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A reader shares his road rage story
Last Wednesday, this blog told the story about an apparent road rage incident during the holidays on Highway 17. Today, we hear from a reader who had his own heart-pounding road rage incident, followed by insights from the California Highway Patrol. Dear Street Smarts, Q I have a road rage CHP police report from last year (in Santa Clara County) where a crazy idiot in a red Dodge Ram pickup like the one described in this article literally rammed into my family and I. He then speed off and was never caught. He not only smashed up both of our cars, but he endangered the lives of my wife and two small children because I would not get out of his way fast enough. Although I do agree that, on Highway 17, there are two kinds of drivers at war with each other -- the blockers and the passers. It is illegal to cruise in the passing lane at whatever speed you want. The left lane is for passing only. When you block that lane, then others will pass you on the right which is also illegal. It is a catch-22. Who can I contact about this lunatic in the red Dodge pickup to see if it is the same guy? Thanks, Jon Kankel A Without a license plate number, there’s no way of knowing for sure if the truck you had a run-in with has been a traffic nuisance on other occasions, said Officer Grant Boles, CHP spokesman. “Without a license plate, it is difficult to track a vehicle unless it is a unique vehicle that is called in often,” he said. But “if someone fails to get a license plate, don't try chasing car down,” Boles advised. Get the best description you can of the recklessly driven vehicle, including color, make and model, and dial 911 to report collisions and near collisions, he said. One note, though. While the CHP does keep a computerized database of reckless drivers reported to their office, that record is not linked to a statewide network. That means, since your incident occurred in Santa Clara County, the local CHP office in Aptos would not know about it unless officers there called their counterparts over the hill, Boles said.