Road rage is often more serious than individuals realize. This week, an off duty officer confronted men in a shopping center parking lot after a road rage incident. When four men got out of the car and approached the officer, with objects allegedly in their hands, the officer fired several shots. Two individuals were injured and the other two were detained. The men were taking to a medical center where once was treated and the other was released. One man was shot in the chest while the other sustained wounds in the wrist, elbow and ankle. It has not been ascertained whether the off-duty officer or the other four men will face charges.
This summer, a man was charged with attempted murder after running down a bicyclist with his car. It is alleged that the offender chased the cyclist onto a golf course and knocked him off of his bike after yelling at him for taking his hands off of the handlebars. The offender could now face up to 12 years in prison. In the words of the prosecutor in the case, "He is a danger to the community if he gets behind the wheel of a car." The cyclist informed the media that while she cycling a car came from behind her and the driver screamed, "Get the f*** out of here, you're too young to be here." The woman cyclist sustained a broken wrist, severe scrapes and bruises after the incident. After this incident, the city of Sonoma is seeking to pass the "Vulnerable Road Users Protection Ordinance."
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, at least 1,500 people a year are seriously injured or killed in senseless traffic disputes. Aggressive driving involves following too closely, driving too fast, weaving through traffic and running stop lights or signals. The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as, "The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property." Aggressive driving is considered a traffic violation, whereas road rage is deemed a criminal offense.