In this SAFE 101 blog, I want to share my thoughts on something I see with more and more frequency. I see this trend increasing. That trend is the use of cellphones in road rage scenarios. In fact, in my upcoming book on conflict resolution in our daily lives, I am dedicating a whole chapter to the topic of road rage. I came across this video from the CNN YouTube channel and decided I had to blog about it. Now many of you might disagree with me, but the man driving like a maniacal, out of control idiot, is behaving as I would expect a deranged, out of control idiot to behave. But it is the other guy I am going to take issue within this video. Check it out, then read my thoughts and please offer me your opinion.
Okay, I am not so interested in this doctor’s criminal behaviour outside of the driving, but yes, he deserves to go to jail for putting so many people at risk. He is a reckless moron! But, to think the guy recording what is happening is some good samaritan is insane, in my opinion.
There used to be a time when you might quickly try to get someone’s licence to report to the police, which is risky enough, and that is where it would end. But video after video I see people not just try to get a picture of the plate, but get as close as possible pointing their cellphone right at the driver to get the evidence. Think about that? If someone is driving without disregard for others’ safety, how do you think they are going to respond to the threat of being videotaped? Pulling out your phone and recording them is a threat and challenge to someone who is already in a heightened state of mental impairment.
You are adding more risk to others on the highway. And as you see with a gun pointed at you, your life is now at risk. Is it worth it? I would ask anyone who did that how they would feel if one of their loved ones took the same action, and I can almost guarantee you they would agree with me. Or what if you had a passenger in your car? So why do people do this? Are they trying to be the hero? How about making your family a priority and not engage in such risky behaviour? I would offer up that virtually no one would ever expect someone to be so crazy as to pull out a gun driving at such a high rate of speed. But your first clue or pre-contact cue that anything might be possible is how erratic they are driving to begin with.
If you see someone driving like this, I suggest you stay behind them, and well back or even take an exit instead of driving right up beside then. Call the police and leave it to the experts. As we teach, you never know what someone is capable of, and when you find out what they are prepared to do, it may be too late, and lives may be lost.
Cellphones are an excellent safety device for many emergencies, but when used as a tool of intimidation, as is the case here, don’t be surprised when it escalates. Now, did this guy think he was intimidating the driver? Probably not, but he is inadvertently threatening the guy who decided to take the threat head-on.
Road rage is the ultimate in heightened conflict. You are making split-second decisions in a weapon moving at high speed that can kill multiple lives with one stupid mistake.
Please share this blog with anyone and everyone you care about in your life.