SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego’s attorney announced Tuesday that road rage cases involving guns are rising.
In response to the increase, the city has secured Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) after several road rage incidents occurred involving gun violence or threats of gun violence.
“Road rage is often the result of aggressive driving,” said California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer, Sgt. Brian Pennings.”It’s a situation that can escalate quite rapidly and become very dangerous.”
In recent months, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said they have obtained five GVROs following road rage incidents where a threat of gun violence existed. GVROs are civil orders that ban the use, purchase, or possession of all firearms and ammunition for up to five years.
The latest case involved two cars that collided at Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Convoy Street.
The city attorney said the incident escalated to where one driver, a courier, exited the car and threatened to shoot the other driver. The courier punched the second driver through the driver’s side window.
Pennings said, “I’ve been on 29 years and I’ve seen it my whole career.”
Studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and AAA Foundation found road rage is common and on the rise. Road rage can look like honking, brake checking, or threats to kill.
CHP has a list of tips to lower the risk of unpleasant encounters.
“Don’t make eye contact, try to alleviate the situation, do not try to engage. If they are following you, do not drive home, drive to the police station, call 911, and we will help you out to bring it to a safe end,” Pennings advised.
Punishment can include a six-month driver’s license suspension, a misdemeanor or felony charges.
Pennings said, “These are unnecessary situations that often escalate and people have high tensions, and sometimes they escalate out of control.”
Before a court grants a petition for a GVRO, the respondent can have legal representation in a public court hearing.