Do you know how to calm a road rage crisis?
Jul 25, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2023, 9:31 am
SALT LAKE CITY — From Salt Lake County to Utah County, drivers and passengers called law enforcement on Saturday to report a road rage driver menacing motorists by break-checking, tailgating and even yanking at the door handle and punching the driver’s window of another car stopped at a red light.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden said a Utah Highway Patrol trooper made contact with Skylar Johnston, 28, at a gas station in Spanish Fork and placed him in custody but not before passengers in a car recorded their encounter with him.
Dave & Dujanovic speak with Roden about how to de-escalate a road-rage situation and with Savy McEwan who was a passenger in the vehicle as the camera was rolling.
McEwan said her boyfriend was driving and exited I-15 to try to lose the road-rage driver, but were stopped at a red light when he got out of his car and started walking toward hers, which is when her boyfriend locked all doors.
“We were honestly stuck. We couldn’t go anywhere. I was impressed with my boyfriend. He was the one that was driving. He kept his cool, just looked at the guy, didn’t egg him on or anything. We’re just glad the doors were locked because he tried to open the door,” McEwan said.
When the alleged assailant drove off, McEwan said they followed to snap a photo of his rear license plate since he didn’t have a front plate.
How to handle a road rage situation
Roden advised against following the aggressor to record a license plate if it puts McEwan and her friends in trouble.
“If it’s something that puts yourself in danger, then do not follow just to get a license plate or break any traffic laws just to get a license plate,” he said. “If you’re able to get that in a safe manner. It does help us in our investigation, but we don’t want you to ever jeopardize your safety for that.”
This is what the victims did right, according to the sergeant.
- They stayed calm.
- They called 911.
- They didn’t exit the car and engage with the assailant.
- They locked all doors.
Sgt. Roden added that avoiding the confrontation prevents the situation from escalating. And that is where things can turn dangerous, even deadly.
Roden said if another driver is tailgating, pull over and let the car travel down the road. Don’t try to retaliate. Don’t become part of the problem. If a situation becomes dangerous, call 911, he said.
Charges in road rage
Johnston was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of the following: driving on suspended or revoked license, driving under the influence, open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.