The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) is calling for a new road rage law similar to that which is imposed on “hooning”, a term for driving at high speed and pulling “burnouts” or other reckless manoeuvres.
ARSF founder and CEO Russell White said those who commit road rage should be treated with the same contempt as any other form of violence.
“The shocking reality is that simple acts of violence can have tragic consequences, particularly when these melees play out on busy streets and put themselves and other road users at risk,” Mr White said.
“Currently road rage falls within various parts of different laws, but setting out a clear statutory expectation of behaviour and consequences would help improve the statistics. The Hoon Laws, in Queensland and New South Wales for example, are very effective in making it clear what isn’t acceptable and what the penalties for unsafe behaviour are.”
The ARSF is also encouraging the public to report incidents to the police.
“It’s okay to upload to social media, but if anyone captures an incident on their phone or dashcam, it’s important to also report the crime to the police immediately so that they can take steps to protect the public,” Mr White said.
ARSF research released earlier this year revealed that the top three frustrations for drivers were tailgating (32%), failing to indicate (19%) and drivers going slowly in the right lane (14%). Mr White encouraged drivers to limit behaviour that may spark frustrations in others.