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Road Rage

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one - Benjamin Franklin.

I’m not saying flat out “don’t get angry” but rather, think about it first before reacting. Is there a good reason to be mad as this nameless driver who just cut you off? Chances are they didn’t even realize they did it. They might be stressed because of their personal or professional life. It might be lack of experience or poor driver training or just a person with a bad attitude. Doesn’t matter what their issue is but we don’t want to get influenced by their emotional outrage.

Any unsafe driving behaviour, performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety, can constitute aggressive driving. If someone is speeding in heavy traffic, tailgating, cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down, running red lights, weaving in and out of traffic and changing lanes without signalling can be some good examples of aggressive driving. 

Some simple tips by which we can avoid this aggressive driving situations; follow the rules of the road, use the appropriate lane (slower traffic on the right), if someone is tailgating you encourage them to pass on a multilane highway, maintain adequate following distance, use turn signals, allow others to merge, use our high beams responsibly, tap your horn if you must to warn other, be considerate in parking lots, park in one spot, don’t block any driver or passenger door near your vehicle and be careful not to hit vehicles next to you with your door. 

According to an article “The Criminal Consequences of road rage charges in Canada” by Robichaud’s Criminal Defence Litigation; “Road rage” is not a real legal term in Canada and is not defined or even mentioned in the Criminal Code or Highway Traffic Act. Giving into road rage, however, is unsafe and can lead to a number of very real criminal charges.

Some of these charges under the Criminal Code of Canada can include:

  • Criminal Negligence –Section 219
  • Criminal Negligence Causing Death –Section 220
  • Dangerous Driving –Section 249
  • Failure to Stop at Scene of Accident –Section 252
  • Uttering Threats –Section 264.1
  • Assault –Section 265
  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm –Section 267
  • Assault with a Weapon –Section 267 (This includes using the vehicle itself as a weapon)
  • Aggravated Assault –Section 268
  • Mischief (This includes willful damage to a vehicle) –Section 430

It’s not hard to imagine how many of these events could happen in the blink of an eye. Imagine this scenario for instance: A driver is cut off on the 403 and rear-ends the car in front of them. Both drivers perceive the other one to be at fault and they begin yelling at each other. One driver gets back behind the wheel or reaches for a weapon and the next thing you know one is fleeing the scene.

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