Red Deer’s Darcy Mapletoft, 48, said he’s seen many aggressive drivers in Central Alberta. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deerians say aggressive drivers a problem

A new Alberta Motor Association survey suggests aggressive driving is becoming an increasing problem in Alberta.

Motorists in Red Deer are not surprised because they have seen it first hand.

Red Deer’s Darin O’Connell, 43, said aggressive driving has gotten worse over the last few years. He often sees people yelling or giving the middle finger to other drivers.

“I drive daily on the highway, and the driving you see is unreal,” he said.

“I’ve been tailgated, cut-off and have seen people not even following signs. Some people think they have the right to do what they want, when they want.”

Darcy Mapletoft, 48, said aggressive drivers makes the roads more dangerous.

“Just today I saw someone drive right through a red light. They just took off, and there was no reason to because I caught up to them at the next red light anyways,” said Mapletoft.

“I mean, what’s the point of doing stuff like that?”

“I’ve seen some drivers who just shouldn’t have their licence,” he said.

Last May, 1,800 people were surveyed for the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) Foundation for Traffic Safety study, which found 57 per cent of Albertans believe aggressive driving has become more prevalent in the past three years.

Jeff Kasbrick, AMA vice-president of government and stakeholder relations, said one of the most frequent comments he hears is about aggressive or risky drivers.

The AMA survey found 59 per cent of people named tailgating as a frequently encountered behaviour. Forty-two per cent of people said they’ve experience another driver blocking them from changing lanes; 38 per cent cited being purposely cut off; 33 per cent were often recipients of angry gestures, and 33 per cent were regularly honked at.

“We’re all equal contributors to the kind of driving community we want to see,” Kasbrick said. “The most readily achievable thing we can do is determine what kind of driver we are, and hopefully our good behaviour can inspire others to do the same.”

Kasbrick said there are three things all drivers should do.

“Give yourself the appropriate amount of time to get to your destination, make sure you have a plan for where you’re going, and most importantly is bring along some patience,” he said.

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Red Deer’s Darin O’Connell, 43, said the aggressive driving he sees on Hwy 2 is “unreal.” (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

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