Texas Police Department Revives Road Rage Hotline
"Our goal is to ensure citizens are safe while traveling on our freeways," said Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson. "There is absolutely no reason why someone should engage in aggressive driving behaviors that can lead to violence resulting in unnecessary injuries or even death."
The Arlington, Texas, Police Department has a new road rage hotline in operation, with the number 817-459-5389. Motorists who are involved in an in-progress incident with an aggressive driver should still contact 911, the department's release noted, adding that the road rage hotline is intended to provide follow-up communication with registered owners whose cars have been reported to be involved in an aggressive driving incident.
APD asks callers to the hotline to provide their contact information, a detailed description of the aggressive driver and vehicle involved, a general description of what happened, and a location and time of the incident. Investigators from its Traffic Unit will follow up, and a letter will be mailed to the registered owner describing the allegation and offering tips for remaining calm in traffic and safely bringing an end to future incidents.
APD said it had a road rage hotline in the early 2000s but discontinued it in 2008 after calls stopped coming in. "We hope to use this hotline as an additional tool to deter and report aggressive drivers in addition to our enforcement efforts," said Lt. Jeff Pugh, who commands the Traffic Unit. "We believe that there has been an increase in the frequency and severity of road-rage type incidents on our area freeways. We will not tolerate driving behaviors that put the motoring public in danger and will deal with other criminal acts that occur in conjunction with aggressive driving."
The department launched an aggressive driving task force after a 19-year old man died June 25, 2017, in what was described as a road rage shooting on Interstate 20 in the southern part of the city. Task force officers are working in covert capacities and in marked units, looking for aggressive drivers including excessive speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, driving on improved shoulders to pass traffic, throwing objects at vehicles, brandishing weapons, and other unsafe behaviors that can lead to road rage style incidents. And APD reported since the task force, 19 team enforcements have been conducted that resulted in 464 traffic stops, 574 citations issued, and seven arrests made.
"Our goal is to ensure citizens are safe while traveling on our freeways," said Police Chief Will Johnson. "There is absolutely no reason why someone should engage in aggressive driving behaviors that can lead to violence resulting in unnecessary injuries or even death."