DRIVE WELL VERMONT: SPEEDING AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
There are times when it’s OK to chase speed and adrenaline—but that time is not when we get behind the wheel and hit the road. So let’s take our time, and take care of each other.
What is Speeding?
Speeding is defined as "exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions, or racing." Speeding is common and can be dangerous on all types of roads—which means that speeding continues to be a contributing factor in many roadway fatalities in Vermont. Vermont law enforcement officers use a combination of speed enforcement strategies to support established speed limits, manage speed, reduce fatalities and injuries, and help promote seat belt use.
What is Aggressive Driving?
Aggressive driving is more than just speeding; it's a whole series of traffic violations, including tailgating, failing to yield the right of way when turning or merging, running stop signs and red lights, and making unsafe lane changes. Multiple violations such as these that endanger the safety of others may indicate a pattern of aggressive driving, and has become a serious public safety threat in Vermont and across the nation. Throughout the United States, law enforcement administrators, traffic safety experts, public health officials, mayors, legislators, and governors are collaborating to find solutions. Speed and curves may be a thrilling combination on a mountain bike trail or a ski slope, but in a car they can prove to be a deadly combination, especially if the driver and passengers are not wearing seat belts.
What to do when confronted by aggressive drivers:
- First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of the way.
- Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge aggressive drivers by speeding up or attempting to hold your own in your lane.
- Avoid eye contact, since that can sometimes further anger an aggressive driver.
- Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
- Report serious aggressive driving. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash further down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.
Reporting aggressive drivers:
You should immediately report incidents in-progress by calling 911, but not while driving. Always pull over to a safe location.
Past incidents and ongoing or recurring patterns of aggressive driving on local roads, state roads or interstate highways should be reported to the Vermont State Police Stations responsible for that area, or to the local law enforcement agency. If you have witnessed or been a victim of aggressive driving, please call and provide the following information to law enforcement:
- The location that you last saw the vehicle
- Direction of travel
- Name of road or highway
- Make, model and color/colors of the vehicles involved
- License plate number if known
- Were weapons involved?
- What happened?
- Are you a victim or a witness?