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Road Traffic Offences

From reckless or dangerous driving, speeding, to driving under the influence, there are a number of ways in which drivers could be considered to be breaking the law on the road in England & Wales.

What is the law on Road Rage?

Due to the frequency of road rage incidents nowadays, the law has taken a particular interest in them, and in many cases people found guilty of such actions will end up facing a custodial sentence and perhaps ending up in prison.

What we term ‘road rage’ could refer to a number of different offences, including aggressive driving and potential property damage.

UK law does not define any specific road rage offence, so the crime that a road rager could be charged for would depend on what their rage drove them to do – for example, if they got out of their car and assaulted another driver, they could have a charge for assault or bodily harm on their hands.

Road rage could also result in a charge under the Public Order Act 1986 if the road user causes harassment, alarm or distress to others in their anger.

The rise of road rage

Once upon a time, what we now know as road rage was a infrequent occurrence on Britain’s roads, rare enough that the phenomenon did not need its own title, or be worth worrying about for the average road user.

However, the 1990s saw “aggressive driving” becoming a more common occurrence on our roads, perhaps spurred by a series of high profile and widely reported traffic incidents, which seemed to establish a narrative that suggested that drivers were getting more aggressive and anti-social.

Perhaps the most high profile case of all was that of former Heavyweight Champion boxer Mike Tyson, who was jailed in 1999 after assaulting two fellow motorists after a car accident.

Road Rage in the UK

While many of the more astonishing road rage stories seem to have emerged from the USA, such as that of the aforementioned former Heavyweight Champion, the UK has hosted plenty of its own road rage incidents – in fact, a Gallup poll conducted in 2003 suggested that Britain saw more road rage incidents than any other country, with 80.4% of drivers reporting that they had been the target of road rage.

More recently, a survey conducted by ingenie in June 2012 suggested that two thirds of drivers had been the victim of road rage at some point within the previous 12 months. 85% of those polled admitted to behaviour within this period that could be indicative of road rage.