WA drivers have been advised to curb their anger on the roads, following a road rage shooting in Perth’s southern suburbs last week.
Defensive Driving School instructor Steve Quartermain said that drivers were unnecessarily putting themselves in danger by angrily reacting to other motorists, with rage behind the wheel still prevalent on the roads.
The former police officer believed that “we’re a nation that gets a little angry a little quicker” overall, which resulted in safety concerns for drivers, in particular learners.
“It’s quite a common problem and one the young kids and their parents are quite worried about when they first get on the roads,” Mr Quartermain said.
He said road anger was caused by reactions to mistakes by drivers because they were focused on reaching their destination, but there were also people who were “actually out to cause mischief”.
“Road rage is caused by someone just cutting in front of you, they might be distracted or just a bit of a hurry,” Mr Quartermain said.
“But also people, they seem to think that there’s a protective wall between them, if they’ve got a door between them and someone else, they think they can get away with more than they might do if they’re face to face.”
He revealed new young drivers also believed that they needed to react in a road rage situation.
“You see it all around the place and I’ve even had young students say to me, something happens so I have to react. Well, no you don’t,” Mr Quartermain said.
He advised drivers to not succumb to anger and prioritise safety if involved in an incident.
“Don’t get out of the car and confront someone,” Mr Quartermain said.
“Leave the area safe and as soon as possible. If you feel threatened, pull over and report it to the police.”
Mr Quartermain’s comments came after the occupants of a Hyundai Getz hatchback fired blanks at a Hyundai Elantra sedan at the intersection of Dodd Street and Frederick Road in Hamilton Hill on Wednesday night.
Police said the shooting occurred after the driver of the Hyndai Elantra, who was travelling behind the Hyundai Getz flashed his headlights.
A 47-year-old Willagee man and a 49-year-old South Fremantle man were arrested and charged following the incident.
Mr Quartermain said that he believed that the reaction was “way too extreme for the provocation.”
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said driver rage on the roads was frightening for drivers to face.
She said some drivers “do believe they own the road.”
“When you see some of the evidence and some of the scenes of serious road rage, it makes you very, very scared,” Ms Saffioti said.
She said drivers needed to be tolerant of other drivers and share the road.
“I just plea everyone to be patient,” Ms Saffioti said.