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Road Rage in Hawaii

Two University of Hawaii Professors, Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl, are known as the foremost road rage experts. They have been interviewed by hundreds of reporters and have been quoted in the major national news media in the past five years. Surprised reporters ask "How can you have road rage in Hawaii?". While we are known to the world as a peaceful paradise, Hawaii residents are just as vulnerable to the road rage epidemic. Last year many incidents were reported on Oahu alone:

** In January, a 36-year-old man was arrested and another man was injured when a driver got out of his car armed with a golf club and smashed the rear and front windows of a 21-year-old man's car. He used the shaft of the golf club to jab the man in the neck before driving off. He turned himself into police soon after and was arrested for first-degree criminal property damage and unlawful entry into a car.

** In another incident in January, a man yelled at a car that was speeding near a supermarket. The driver turned the car around and beat up the 41-year-old man. Police booked him for second-degree assault.

** In March, a 28-year-old woman was arrested in a road rage case. She followed a woman who had cut her off to a 7-Eleven store and punched her in the mouth. The woman was booked for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, a felony.

** In April, a motorist was arrested in Waikiki for punching another driver after being involved in a traffic incident that started with an argument. The attacker, 30, got out of his car, reached in the other driver's car and punched the man, 48, in the face. He was booked for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and second-degree terroristic threatening.

** In July, a man and a woman travelling in a car with four children, ages 4 through 11, started quarreling and their car struck a highway barrier. In the heat of the argument, the woman grabbed the steering wheel veering toward an off-ramp. Then the driver turned the wheel back and lost control. The car crossed three lanes before crashing into the median. The hatchback popped open and the 4-year old flew out, falling 30 feet to the street below.

** In September, a man threatened a 25-year-old man with his car in a bout of road rage. The victim was cut off by the suspect's car and words were exchanged, which prompted him to follow the victim. He rammed the victim's car from behind and sped away. The victim followed the attacker's car who then made a U-turn and attempted to hit the victim's car head on, forcing the car to run into a parked vehicle.

** In October, an out-of-control van rammed two cars, including one filled with four children, and barreled into a lei stand, pinning its 74-year-old owner against a refrigerator. The occupants of the van got into a confrontation when one of the van’s passengers was stabbed by someone in the other car after he yelled at the driver to slow down. The van sped away and rammed into a parked red sports car with the four children inside.

** And in January of this year, a 36-year-old man was arrested after a 19-year-old man told police the other driver cut him off abruptly. This caused him to collide with the car. The other driver then punched in the window of the 19-year old, showering him with glass that cut his face and arms. The 36-year-old man was arrested for first-degree criminal property damage.

Leon James and Diane Nahl, authors of the new book "Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare," warn parents to protect their children from picking up the road rage habit as they ride with their parents and absorb their hostile attitudes. When kids start driving, years of exposure to aggressive driving automatically comes out in unconscious habits that put young drivers at great risk. Driving fatalities are the main cause of death among 16 to 20-year olds. Last year 41,000 people died in traffic collisions and 6 million suffered major injuries in automobile crashes. Experts estimate that the majority of these crashes could be avoided if drivers stopped their aggressive ways.

Aggressive driving habits are so ingrained that most people aren't aware. Surveys reported by the authors show that 80 percent of drivers complain about the aggressive driving of others but only 30 percent admit to driving aggressively. Their road rage book describes a Threestep Program people can use to shrink this "awareness gap" and achieve control over their traffic emotions. The authors define aggressive driving as the desire to impose one's own level of risk on others and trying to force others to drive according to their own standards. Road rage is a state of anger leading to aggressive behavior in words, gestures, assault or battery. They present a variety of road rage types including Jekyll-Hyde, passive aggressive, constant complainer, verbal attacker, rushing maniac, vigilante and scofflaw. End of chapter checklists help readers assess their risk for road rage.

The driver's prime directive is to remain in control of the vehicle, the self and the situation. In a zero-tolerance society, people have an attitude and a sense of entitlement that destroys harmony and emphasizes retaliation. This is a quick formula for loss of control since you don't know how the driver you flipped off will react, whether to ignore you or pursue you. It's about choices. We can choose to practice civility and aloha or its opposite. By restoring a sense of community on highways and becoming supportive drivers we can reduce the daily commute stress that has become a health hazard to everyone.

The two experts trace the history of road rage to 19th century England, where "furious driving" laws were passed to control horse drawn carriages barreling through town on Saturday nights after drivers left taverns in a drunken state. Since 1981, England has passed tough road rage laws that land motorists in jail who yell or threaten other drivers. This year in the U.S. tough new aggressive driving bills are being considered in 22 States, including Hawaii. Several new laws raise the penalty for aggressive driving to a felony and give police the right to impound offending vehicles. The federal government supports anti-aggressive driving initiatives by police departments throughout the country.

For free information on road rage please visit the authors' Web site: http://www.DrDriving.org

Maui Time Magazine (January 2001)

From the book Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare (Prometheus Books, 2000) by Leon James and Diane Nahl.

Checklist: Your Road Range Tendency

Instructions: For each question, circle Yes if the statement applies to you reasonably well, or No if it doesn't.

1. I swear a lot more in traffic than I do elsewhere.

Yes No

2. I normally have critical thoughts about other drivers.

Yes No

3. When a driver in a parking lot tries to steal the space I've been waiting for, I get furious.

Yes No

4. I fantasize about doing violence to other drivers (e.g., using guns or blowing them up or sweeping them aside). But it's just fantasy.

Yes No

5. When drivers do something really "stupid" that endangers me or my car, I get furious, even aggressive.

Yes No

6. It's good to get your anger out because we all have aggressive feelings inside that naturally come out under stressful situations.

Yes No

7. When I'm very upset about something, it's a relief to step on the gas to give my feelings an outlet.

Yes No

8. I feel that it's important to force certain drivers to behave appropriately on the highway.

Yes No

9. Pedestrians shouldn't have the right to walk slowly in crosswalks when cars are waiting.

Yes No

10. Pushy drivers really annoy me so I bad-mouth them to feel better.

Yes No

11. I tailgate when someone drives too slow for conditions or in the passing lane.

Yes No

12. I try to get to my destination in the shortest time possible, or else it doesn't feel right.

Yes No

13. If I stopped driving aggressively others would take advantage of my passivity.

Yes No

14. I feel unpleasant emotions when someone beats me to the light or when someone gets through and I'm stuck on red.

Yes No

15. I feel energized by the sense of power and competition I experience while driving aggressively.

Yes No

16. I hate speed bumps and speed limits that are set too low.

Yes No

17. Once in a while I get so frustrated in traffic that I begin to drive somewhat recklessly.

Yes No

18. I hate large trucks and I refuse to drive differently around them.

Yes No

19. Sometimes I feel that I'm holding up traffic so I start driving faster than I feel comfortable.

Yes No

20. I would feel embarrassed to "get stuck" behind a large vehicle on a steep road.

Yes No

Scoring your answers: Give yourself 1 road rage point for every Yes answer. How many do you have?

Interpreting your score: Scores range from 0 to 20. Few drivers ever get 0 because road rage emotions are habitual and cultural. We all have some tendency toward it sometimes. The higher the score, the more likely it is that you will be the victim of road rage trouble. Typical scores range from 5 to 20 with an average of 12.

If your score is less than 5 you're not an aggressive driver and your road rage tendency is manageable. Scores between 5 and 10 indicate that you have moderate road rage habits of driving. If your score is greater than 10 your road rage tendency is out of control, enough to compromise your ability to remain calm and fair in certain routine, but challenging driving situations.


tickets.gif (15717 bytes)

Thursday, March 7, 2002

Most camera tickets below judges' threshold

By Mike Leidemann Advertiser Transportation Writer

More than 68 percent of the tickets generated by Hawai'i's traffic cameras last month did not meet the speeding threshold being used by state judges, according to court records.

The photo enforcement program issued 3,686 tickets in February, but only 1,168 of those, or 31.7 percent, were for drivers who went 10 mph or more over the limit.



Instead, most of the tickets issued between Feb. 25 and the end of the month continued to be for drivers going between 6 and 9 mph over the speed limit.


original here


January 1, 2001 In Hawaii.......

New laws affect bicyclists, drivers

Other state law changes that take effect tomorrow will:

Require bicycle riders younger than 16 to wear safety helmets. The parent or guardian of a child caught violating the bicycle helmet law will pay a $25 fine.

Allow individuals to list their advance health care directives on their driver’s licenses and civil identification cards. The directives include instructions on living wills or listing of attorneys for health care decisions.

Require driver applicants younger than 18 to show proof that they have completed driver’s education courses. The new law will raise the minimum age for obtaining a learner’s permit to 15 1/2 and a driver’s license to 16.

Require new driver’s licenses to have random eight-digit numbers instead of Social Security numbers.

The Social Security Administration says individuals who believe they have been a victim of improper use of a Social Security number should call 1-800-772-1213. Callers can ask for a fact sheet titled "When Someone Misuses Your Number."

The office’s Web site at www.ssa.gov  also has a section on what to do in case of identity theft. Both options will provide resources to help fix the problem and correct a person’s record.

original here

Traffic Safety Conference Invited Speaker

University of Hawaii Professor, Dr. Leon James, is known on the Web as DrDriving and has been interviewed locally and nationally for his research on Driving Psychology. He will review law enforcement initiatives to curb aggressive driving and summarize his Threestep Program for Lifelong Driver Self-Improvement. The audience will receive the Are you RoadRageous? self-test and view the RoadRageous video tape.

Dr. Leon James was appointed by the Mayor of Honolulu to the former Oahu Traffic Safety Council. He now serves on the Governor's Impaired Driving Task Force and is a member of the Oahu Trans 2K, A Community-based Transportation Vision for the 21st Century. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii and teaches courses in personality and traffic psychology. He is active on the Internet where he maintains a Web Site of driving psychology resources and provides a community information service as DrDriving. His Web site is located at DrDriving.org where his driving psychology learning materials and road rage research are accessible free to the public.

Hawaii State Law Enforcement Officers Association Conference

Sponsored by the Honolulu Police Department
August 15, 2000
Workshop Presentation by Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl


Leon James, Ph.D. and Diane Nahl, Ph.D. are professors at the University of Hawaii. They are Driving Psychology educators who are responsible for the first national aggressive driving prevention course called RoadRageous, and have created a workshop for law enforcement that has trained officers in San Antonio and N. Miami Beach that other states are also considering. They have been frequently consulted by safety professionals and the media on road rage, and their book ROAD RAGE AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING will be on bookshelves in September.

This presentation will review the psycho-legal approach to aggressive driving prevention. Law enforcement and the legal system need to become more aware of the social dimension of aggressive driving, seeing it as a habit acquired in childhood from parents and other adult drivers, TV and movies, and video games. Most of the aggressive driving acts that officers face are committed by automatic habit rather than motivated by anger or violence. Enforcement and education must combine to overcome the "awareness gap," since most drivers believe they are not aggressive but think everyone else is. Legislators need to frame aggressive driving laws using behavioral language that refers to specific driver behavior, that is observable by an officer and does not involve judgment or opinion. Courts need to recognize what type of specialized instruction is needed for aggressive driving violators beyond traditional defensive driving courses. Portions of the RoadRageous video course and the Aggressive Driving Prevention Course for Law Enforcement: Officer Workbook can be viewed after the presentation.

Miss Hawaii Angela Perez Baraquio Honolulu, HI Age: 24

Readers send greetings to Hawai'i's Miss America

Hawaii's Ambassador to America

We deeply appreciate your willingness to serve as the American ambassador from Hawai'i representing the women to the whole world! We heard you on Good Morning America as you gave Katie an aloha goodby wish. Please continue to spread the Hawaiian spirit of good will to all.

It was reported that you're going to focus on character education. May we suggest that you also spread around the expression "Drive with Aloha!" It is featured in our new book, "Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare." We are mailing the book to you and hope you will help reverse the current awful trend of aggressive driving that kills and maims more people every year than all the U.S. wars combined.

And especially, teen-agers are at the greatest risk. Let's help prevent our children from growing up as the next generation of aggressive drivers. As Hawai'i educators, we are especially motivated to bring this information to the public, to empower people with the knowledge of how to modify their driving habits.

Aloha, Leon James and Diane Nahl

Kailua, Hawaii

original here, with more letters

How the speeding program works


found it here:  http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/dailypix/2002/Feb/02/traffic.gif


Home>Articles on Road Rage and Aggressive Driving> Hawaii