More people on the streets of Austin leads to more traffic and that means more impatient drivers. "Cutting people off, tailgating, those are all ways that persons can be aggressive while they are driving," says Austin Police Department Senior Police Officer Veneza Bremner.
In 2011 APD saw 189 incidents of road rage. They don't label cases that way anymore but, Bremner says it definitely continues to happen. "Road Rage is not a criminal act in itself. It would be whatever leads up to it, the traffic violation or if you end up assaulting someone - it's assault with injury."
It could also be the motive behind a shooting in North Austin on Sunday. Austin police say a man shot into another car on the I-35 service road near Rundberg. The victim was taken to UMC Brackenridge in serious condition. His name and condition have not yet been released. "The evidence doesn't show a drive by more than it does an actual road rage incident," said APD Lieutenant Antoine Lane, on Sunday.
Police do not have a suspect in custody and are asking anyone with information about yesterday's shooting to call their tip line: 512-472-TIPS
As APD continues to investigate whether or not that shooting was road rage. It is similar to one that happened in Florida last week. 911 calls released paint a harrowing picture in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting.
"Don't shoot..I have 911 on the phone," could be heard just before shots rang out. It was a road rage dispute that lasted for several miles in Beverly Hills, Florida.
"I have some maniac that's trying to follow me and run me off the road," Robert Doyle could be heard in another 911 call. He continued, "My gun is already out and cocked and locked."
Police say Candelario Gonzalez followed Doyle to hid home in the Beverly Hills suburb. Calls from both cars came in to 911 during the chase. A 911 dispatcher told Gonzalez to turn around. His wife can be heard saying, "my husband wants to go whoop his a**."
The altercation ended in front of Doyle's home. Police say seconds later Doyle opened fire killing Gonzalez. They also say he held Gonzalez's wife, daughter and grandchild until deputies arrived. Doyle claimed it was self-defense but police believe he was the aggressor. He is being charged with second degree murder.
"We hope that people will be able to control their anger as they're driving, it should never lead up to anybody getting injured or dying," says Bremner of Austin drivers.
The Austin Police Department is offering these tips to avoid Road Rage:
- Only use the left lane for passing
- Don't tailgate
- Don't make obscene or provocative gestures
- Only use your horn for emergency's
If you encounter an aggressive driver, they have the following suggestions:
- Do not to engage with their behavior
- Don't make eye contact
- Drive to a crowded place not to your house
- Don't get out of the car