Road rage on the rise

Dec 072003
Authors: Holly Stollsteimer

Road rage in Colorado has become a big issue in recent


Martha Badgley, a desk officer with Fort Collins Police

Services, said road rage is more common than it used to be.

Badgley said the Colorado State Patrol produced a hotline

specifically for road rage. A person being harassed by a road rager

can call the hotline on their cell phone and give details on the

person harassing them.

To report a road rager situation, dial *227 on a cell phone or

call 303-239-4501 to report an aggressive driver.

Jeanne Helgeson, police communications officer for the Colorado

State Patrol, said the hotline has been in service since about


The information reported to the Colorado State Patrol is stored

in a computer file. If the case is serious, a patrolman will be


If a person’s name is reported three times, the road rager will

receive a warning. If the person’s name were to be reported again,

further actions would be taken.

“It’s been effective as far as making people aware, because they

know they could get called in,” she said.

Helgeson said road ragers have become more violent than in

previous years.

Capt. Bob Chaffee of the CSU Police Department said he’s seen an

increase in road rage in the past few years.

Most cases on campus are conflicts over parking spaces, usually

resulting in a shouting match, Chaffee said.

“People are less forgiving over minor indiscretions,” he


Amy Garrison, a Loveland resident, said road rage would be a

smaller problem if people were more aware of how they drove.

“People are always cutting me off or driving slow in the fast

lane,” Garrison said. “If people would learn how to drive, we

wouldn’t have a problem.”

Garrison stated on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the worst

degree of road rage, she’s about a seven. She said she’s followed

people before, but it never resulted is serious conflict.

The FCPS doesn’t record the incidents as road rage, according to


“We treat different cases as assaults, disturbances, harassments

or vehicular assaults,” she said.

Cases with no physical abuse to another driver are considered a

disturbance or harassment. A case where one driver physically hurts

another driver is assault and a case where a driver causes damage

to another driver’s vehicle is considered vehicular assault.

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