Sometimes when people tailgate me I will slow down just so they stop, but in general I’m a pretty courteous driver. In this case I made a guy really mad even though I wasn’t trying to and he took the most aggressive retaliation of anyone I’ve ever come across. Once he was in front of me I wished I had gotten his license plate so I could report him and I sped up to catch up with him before realizing I was being pretty stupid. But as traffic got more congested closer to Atlanta, I actually caught up with him and passed him anyway and got his license. But then what do you do with it? I found a website called www.roadragers.com and reported him, but that doesn’t really do any good. So I sent a description of his car and his license plate to both the Georgia State Patrol and the Florida Highway Patrol. I doubt they will do anything, but I suggested they send a letter to the guy just to say he had been reported.
I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to have some kind of traffic posse where the police deputize private citizens to report bad driving. As I envision it you would have to attend a day-long class about rules of the road and rules of the program and then you could report one person a month (maybe more). While no one would receive tickets when they were reported, they would receive a letter describing the infraction and a note would be made to that person’s file so that if the police ever pulled the guy over they could see a list of citizen complaints about him and realize he deserves to have the book thrown at him.
Anyway, here’s the letter I wrote:
I am writing to make you aware of a road rage type of incident that occurred to me earlier today. I am not pressing charges, but I hope that by making you aware of the incident that such a letter as this will help establish a pattern of aggressive driving by the driver that might weigh on a future decision to decline leniency on the driver or support anyone else who is victimized by this driver.
I was driving northbound on I-75 today at about noon near McDonough, Georgia in the left lane. While I do not typically stay long in that lane, there was a truck in the center lane trying to pass slower traffic in the right lane and I was trying to stay clear of that. During this time a car caught up with me and began tailgating very close even though I was moving at or above the speed limit and with the general flow of traffic (the truck next to me was sometimes ahead and sometimes behind me depending on whether we were going up a hill). Since I did not want to increase my speed any further (I was on cruise control at the time, so I was not playing games with the car behind me), the car passed me on the right while the truck was ahead of me which also prevented me from moving to the center lane to get out of his way.
To teach me a lesson, I suppose, when the van had just passed my front bumper the driver lurched suddenly and deliberately from the center lane in front of me as if to sideswipe me or force me to run into the back of his car. At approximately 70 mph the van nearly clipped my car, missing my bumper by no more than a foot or two. I took evasive action and the car continued at a high rate of speed ahead of me. However I did get the license plate of the car. Florida plates ### ***. I do not know the make, model, or year of the vehicle but it was a dark red minivan.
I hope that there is some resource the state patrol can make use of to record accounts of bad driving, perhaps sending a written notification to the driver to avoid dangerous, highly aggressive driving in the future. Thank you for your attention in this matter.