Fighting off the road rage

A recent road rage incident involving a local college student has left some residents on edge.

But the best thing to do, say area police and security officials, is simply to stay vigilant.

The early March shooting involved a suspect who was cut off by another driver near a Centennial College campus.

He then allegedly followed the driver from Progress Avenue and Highway 401 and proceeded to fire two shots at the passenger who was able to avoid them by ducking.

“Sometimes you just don’t know who you’re dealing with on the road so you’ve got to be careful,” says Patty Varvouletos, a University of Toronto Scarborough Campus traffic enforcer. “You want to try to avoid those types of situations.”

Varvouletos says the UTSC campus provides students with various options in order for them to feel safer when driving to and from school. She says students can turn to campus police and security with any concerns they may have.

Traffic Sergeant Andrew Raney of 42 Division says the police encourage drivers to report any kinds of incidents that may happen on the road by filling out a driving complaint form at their local police station.

“Any bit of information we can get certainly helps and we can build an investigation on it,” says Sgt. Raney. “But the more information we have, the stronger the case and the better the outcome.”

Natarajan Vaidyeanaghan, who has been personally affected by road rage driving, says that he didn’t know whether to turn to police or not in a situation involving another careless driver.

“I think that they should make more strict examinations for drivers, have cameras at the traffic lights, and keep more of a vigil watch at major intersections,” Vaidyeanaghan says. “These are steps that I think can improve the safety of driving.”

He has lived in the Ellesmere Road and Morningside Avenue area for quite a while but says that he worries for his daughter’s safety while he’s driving and she’s in the back.

At 42 Division, they get at least one complaint about reckless driving every couple of days and Raney says each one is followed up on. He recommends cautious drivers to look out for a license plate number and a driver description in order to help the police in verifying the offender and proceeding with any possible charges.