ST. LOUIS – The Missouri State Highway Patrol is ramping up its message for those getting amped up on the highway.
“Over the last several months, we’ve received a significant increase in road rages incidents being reported to us in our area,” said Cpl. Dallas Thompson, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C.
“So, the highway patrol along with the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association has put out a PSA to put out some info about the concerns we have about that and safety issues and tips to avoid being in a road rage incident.”
Recent reports of gun violence on Missouri highways have troopers taking their public service announcement out and encouraging cooler heads to prevail when behind the wheel.
“If you find yourself coming in contact with someone who is an aggressive driver, the best thing you can do is to slow down and let that driver go by you,” Thompson said.
“Or, if you need to take the next exit, get off the roadway, and put some time and distance between you and that aggressive driver. Never engage in any type of verbal escalation with the occupants of those vehicles.
“Because that can escalate quickly. And over last several months, we’ve seen that escalate to where shots have been fired from one vehicle to another.”
Like in recent reports of highway shootings in Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, and along I-64/40 where the vehicle of St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas was struck by a bullet while driving near Frontenac.
“Remove yourself from the situation and continue you on your journey safely,” Thompson said.
“When it’s safe to do so, call 911 or *55 from your cell phone, that will get you to the nearest highway patrol headquarters. And report that incident or report that aggressive driver. Let us come and take care of that and you don’t take care of it yourself.”
Troopers can’t attribute the pandemic as a cause for tensions to rise on roadways, but they do see an uptick in the number of drivers displaying guns and reports of shots fired on roadways.