforcement and Education cards. Driver statistics indicate the average driver receives one traffic citation every three years, but during that time will commit 2,000 traffic violations.

USAA assisted the San Antonio Police Department in developing a public awareness campaign, a survey of area attitudes toward aggressive driving and materials to be used by traffic officers.

``We're interested and involved in this effort for two reasons,'' said Henry (Butch) Viccellio, president of USAA P&C Insurance Group. ``We believe this is an important community and public safety issue and we also have some 17,000 employees who use the highway system on a daily basis. Efforts like this that will contribute to better safety on the roads will benefit everyone.''

With the support of USAA, the San Antonio Police Department has developed Traffic Enforcement and Education cards, which starting April 4 will be given to drivers who are stopped for an aggressive driving offense by San Antonio Police Department traffic officers. On one side, the TEE Card offers a self- assessment for drivers to measure their tendency for aggressive driving. On the other side, information explains what drivers should do in the event they encounter another motorist exhibiting aggressive driving behavior.

In addition, one traffic officer will be assigned to an unmarked police cruiser on principal highways under the department's purview. This officer will be targeting aggressive drivers under the Drive Smart_ -- Be a Cool Operator program.

SAPD also will be coordinating a public-awareness campaign to drive home the message about aggressive driving. A series of public service announcements and community-affairs initiatives have been prepared.

The U.S. Department of Transportation defines aggressive driving as operating a vehicle in a way that endangers or is likely to endanger people or property. Aggressive driving frequently is described as driving under the influence of impaired emotions.

Drivers manifest aggressive behavior in several ways. Chief among the behaviors that traffic officers will target are:

  • Yelling, insulting, gesturing.
  • Red light running.
  • Tailgating.
  • Speeding.
  • Frequent lane changing or weaving.
  • Blocking cars trying to pass.
  • Braking suddenly to punish tailgaters.
  • Failing to yield the right of way.
  • Passing on the median to avoid traffic.
  • Changing lanes without signaling.

Sample fines for the above traffic infractions within San Antonio begin at $115 and typically can be paired with other violations to increase the toll on aggressive drivers. Traffic violators who have tickets adjudicated at Municipal Court and are found guilty are subject to any amount authorized as the maximum fine set by state law.

The San Antonio Municipal Court is the third leg, the judicial aspect of the campaign against aggressive driving. Drivers identified as exhibiting aggressive behaviors and cited for a traffic offense will be tracked through the Municipal Court process. Violators may be ordered to attend special aggressive driving training courses as a condition of probation or more severe monetary sanctions may be enforced on repeat aggressive drivers.

``What we're saying to drivers in this city is Drive Smart_ -- Be a Cool Operator. Don't take your aggressions out on San Antonio's highways and streets,'' said Philippus. ``If you do, you'll pay the price.''

About USAA -- USAA has been serving present and former members of the U.S. military and their families for more than 77 years as one of America's leading financial services companies. The association, well known for exceptional service, offers its 3.5 million members and associate members a full range of insurance, banking and investment products and services designed to help them meet their financial security needs. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with offices throughout the United States and Europe, USAA owns or manages assets of more than $56.8 billion.

Drive Smart_ is a registered trademark of USAA.

Contact: Sgt. Gabriel Trevino of the San Antonio Police Department, 210-207-7579; or Tom Honeycutt of USAA, 210-498-0910.

SOURCE: USAA and San Antonio Police Department

original story here    ||   see a Yahoo! report on the results



Question 1:    How  widespread is aggressive driving?  Is it an important social problem?


We're looking at an enormous problem when we deal with aggressive driving.  

There are 177 million licensed drivers in the U.S., and the majority have been raised in a cultural atmosphere that

  1. condones aggressive driving
  2. encourages competition behind the wheel
  3. allows the expression of hostility towards other motorists
  4. promotes a sense of entitlement about having the right to drive the way they want
  5. condones cynicism and disrespect of the law
  6. promotes the idea of territorial freedom around the vehicle as one's private castle
  7. leads motorists to be time-bound and feeling anxious about getting there
  8. provides people with multi-tasking activities in cars without training (eating, phone and communications equipment)
  9. creates a diversity of drivers with different competencies and purposes for being on the highway
  10. the 35 million American boys who are growing up today have seen an increase of 27% in violence from 1981 to 1998
  11. the anger culture today often equates "masculine" with reckless and high risk behavior
  12. parenting today does not include a focus on moral skills and emotional intelligence
  13. a steady dose of violence in cartoons, movies, and video games desensitize the population, raising public tolerance for aggressiveness against strangers and lowering the threshold of expressing it overtly in public places

These cultural factors have created and are maintaining the driving style of the population.  So the problem is vast and deep and serious:

  • 40,000 deaths per year
  • 6 million crash injuries per year
  • 100 billion aggressive driving exchanges per day
  • 250 billion dollars direct cost per year
  • untold numbers of stress related health problems and human suffering

Question 2:    What traffic education role is desirable for law enforcement officers?


A major initiative by law enforcement officials and personnel is needed to re-educate the public.  Traffic related work puts officers in a position of importance regarding the traffic education of motorists.  Consider these facts::

  • Americans spend 500 million hours per week in their cars
  • they travel 3 billion miles annually
  • the current death rate is 1.6 per 100 million miles
  • the average driver receives 1 ticket every three years
  • a motorist will commit 2,000 traffic violations for each one being caught
  • by the year 2020 traffic fatalities will be the world's third leading cause of deaths (after heart disease and depression)
  • since the year 1900, 3 million Americans died in car crashes (vs. 635,000 American casualties in all wars combined)

Law enforcement officers have for decades been playing a major role in traffic safety education for elementary public schools.  This educational role of police officers is going to increase because the need for it is increasing.  Consider the traffic stop.  It is a window of opportunity for an educational mini-lesson because the motorist and passengers have got your full attention.  In some cases they will know what they did wrong, and in other cases they will not know. The officer needs to be prepared in order to be authoritative and effective.

Question 3:    What do law enforcement officers need to know in order to play an effective traffic education role?


There are two parts to this answer.

Part 1:  Knowing how to identify the aggressive driver's specific behavior.

For instance New Jersey police uses these traffic violations

  • Speeding
  • Following Too Close
  • Unsafe Lane Change
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Reckless, Careless or Inattentive Driving
  • Disregard Of Traffic Signs and Signals
  • Improper Passing
  • Driving While Suspended

The New Jersey Chiefs of Police and Traffic Officers Association have identified aggressive and impaired drivers as the primary targets of patrol activities.  Traffic enforcement officers are working to identify aggressive driving through observed motor vehicle violations such as

  • driving while intoxicated (DWI),
  • speeding,
  • following too closely,
  • unsafe lane changes,
  • tailgating
  • careless and inattentive driving
  • disregarding traffic signals and signs
  • failure to keep right
  • flashing lights to move the slow driver out of the way
  • cutting drivers off
  • hand gestures
  • weaving through traffic
  • needlessly honking the horn
  • impatience

Part 2: Being adequately prepared to deliver an effective mini-lesson

Knowing how to suggest driving tips to aid in dealing with aggressive drivers without upsetting them or causing the law-abiding motorist harm.  For instance, New Jersey officers have been taught to give out these tips

  • Make every attempt to get out of the aggressive driver's path
  • Do not challenge them
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Do not make or return gestures
  • Do not block the passing lane and avoid switching lanes without signaling
  • Do not tailgate
  • Allow plenty of time for your trip
  • Stay away from drivers behaving erratically

More effective methods involve the use of a Traffic Enforcement Education Curriculum.  DrDriving's TEE CARDS are samples of such a curriculum.  Officers themselves need to  know and understand the curriculum before they can believably distribute the cards and legitimately play the combined role of enforcer and educator.  This knowledge will make the officers better traffic educators as well as better drivers, on and off the job.

DrDriving recommends the RoadRageous Video Course as an effective method of teaching law enforcement officers a knowledge and understanding of aggressive driving psychology.  This course prepares the officer to understand the TEE CARDS they distribute.  A description of the course may be viewed at this Web addressDrDriving.org/video

Question 4:    What are "Traffic Emotions"?


Driving involves the whole person:  emotions, thoughts, sensory input, motor output.  It's common knowledge that your driver personality in traffic can be very different from how you act and feel at other times.  This is because our emotions in traffic are specific to that environment or situation.  Traffic emotions are generally undisciplined habits we acquire in childhood while riding in cars.   Most drivers are unaware of their traffic emotions until they make an effort to monitor themselves.

Question 5:    What is "Emotions Education"?


People believe that emotions and feelings just happen due to circumstances.    However psychologists have proven that emotions and feelings are "affective habits" we acquire as part of our up-bringing.  It's common knowledge that you can change the way you feel about something if you are motivated to do so.  Educating your emotions is necessary for survival and happiness.  One of our primary responsibilities as drivers is emotions education.  We are required to monitor our emotions behind the wheel so that we may modify them.  Emotions education is being used in public schools (e.g., "Self Science Program" and "Conflict Resolution" Curriculum) and in the workplace ("Emotional Intelligence" workshops and "Anger Management" clinics).

Question 6:    Why do we need traffic emotions education?


Our society is gearing up to face and handle the epidemic of aggressive driving that causes 42,000 fatalities, 6 million serious injuries, and 250 billion dollars in annual cost, not counting untold human suffering.  Law enforcement initiatives are becoming more aggressive, and invasive, and States are passing new and tough aggressive driving legislation that land people in jail.  Motorists consider traffic aggressiveness as their number one worst daily hassle.  People's health is affected, and the nation's glue of civility  is torn apart by the war zone on our highways.  Neither legislation, nor law enforcement, nor driver education can solve the problem totally, though they all help and are necessary, and should be increased.  But what will solve the problem altogether is general, widespread traffic emotions education.

Take a look at these results from a DrDriving survey:


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One driver said: "I’m neither violent nor aggressive, but when some selfish driver endangers my life and cares little about it, I can get pretty mad at that person."   Do you agree or disagree with this view?







Nine out of ten drivers have an anger problem and need traffic emotions education.

"One driver said: "Everybody has violent feelings at times, due to their frustration and stress inside. It’s inevitable that these emotions must come out while you drive. It’s just human nature." Do you agree or disagree with this view?







Every other driver erroneously believes that violent feelings in traffic are inevitable. They need traffic emotions education.

"One driver said: "When another driver acts selfishly and puts my life in danger, I feel better when I get angry than when I just sit there taking it passively." Do you agree or disagree with this view?







One in three drivers overreacts to driving incidents and needs traffic emotions education.


Question 6:    How do TEE CARDS help and who needs them?


We need to place in people's hands a method of learning and changing.  We need to empower people, not just with cars, but with "inner power tools" that will make them effective in their own traffic emotions education.  Each TEE CARD is an inner power tool.  When you study one TEE CARD, you're building one block in your Driving Psychology.  The more TEE CARDS you study, the more building blocks you have for your knowledge of driving psychology.  This is the knowledge that you need for traffic emotions education.

My research as DrDriving convinces me that every single driver needs traffic emotions education, and TEE CARDS will help everyone of all ages and all experiences.  Driving is a lifelong activity and it is so complex and so changing over time that you constantly have to keep up-grading yourself.  Children need TEE CARDS because they use the roads and parking lots and ride in cars.  Our driver education starts then, not later.    People who drive all day long--like police, truckers, taxi cabs, etc., also need TEE CARDS.  Race car drivers too, because they get to drive home on our roads!

Question 7:    Are there additional benefits to TEE CARDS?


Yes. Society, the nation, the community, the neighborhood, the family, the school, the workplace--all benefit when drivers change their hostile emotions and cultivate positive, supportive emotions.  This change generalizes to other situations because emotions intervene everywhere all day long.

Question 8:    What formats and sizes do TEE