Q & A - Dealing With a Road Rage Incident
Q: I managed to stumble upon this website after I had an encounter with a dangerous driver. The driver of the vehicle drove dangerously, passing me on a double solid line in a 30 km/h playground zone.
Unfortunately, my direction of travel coincided with this driver's.
When he made his first turn and realized I was still behind him, he cut me off and stopped his vehicle, preventing me from moving forward.
He got out of his vehicle, and as he got out he hit my vehicle with his door. He began to yell profanity and told me to stop following him.
When he got back into his truck he continued to drive forward and had his indicator on ready to turn left, as did I. At this point when he saw my indicator on he stopped his truck again, got out and came right to my window. He yelled profanity at me and threated me, stating “if I continue to follow him he was going to smash my head in and smash my vehicle at the same time.”
I rolled my window up and locked my doors. When he continued to yell at me, I told him I was going to report him. He finally got back into his vehicle but before continuing to drive, he put his truck into reverse and backed up about one inch away from my vehicle, paused for a moment, and then sped off.
I called 911 and a police officer found him and spoke to him. I received a call from the officer indicating that the driver wasn’t very friendly, and that he denied getting out of his vehicle at any point. The officer also told me that there were other complaints in regards to this driver.
Is there anything I can do moving forward with this situation? I felt immediately threatened and fearful of this individual, and I feel that some sort of measures need to be taken against the driver.
What are my options?
A: Probably the first thing that I would do is to visit the homes around where the incident occurred. Knock on a few doors, explain your situation and ask if anyone witnessed the incident. The officer should have completed this as part of the initial investigation.
If you discover a witness, you are in a far better position to deal with this incident.
Until this driver got out of his vehicle this was just a driving complaint involving Motor Vehicle Act violations. Once he banged his door into your vehicle it became willful damage, a Criminal Code violation. This evolved into uttering threats, another criminal act.
If there was obvious damage and paint transfer, the truck and your vehicle could have been examined, photographed and measured to relate the damage to the incident.
If you are willing to attend court, provide the witness details and insist that police follow up and deal with the driver.
You may also have reason to make a damage claim with ICBC, depending on what happened when his door struck your vehicle. Again, the witness makes the possibility of a successful claim much stronger.
If you have a genuine fear that this person will cause you harm in the future, you can ask to have a "peace bond" put in place.
The first place to go for this would be that officer. If they are unwilling and you still believe strongly that there is a threat, you can bypass the police and go directly to Crown Counsel.