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Road rage still roiling on Kitsaps highways
Last Thursday, Washington State Patrol trooper Paul Sanger responded to a road-rage incident on SR 303. A Dodge Ram pickup and a Honda CRX were traveling north from Fairgrounds Road, until they struck one another near Brownsville Highway. Both vehicles continued north, passing each other and exhibiting aggressive behavior. Sanger pulled them over when they exited at Ridgetop Boulevard.
No citations were issued at the time, but the case was forwarded to the prosecuting attorney and both drivers will appear in court.
Sanger, while trained to handle such incidents, is not part of the special aggressive driving division of the State Patrol. The squad with two unmarked vehicles operating out of Kitsap County tracks down specific complaints about aggressive driving and issue citations. They also patrol the countys highways specifically to apprehend drivers who display excessive bad manners
State Patrol spokesperson Brian George said people guilty of road rage are usually in a hurry and feel their time is more valuable than anyone else on the road. This behavior can prompt a reaction from another like-mannered driver and escalate from there.
George defines aggressive driving as the commission of two or more violations by a single driver at a single time that are likely to endanger other people, or a single violation that requires a defensive action by another driver.
George said about 1,200 motorists were pulled over for road rage-related incidents in 2004.
The number of citations are harder to track, since an aggressive driver can be cited under a number of different violation categories.
While the squad catches several violators on regular patrol, it