Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cooler Heads Must Prevail

On Wednesday January 23rd, we blogged about two drivers engaging in aggressive driving that turned into road rage, and subsequently shots were fired. We’re still looking into that case and are following up on any leads in hopes of making an arrest in the future.

When the story was being written for that blog, dispatch received a call from a female motorist who claimed a passenger in another vehicle displayed a gun to her after a road rage incident. The victim said she would be waiting for officers in a nearby parking lot, but was gone when we arrived. She has yet to respond to messages left on her cell phone. The exact location of the occurrence is unknown.

This weekend (Saturday), we received a call from a motorist who stated someone in another vehicle pointed a handgun at her during a road rage incident in the area of I-435 and Metcalf. Police were able to locate both subjects in an area parking lot. The suspect was eventually arrested and transported to the Johnson County Jail to await formal charges of aggravated assault.

In less than a week’s time the streets of Overland Park have seen three different incidences where road rage has escalated to the point where a weapon was displayed. In one case a weapon was fired at another driver. These acts not only place the lives of involved at risk, but most certainly place innocent bystanders in the cross-fire.

In a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation, nearly 9 in 10 respondents said they believed aggressive drivers were a “somewhat” or “very serious” threat to their personal safety. This same survey found that a substantial number of drivers admitted to engaging in potentially aggressive behaviors, such as traveling more than 15 mph above the speed limit, or running a red light. In fact, the Foundation study found that potentially aggressive actions –such as tailgating, erratic lane changing, or illegal passing – are a factor in up to 56% of fatal crashes.

Check out this link from the AAA Foundation for detailed information on things you can do to avoid becoming involved in a road rage incident.