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Altamonte Springs Police Department
Tuesday September 7th, 2010 :: 11:07 a.m. EDT


Road Rage Turns Deadly Over The Weekend! See full story in your email.

What exactly is road rage? Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle which may include: rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even death. The latest incident of road rage in Central Florida occurred over the holiday weekend in Osceola County. Authorities are currently searching for the suspect who shot and killed a motorist which they believe stemmed from a road rage incident.

Road rage is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. Let’s say someone cuts you off in traffic and you decide to honk your horn at them -not the one second “Please don’t hit me warning honk,” – but rather the 10 second “Hey buddy, you really made me mad and I want you to know it honk!” Here’s where the delicious analogy of chocolates comes in: One day you may get a driver who is able to let that long, annoying, embarrassing, rage provoking, by the way it’s against the law (FL Statute 316.271) honk off his/her shoulders and continue to drive with no further incident taking place. However just like biting into the unknown chocolate where you risk tasting that gooey repugnant, revolting, raunchy, rough, rancid tasting mystery substance you’re luck may run out on the highway and this time inside that offensive honk you get Mr. Attitude who has Mr. Revenge riding shotgun with him! Mr. A and Mr. R have just taken great personal offense at your loud obnoxious horn blasting and will go at any lengths to teach you a lesson – ranging from honking back at you, giving you a rude gesture, to more escalated behaviors such as running you off the road to the unspeakable crime of murder!

Early in my career I responded to a call that will forever be etched in my memory. The location was the off-ramp of Interstate 4 at SR 436 and involved an altercation between two motorists. The incident originated in Orlando where one of the motorists made an improper lane change cutting off the other motorist. The driver who was cut off gave the infamous horn blast which didn’t sit well with the other driver. Traveling at speeds over 70 mph the two drivers exchanged rude gestures for several miles until they entered the City of Altamonte Springs where one of the drivers went to exit to reach his final destination. Although the other motorist was heading towards Daytona Beach he decided he was not finished teaching a lesson in proper driving skills. Both drivers pulled over to the side of road off SR 436 and what happened next would change their lives forever. With the firing of one single shot one motorist was left blind for the remainder of his life (although fortunate to be alive) while the other was handcuffed and transported to jail for attempted murder.

Moral of the story - Don’t ever underestimate the dangers of road rage and how one single act of blowing your car horn can lead to devastation and loss of life! Avoiding road rage is not an easy task to accomplish. As a trained professional I find myself having to fight back the urge to express frustration and anger when faced with irresponsible drivers when I'm off duty. One thing I find helpful is to tape a picture of your treasured loved ones to your dashboard and when faced with road rage simply look at the picture and ask yourself if your next decision will have a positive or negative effect on those in the picture.

Have a great day and stay safe!

Altamonte Springs Police Department
175 Newburyport Ave
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 407-339-2441

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