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Let police deal with obnoxious drivers
Salem Evening News

Area and state police are stepping up their efforts to crack down on incidents of road rage, but their best ally is an educated public.

Motorists should know by now that it does not pay to get into a confrontation with someone who is acting irrationally. The best approach when a fellow driver starts yelling or otherwise displays his displeasure over something that's occurred on the highway is not to respond in kind, but simply go about your business. And if the crackpot insists on making his feelings known, call the police.

Better that than risk being shot, which was the fate of a Lynn woman and her 17-year-old son earlier this month when they crossed paths with a Malden driver; or getting arrested, as happened to a Rockport man last week who got into a confrontation with a Gloucester driver who'd passed him at a stop sign. (Come to find out the passer was trying to follow a truck he'd seen strike a neighbor's stone wall.)

Patience and defensive driving are, of course, essential to those who endeavor to safely navigate our often overcrowded highways and byways. Cursing or otherwise demonstrating your dislike for another's driving habits provides little in the way of satisfaction and in extreme cases can result in a violent confrontation. It's just not worth it.

We like the fact that police, employing unmarked vehicles and other techniques, are seeking to crack down on those who can't control their tempers while behind the wheel. Violations, according to Manchester police Chief Ronald Ramos can include use of the breakdown lane to pass, following another vehicle too closely and making abrupt lane changes.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles, unfortunately, can't test for good judgment; but lack of same should result in substantial penalty if detected by police.

State Police and their colleagues in cities and towns have become increasingly vigilant in trying to identify those who are driving too aggressively. And in a further effort to improve motorist behavior, district court judges have been turning to a program called State Courts Against Road Rage, which offers lessons in anger management to those found guilty of driving dangerously.

The best tack in dealing with an obnoxious driver, police say, is either to call for help or — if you're close enough and know where it's located — drive right to the police station, though Ramos recalls an "extreme" case in which the assailant, who was armed, followed the other driver right into police headquarters.

Taking the law into your own hands never makes sense. Rude drivers should be ignored. The most aggressive ones will eventually meet up with the police and the courts, who will know how to handle them.
 

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Here is an idea to the drivers on the road trying to play hero and going overboard. Go to the RMV website, download the citizen complain forms they have had for several years, fill in all the proper info (plate #, driver description), type up a narrative about the operation of the motor vehicle in question and send it off to the registry so they can yank the person in for a hearing... common sense.

It would make more sense to grab the plate number (the correct one!!) and go about it that way...but I guess the old saying applies...common sense is not so common.
 
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