Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Summary of Responses

The table below summarizes the responses to aggressive driving, the means by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they should work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

Improving Opportunities for Secure but Convenient Storage
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If…Considerations
Enforcing Traffic Laws
1Deploying surveillance technologiesIt increases the probability of detection...the problem is well-defined, the response is based on analysis of incident and hot- spot data, environmental issues have already been addressed, and the public is notified and educated before enforcement occursSurveillance systems require staff to install and maintain them, officer and staff training in use of equipment and data interpretation, and coordination with your jurisdiction's transportation department
2Conducting high- visibility enforcementIt increases the probability of detection and deters aggressive driving...it is done in aggressive driving hot spots and in conjunction with other awareness-raising techniquesIt should take place intensively or frequently, both resource-intensive propositions
3Conducting "centipede" enforcementIt increases the probability of detection...drivers are generally aware of the enforcement effort, but cannot predict exactly when and where it will occurIt is staff-intensive; it works only as long as drivers continue to be surprised

 

4Conducting enforcement crackdownsIt increases the probability of detection and/or the consequences to the driver...locations are selected based on analysis of crime and GIS dataIt can be staff-intensive and sometimes practical only on an overtime basis; experienced personnel can be more efficient in detecting aggressive driving
5Referring habitual aggressive drivers to state licensing agenciesIt deters aggressive drivers by restricting their driving privileges...officers can readily access driving recordsProviding access to new data systems can be complex, time-consuming, and costly; drivers may disregard licensing restrictions
6Checking records of portable electronic device useIt increases the probability of linking crashes to aggressive driving behaviors...enhanced penalties apply to driving offenses that occur while drivers are using portable electronic devicesChecking device records may be burdensome, so this response should be used when called for by the severity of the offense and/or when a link to distracting technology is clear
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If…Considerations
Enhancing Legislation and Regulation
7Defining and prohibiting aggressive driving in the state vehicle codeIt clarifies for drivers and police officers what constitutes aggressive driving and provides for appropriate penalties...the statute is based on observable behaviors and not on proving driver intent, and police enforcement is robustIt may require new legislation
8Restricting window tintingIt removes driver anonymity and thereby deters aggressive driving...the law restricts tinting of both front and side windowsAfter-market window tinting combines with factory tinting, so the law must address the percentage of light transmitted inside the vehicle after both types of tinting are applied
9Requiring Intelligent Speed Adaptation systems in large vehicle fleetsIt physically restricts vehicles from reaching excessively high speeds...it is limited to large vehicle fleets where one organization owns the vehicles and employs the driversRegulatory requirements impose a cost burden on private-sector businesses
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Removing or Modifying Environmental and Situational Triggers
10Timing traffic signals to reduce aggressive driving triggersIt reduces drivers' frustration...it is part of an overall effort to reduce environmental triggers of aggressive drivingTraffic engineers must carry it out
11Enhancing traffic- signal and street- sign visibilityIt reduces drivers' frustration...it is part of a local transportation department's capital improvement plan or annual survey processIt requires equipment purchase, installation, and maintenance funding
12Improving drivers' commute information in congested areasIt reduces drivers' frustration...it is focused on areas with congested commute routesIt may require state transportation departments' cooperation
13Clarifying appropriate merging zonesIt clarifies driving expectations and thereby reduces drivers' frustration...drivers understand and comply with merging directivesIt is relatively inexpensive to implement; it would benefit from media exposure for public education
14Providing speed and distance indicators in areas where speeding or tailgating is commonIt reminds drivers to drive safely...indicators are installed in areas where speeding and tailgating are commonIt is relatively inexpensive; it works to raise drivers' internal controls, so it likely will reduce aggressive driving behaviors in average drivers; it is less likely to affect committed aggressive drivers
15Using traffic- calming features in neighborhoods where speeding is commonIt makes it more difficult and risky to speed...the features are placed in residential neighborhoods and areas where a cohesive physical and visual environment exists or can be createdIt is in the purview of neighborhood planners and traffic engineers rather than police, and it is easier to integrate seamlessly when neighborhoods are initially designed.
16Maximizing the use of existing roadsIt reduces drivers' frustration due to traffic congestion...it is part of a comprehensive traffic-flow strategySome of these strategies have large policy implications, such as promoting telecommuting and flexible work schedules; it may require the cooperation of government and corporate leaders
17Modifying physical road featuresIt reduces drivers' frustration...road features are well-designed such that they reduce rather than increase drivers' frustrationSome physical features are very expensive to alter; it should be considered for both new and existing roads
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Educating Drivers
18Stigmatizing aggressive driving through public information campaignsIt deters aggressive driving through informal social pressure...a coordinated, long-term campaign can be funded and implemented, and messages are carefully aimed at specific driver groups and are compelling to target audiencesMedia campaigns are expensive and require professional advertising or marketing services; a long-term effort is likely needed
19Addressing aggressive driving in drivers' education curriculaIt deters aggressive driving through early education... it is undertaken during a routine update to drivers' education curriculaIt requires cooperation from state licensing agencies and public and private driving schools
20Providing primary education on avoiding aggressive driversIt reduces the likelihood of provoking angry drivers to drive aggressively...it is part of a coordinated, long-term campaignPrimary education can be expensive and requires the participation of professional advertising and public health specialists
21Training professional drivers in aggressive driving preventionIt deters aggressive driving through education...a trainer knowledgeable in aggressive driving prevention conducts the trainingIt might be made mandatory or offered for free or at a discounted charge
22Encouraging employer monitoring of professional drivers' drivingIt deters aggressive driving by increasing the probability of detection and the resulting consequences...employers are committed to enforcing companies' driving rules, and fleet insurance rates are reduced by having such programs in placeIt requires the cooperation of company executives and fleet managers
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Enhancing the Consequences of Aggressive Driving
23Requiring anger management treatment for aggressive driversIt reduces drivers' aggressive reactions to frustration...judges and prosecutors support treatment options, effective treatment programs are available in the jurisdiction, and eligible defendants are selectedTo reach a critical mass of defendants to justify a treatment contract, program designers may wish to develop referral criteria that consider other offenses, such as reckless and impaired driving, and some nondriving offenses in which anger is a significant contributing factor
24Requiring vehicle-based monitoring systems to enforce driving restrictionsSystems lock ignitions and report drivers' speeding to the courts…all parties involved agree to their useThey may be expensive to install
#ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Responses With Limited Effectiveness
25Discouraging aggressive driving through general publicity campaignsPrint, radio, Internet and television media can all be employed…used in conjunction with responses targeted at those most likely to offendAggressive drivers tend to underestimate the risk of apprehension and overestimate their driving skills; they are also less likely to be swayed by logic and reason