Road rage is generally defined as violent anger caused by the frustration and stress of operating a motor vehicle in difficult circumstances. The driver’s violent anger may be uncontrolled and directed towards other motorists or pedestrians. Road rage is can be triggered by slight inconveniences or serious incidents that happen on the road. While California does not have laws specifically targeting road rage, the behavior typically exhibited by these drivers is criminalized under several statutes.
Understanding road rage
Some of the behavior commonly associated with road rage includes yelling, horn honking, verbal threats and insults, profanity or throwing objects. People experiencing road rage may also engage in aggressive or dangerous driving maneuvers that include blocking other drivers, forcing others off the road, sideswiping, ramming and tailgating. Road rage is often triggered by traffic delays, intoxicated motorists, running late or disagreements on the road.
More on road rage
If the California DMV receives a referral from a law enforcement officer about a road rage incident known as highway violence, the driver could have their license revoked. The DMV identifies the driver as a negligent operator and initiates removing from the roadways. Alongside motor vehicle accidents, private parties can also report road rage to the DMV. The reporting party can remain anonymous and the DMV investigates the claim to determine whether the accused is a negligent or incompetent driver.
According to the NHTSA, over 1,200 road rage incidents are reported annually. California Vehicle Code 13210 CVC empowers courts to remove the license of road rage offenders. California can suspend a license for up to six months if drivers have violated others’ safety or harmed others on the roadway. After the first offense, courts can suspend the license for up to one year. Violent crimes associated with road rage include reckless driving, assault, criminal threats, aggravated battery, weapons charges and murder.