Here’s a sample of what you’ll find in Section VIII:
Avoiding Road Rage/Aggressive Driving
Look, we know it can be a jungle out there. Especially when you’ve moved a grand total of 10 feet in the past 30 minutes while sitting in rush hour traffic on the 405 or the 101 or (insert your least favorite highway here). You’re tired, it’s time for dinner, and Pizza Hut doesn’t deliver to your address when it’s currently “The purple Pontiac in the middle lane of the 5 freeway just north of the Los Feliz exit.”
To add insult to injury, the guy behind you is leaning on the horn and the dude to your left is blaring Death Metal through his open windows with the subwoofers on maximum throb. It’s tempting to get angry, especially when tempers start flaring in the commuters around you. But when these and other annoying traffic issues test your patience, take the high road and let it ride.
When the first guy in the left turning lane has been busy foraging for dropped French fries and hasn’t noticed the arrow turned green 20 seconds ago, a light, friendly double tap on your horn is all that’s needed. Even though rude drivers have been in existence since Ford invented the Model A, you don’t need to be one of them.
If you inadvertently cut off another driver and he flips you the bird, it’s important that you don’t react in kind. A contrite look while mouthing “I’m sorry” can defuse his anger. And that’s a good thing, because anger clouds good judgement and can cause people to drive in a way that endangers others.
In fact, operating a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property is how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving. Aggressive Driving is a traffic violation and is a little sister to Road Rage.
Road Rage is more than just a groovy song from the late 1990’s by Welsh band Catatonia. It’s a criminal offense.
The term “Road Rage” emerged to describe the angry and violent behaviors at the extreme end of the aggressive driving spectrum, and there’s several ways it can lead to criminal charges depending on the lengths the driver goes to express his anger.
There’s an assault charge, which could be earned by spitting at someone from your car window, attempting to throw a punch, a milkshake or a banana at someone, even if you miss. It’s kind of a catch-all offense that covers any kind of public confrontation (California Penal Code 240). Assault is often described as an attempt to commit a battery. Battery is actually carrying out an intentional and unlawful use of force or violence on another, as defined in California Penal Code 242.
You may have heard someone jokingly refer to their SUV as an Urban Assault Vehicle. The term is a little too apropos when the vehicle in question is used to threaten another driver or a pedestrian with serious injury. In this case it can be considered assault with a deadly weapon, per California Penal Code Section 245. Depending on the case, this can be charged as a misdemeanor (up to a year in jail) or a felony (up to four years in prison), or a fine up to $10,000, or both the fine and imprisonment. In addition to fines and imprisonment, a driver engaging in road rage may be facing a suspension of his license per California Vehicle Code 13210.
That was just a small taste of what you’ll learn in Rapid Traffic School. Sign up for the course today and make the highways of California a bit safer by improving your driving knowledge and confidence!