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Number 188
January 1999

U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590


Common Aggressive Driving Violations

  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Passing on the right
  • Failure to stop for red lights and stop signs
  • Failure to signal lane changes

Aggressive Driving .... throughout the country, stories fill the media about aggressive driving on our streets and highways. There are stories of drivers engaging in competitions as they go down the road, others seeking to get ahead just to get ahead, and those who show disrespect to fellow travelers that they wouldn't show to their neighbors. The instances range from the relatively benign (exchanging nonverbal gestures) to vindictive acts behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound vehicle.

While collecting hard data about this problem is difficult at best, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes that aggressive driving contributes to traffic crashes throughout the nation.

The good news is that many law enforcement agencies are stepping up routine traffic enforcement, focusing on traffic violations associated with aggressive driving. They are finding that traffic laws already on the books are sufficient for them to act. When combined with public information and education (PI&E) campaigns, well-planned aggressive driving enforcement strategies have increased traffic safety awareness throughout the country, encouraging all of us to drive more responsibly and respectfully.

Strategies for Aggressive Driver Enforcement has been developed to assist law enforcement agencies interested in developing, implementing, and managing aggressive driver programs. This is a brief, practical, easy-to-read guide written by law enforcement officers for law enforcement officers.

The ideas in Strategies have been implemented and tested by various agencies around the country. These strategies can be modified easily to satisfy local requirements.

The manual includes:

  • Problem Identification -- suggests objective traffic safety indicators to identify critical problem areas. Having the numbers first helps focus on the problem.
  • Program Goals and Objectives -recommends steps to set up a coordinated approach that encourages compliance with traffic laws.
  • Operational Considerations -- includes procedures, briefings, and reports.
  • Media Activities -- reviews public information strategies to develop community awareness and support and increase the impact of aggressive driver enforcement.
  • Summary -- reviews the role evaluation plays in enhancing future aggressive driver enforcement operations.


For a copy of Strategies for Aggressive Driver Enforcement write to the Media and Marketing Division, NHTSA, NTS-21, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590, or send a fax to (202) 493-2062. It's also on NHTSA's web site

U.S. Department
of Transportation
National Highway
Traffic Safety
400 Seventh Street, S.W. NTS-31
Washington, DC 20590

Traffic Tech is a publication to disseminate
information about traffic safety programs,
including evaluations, innovative programs,
and new publications. Feel free to copy it as you wish.
If you would like to receive a copy contact:
Linda Cosgrove, Ph.D., Editor, Evaluation Staff
Traffic Safety Programs
(202) 366-2759, fax (202) 366-7096

U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-800-424-9153 (TTY)