Local road rage incident heightens awareness

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    By Joseph Alan Owens

    As road rage continues to plague American highways, even Utah has many incidences of violence relating to driving.

    According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, two-thirds of car related fatalities are related to road rage. And $27.7 billion dollars are spent annually on road rage related incidents.

    Utah County reflects this trend. “This is a growing concern all over,” said Lt. Doug Edwards, public information officer for the Orem police. “We get one or two reports a day for this.”

    A recent event illustrates this trend. Two men were charged with assault and disorderly conduct in Orem Tuesday night in an incident resulting from road rage.

    The two men, Shawn Flanagan and Scott Snow, both of Provo, were waiting for a red light at the intersection of 300 South and 500 West in Provo when the incident began.

    Flanagan, who was behind Snow, became upset when Snow did not immediately leave after the light turned green.

    After Snow finally started driving, Flanagan pursued him until the two men stopped at 1405 S. State, where they pulled over to confront each other.

    Once they were out of their cars, Flanagan pulled a handgun out of his waistband and flashed it at Snow.

    Flanagan does have a concealed weapons permit, but state officials may now take that away temporarily or permanently.

    When the police arrived neither of the men had been hurt. The two men face class B and class C misdemeanors.

    According to Kenny Morse of mrtraffic.com, there are several things you can do to avoid road rage:

    avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver,

    stay cool, don”t react to provocation,

    do not make obscene gestures,

    do not block the passing lane,

    do not tailgate,

    if you travel slowly, pull over and allow traffic to pass and

    assume that other drivers” mistakes are not personal.

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