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FAQ: Road Rage and Driving Offences

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 25 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Road Rage Prosecutable Offences Driving

Anyone who drives through busy town or city streets has no doubt encountered or perhaps even committed road rage. Road rage is not an actual offence in itself but it can lead to prosecutable offences.

Why Do Drivers Get Road Rage?

Driving in today’s congested roads is a stressful situation and that in itself is enough to raise a driver’s temper. But road rage can be caused by diverse factors such as the weather, road works, noisy passengers and of course, other drivers. Most people are able to handle this stress and realise that it is part of life on the road. Other people do have low stress thresholds and that is when road rage comes into play. Psychologists have also claimed that road rage is a behaviour first learned during childhood when children see angry behaviour as the norm.

Is Road Rage a Driving Offence?

In itself road rage is not classified as an offence. There are other factors that can come into play that will turn road rage into a prosecutable offence. Drivers who shout and make gestures towards other drivers are not usually in danger of ending up in court, although they could. But if the road rage turns into violence against another then this can be classed as common assault or battery. The courts in the UK have made it clear that these offences will not be tolerated. A custodial sentence can be the ultimate outcome for drivers who cannot control their tempers.

What is the Punishment for Common Assault?

The sentence for common assault will depend on a number of different factors and no two cases are alike. Common assault is judged to be a very serious offence and can carry a six month custodial sentence. There may be certain circumstances involved that will lead to various defences being put forward to the courts. It is always vital that legal council is sought if these charges are to be brought before a court.

Is a Six Months Custodial Sentence the Maximum?

The sentence given will depend on the severity of the crime. The assault may be serious enough that it can be classed as actual bodily harm (ABH). This is considered a more serious offence than common assault and the sentence can be six months in prison. Actually bodily harm cases can be tried in the Crown Court and judges can impose sentences of up to five years in prison if found guilty.

Are Threats Made By Other Drivers an Offence?

A recent survey conducted by Zurich Insurance brought some surprising road rage statistics. Of the 1,161 UK drivers polled, 66% admitted using threatening behaviour to another road user. Around 77% of those polled also felt that this type of threatening behaviour was acceptable. But in the eyes of the law this type of threatening behaviour can lead to the driver being charged under sections 4 and 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. Using threatening behaviour or using verbal insults and abuse are offences in the UK.

What Are the Punishments for Threatening Behaviour?

A community penalty would be the starting point for sentencing for threatening behaviour. But the sentence will depend on the mitigating and aggravating circumstances. An early guilty plea could mean the judge will reduce the sentence by a third and the community penalty may be avoided. Depending on the severity of the offence a £5,000 fine can be imposed and/or a six months custodial sentence. Judges may also order that compensation fees are paid to the victim from the defendant.

How Can Road Rage Be Avoided?

For some people it is extremely difficult to control their tempers when faced with stressful driving situations. Drivers should at least try to be generous and try to leave the competitive issues for the sport’s field or office. Anger can be controlled and is something that drivers choose to do, whether they realise this or not. Drivers who are subjected to road rage from others should not retaliate but should make a note of the number plate if they wish to complain to the police. In a worst case scenario, where a driver is followed by another, drive to the nearest police station, not home.

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Do u have to do your test again if u loose your licence to road rage
Bigs - 25-Oct-18 @ 9:55 PM
Well I was driving and there was an argument between me and other driver and he started to record me and took my car pics. Police arrive at my home early and the person was a Constable as he is taking his power in wrong and he ring some recording my car pics with him and his 3 other officer like it was a big crime the only thing I was in a wrong was driving without insurance would I get penalty points for having a phone evidence as he was driving and recording and taking law in his hands as he was the officer. Would I get penalty points ? As I came back home and it is a phone evidence
Road rage - 23-Jul-16 @ 9:12 AM
Hi I had an incident in a council car park with a private car park in a shopping center as we where leaving my husband and I where waiting behind some cars waiting to get into the private car park there was a driving school car waiting for the private car parkturned out allowing cars to move on round as there is only enough room for a few cars to wait for the private car park they stopped and blocked a car in and it couldn't reverse out all driving school car had to do was move over a bit to allow this car to leave and also our car the car blocked in started to beep and beep its horn by this stage the lady was throwing her hands up in desperation and we had been waiting 8 mins on them moving and my car was in the red I was leaving the bank to go get petrol my husband was driving I got out to offer to stand in the space so I would save it for her but she informed me that was not the space she was waiting on and pointed to a car that had shown no signs of moving so I said that her waiting on that spot was blocking everyone in and she had room to move over a little to let the beeping car reverse out she was very angry so I walked back to my car and got in she then moved over a little and the car drove out my husband started to drive round tho the passenger jumped out and threatened to kick my head in and was shouting all sorts of abuse I i formed the driving school and also the police the driving school did not care at all to this behaviour shown by them and the police said it was just an argument tho she threatened me where do I stand in this matter as if police don't care about people jumping out of car to beat you up what kind off society do we live in kind regards
Naj - 17-Dec-15 @ 2:20 PM
anbey - Your Question:
I am disabled. I parked in a public multi story carpark but the method of payment was confusing as all machines were covered in plastic bags. I phoned the number and was told I must find a payment station when I leave. I couldnt find one so drove almost to to barrier where I found one so I pulled over into the section next to out ramp. I paid returned to car and there is two women in a car right behind mine. They shout and swear and beep and threaten me to get out of their way but I cant because I only have 3 choices. Reverse and go back and then into payment ramp. Reverse and park temporarily in the motorcycle section do they can get passed or go forward accross the path of incoming cars, around a bend into incoming ramp where my registration will be captured again and I will be charged again for parking and have to go through payment again. I gesture that they will need to backup for me to go into motorcycle section. They shout abuse one gets out and is banging something in my car and is swearing at me. Im terrified. They can see im disabled as my equipment in full sight in boot and disability blue badge on front of car. I call what I think is carpark owner (is a call centre for something they hear and record everything and tell me to call the police) I have pains in my chest my body is shaking I can do nothing. The woman demand I roll down my window I am terrified she will hit me as she is screaming at me and I tell her through closed window I cant go forward onto in ramp or I will be charged parking again and I ask that she back up so I can get out of her way and she said no and go to her car. Im told to get the car registration so I eventually try and move away as the car is almost touching mine I tell the woman on the phone the registration of the car for her to tell the police. I manage to get out of their way as there is a space where no cars are going into the carpark, by going across up the in ramp and as I manovre round the bend onto the ramp the car is so close to my bumper and still beeping and shouting so I am afraid they will hit me or that my car may drop back so I get stuck and cant move. They eventually backup slightly I escape onto next floor. they pass beeping and shouting out their registration jeering at me to report them. I couldnt drive for several minutes as I was afraid they would come back. It was very traumatic for me and I cannot understand how people can be so aggressive. Is there a law to protect me from such people?

Our Response:
Ask the car park call centre what happened as a result of this?
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Sep-15 @ 9:30 AM
I am disabled. I parked in a public multi story carpark but the method of payment was confusing as all machines were covered in plastic bags. I phoned the number and was told i must find a payment station when i leave. I couldnt find one so drove almost to to barrier where i found one so i pulled over into the section next to out ramp. I paid returned to car and there is two women in a car right behind mine. They shout and swear and beep and threaten me to get out of their way but i cant because i only have 3 choices. Reverse and go back and then into payment ramp. Reverse and park temporarily in the motorcycle section do they can get passed or go forward accross the path of incoming cars, around a bend into incoming ramp where my registration will be captured again and i will be charged again for parking and have to go through payment again. I gesture that they will need to backup for me to go into motorcycle section. They shout abuse one gets out and is banging something in my car and is swearing at me. Im terrified. They can see im disabled as my equipment in full sight in boot and disability blue badge on front of car. I call what i think is carpark owner (is a call centre for something they hear andrecord everything and tell me to call the police) i have pains in my chest my body is shaking i can do nothing. The woman demand i roll down my window I am terrified she will hit me as she is screaming at me and i tell her through closed window i cant go forward onto in ramp or i will be charged parking again and i ask that she back up so i can get out of her way and she said no and go to her car. Im told to get the car registration so Ieventually try and move away as the car is almost touching mine i tell the woman on the phone the registration of the car for her to tell the police.I manage to get out of their way as there is a space where no cars are going into the carpark, by going across up the in ramp and as i manovre round the bend onto the ramp the car is so close to my bumper and still beeping and shouting so i am afraid they will hit me or that my car may drop back so i get stuck and cant move. They eventually backup slightly I escape onto next floor. they pass beeping and shouting out their registration jeering at me to report them. I couldnt drive for several minutes as i was afraid they would come back.It was very traumatic for me and i cannot understand how people can be so aggressive. Is there a law to protect me from such people?
anbey - 22-Sep-15 @ 12:37 AM
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