Is Road Rage a Crime?
We've probably all been guilty of road rage at least once in our lives. However, when road rage escalates from stewing in your car to aggressive driving or vicious assaults, road rage can get you arrested.
Just this week, a case of road rage was caught on camera in Yuma, Arizona. A motorcyclist, wearing a GoPro camera on his helmet, allegedly cut off another car. When both the car and motorcycle were stopped at a light, the driver got out of his vehicle, walked straight up to the motorcyclist and punched him in the face! The driver proceeds to shove a passenger on the motorcycle and try to punch the motorcyclist several more times before being taken down.
The driver was taken to the hospital with an apparent broken ankle, and has been charged with endangerment, threatening, and assault.
Could he also have been charged with road rage?
Road Rage Laws
In most cases of road rage, a driver is often charged with a slew of violations and other crimes, such as speeding, unsafe lane changing, endangerment, or assault, as happened in this case. However, some states also have laws or vehicles codes punishing road rage:
- Arizona -- According to Arizona's Department of Public Safety, road rage is defined as "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway."
- California -- California's Vehicle Code section 13210 allows for a court-ordered suspension of your driver's license if you are convicted of assault with a deadly weapon caused by road rage.
- Massachusetts -- If you have a junior operator's license in Massachusetts and you speed up in competition with another driver, you could be convicted of drag racing and be ordered to complete a court program against road rage.
If you ever find yourself getting angry while driving, take a few deep breaths and calm down. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage and aggressive driving cause 66 percent of traffic fatalities. In a seven year period, 218 people were murdered and 12,610 injured because of road rage.
If you are charged with road rage or any other crime in conjunction, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.
- Browse Criminal Defense Lawyers by Location (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
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