Bill asked about a specific incident, but the answer from CHP Officer Jon Sloat applies to any driver, anywhere.

Question: On a narrow back road with limited space to move over to allow traffic to pass safely, what is one to do when they are travelling at the posted speed limit and have an overly aggressive tailgater approach them at a high rate of speed? I had this happen to me recently. I wasn’t able to move over safely, and the person got more and more aggressive.

Calling 911 isn’t an option, as 1). cell coverage is bad in this area, and 2). it would make the situation much more dangerous trying to make a call. — Bill

Answer: Our advice is to pull over when you are able and let the aggressive driver go. Until then, number 1, do not push your speed to a point where you do not feel safe just to get them off your bumper. Stay at the speed that is comfortable for you. Number 2 do not tap the breaks to either teach a lesson or suggest they back off. This will generally cause an aggressive driver to become more angry and dangerous. If they attempt to pass, back off and let them.

We find that aggressive, dangerous driving is usually a pattern of behavior, not a single incident. A person can not engage in a pattern of risky behavior indefinitely without repercussions; they will be stopped and cited, arrested, or they may crash. We try to get them prior to that, but in the mean time, let them go.


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