Litterbug Sparks Beverly Hills Road Rage

Traffic Snarls Cause Tempers to Flare

Traffic Snarls Cause Tempers to Flare

A mere two blocks from the Beverly Hills Police Station, Road Rage reared its ugly head. “It was ridiculous,”  college junior ‘Matt,’ told me.

One minute Matt was behind the wheel of his Prius waiting for the light to turn green. The next minute, the truck driver in the next car tossed a Skittles candy wrapper out the window. Matt honked at the litterbug and shook his head ‘no.’ In response, the guy deliberately threw a plastic bag out the window. Matt honked again and gave the litterbug a dirty look. The guy flipped him The Bird.

At this point, Matt blew the guy a few kisses.

“Why’d you do that?” I asked.

“Just to freak him out,” he laughed.

When the light turned green, though, this otherwise rational young man decided to teach the litterbug a lesson. He tailgated the truck driver for several minutes through the side streets of Beverly Hills. At some point, the other driver decided to hightail it. Thankfully, the confrontation ended without anyone getting hurt.

A few months ago, however, a case of Road Rage took a more ominous turn. The driver of a white BMW deliberately slammed into a cyclist. A rolling camera behind someone’s home recorded a shocking scene.

Though Matt never physically hurt anyone, what he did was stupid and dangerous. It’s also illegal.

California law 13210 specifically addresses road rage.

Reckless Driving

A person driving in an aggressive manner can be charged with reckless driving. A conviction can result in a fine up to $1000 and a jail sentence of up to 90 days.

Misdemeanor Assault

An aggressive driving case can also lead to charges of assault with a deadly weapon. A car can be considered a deadly weapon and a conviction can be a jail sentence up to one year.

Felony Criminal Charges

Under California Penal code Section 245, a conviction of dangerous and aggressive driving can result in a prison sentence ranging between 2 and 4 years.

In addition to criminal penalties, drivers guilty of road rage through overly aggressive driving or physical assault can also be subject to civil lawsuits by those harmed by angry drivers.


Molly Chilling in the Car

Molly Chilling in the Car

My sons are drivers who, from time to time, get frustrated by all the distracted driving and constant traffic around them. When I preach patience, they don’t have to listen just because I’m their mom. It’s either that or risk losing their license and killing time behind bars.



Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 10 comments. Add yours

  1. 12th December 2013 | mamacita says: Reply
    Lets teach our family and friends to be careful and observant drivers. If we were in Singapore we would probably be jailed for being litter bugs.
  2. 19th November 2013 | Sarah Maizes says: Reply
    Oh my. I think I'm guilty of all of these. ;)
  3. 8th November 2013 | Claudette says: Reply
    Road rage is dangerous and can be fatal.
  4. 28th October 2013 | Carpool Goddess says: Reply
    I always tell my kids to ignore someone that's being rude or obnoxious. There are a lot of crazy people out there and it's better to be safe than sorry.
  5. 24th October 2013 | BRETT says: Reply
    well seems like alot of people are in rage moments u need a old truck and slam into them take the metal baseball bat from back seat and get out and break their knee,s and then run for your life sorta my all time wish never done or would do it but came close several times, thanks for telling this tale, behave halloween is around the corner hummmmmmmmm
    • 24th October 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Wow. We must be psychically linked because I have had the same, exact fantasy...
  6. 23rd October 2013 | Hal says: Reply
    There is a real problem with drivers running posted traffic signs in the flats of Beverly Hills. I walk along Charleville and Gregory Way all the time, and all the north/south streets along the way, and drivers constantly drive right through the stops and roll through without hesitation or concern for pedestrians. It is especially dangerous for runners, who often times have on iPods blocking out traffic noise. We must all watch very carefully before cross any of these streets for with people texting and on the phone while driving one can only assume that drivers are NOT paying attention to the signs or pedestrians.
    • 23rd October 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Thanks for bringing the walker/runner perspective to this because, after all, people on foot are the most vulnerable. Defensive driving? Sure. Sadly, we really need Defensive walking, too.
  7. 23rd October 2013 | DW says: Reply
    It's not only about patience and the law. You just never know how crazy that driver in the other car might be.
    • 23rd October 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      It's true. There's no reason in the world to make yourself a potential victim.

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