Plenty of road rage cases in Saskatoon

The recent case of a Saskatoon man who was assaulted after blowing his horn at another car in traffic has got people talking about road rage.

Rise of road rage a worrisome trend in city, police say

Numerous road rage cases have made their way to Saskatchewan courtrooms and Saskatoon in particular appears to be a hot spot. (iStock)

The recent case of a Saskatoon man who was assaulted after blowing his horn at another car in traffic has got people talking about road rage.

However, it's not the only example of motorists blowing their tops or fearing the rage of others.

Saskatoon police spokeswoman Alyson Edwards says its part of a worrisome trend.

Here's a selection of Saskatoon road rage cases culled from court cases and labour hearings.

1. Fender bender on icy road (February 2007) 

On College Drive, a man in an SUV tailgated a car, cut in front and jammed on the brakes, causing the car to smash into the SUV's trailer hitch. The driver of the car said she thought it was a case of road rage.

Earlier, she had been driving slowly because the roads were icy and the SUV was stuck behind her for a while. 
The SUV driver denied the road rage allegation and said he braked only because there was a change of traffic lights coming up.

But the judge in the lawsuit found him 100 per cent at fault.

"Whether he intended the accident or simply wished to frighten the plaintiff is of no consequence," Judge R.D. Jackson wrote. "It was his dangerous and irresponsible manner of driving which was the sole cause of the resulting collision."

2. Punches thrown after man tries to stop impaired driver (November, 2010) 

A man driving from Martensville to Saskatoon said he tried to stop a drunk driver, but the situation escalated and turned violent.

He pulled in front of the other vehicle, got it to stop and told the driver to put the car in park. They argued and a fight started. Other people got involved.

A witness said both men were yelling and screaming at each other and the Martensville man threw the first punch. The Martensville man said the accused punched him in the eye.

Police charged the allegedly impaired man with driving with a blood alcohol level over .08, making death threats and assault.

However, only the .08 charge resulted in a conviction and the other charges were dismissed.

3. Porsche driver fears road rage, flees from police (December, 2008)

A 51-year-old man driving a Porsche Boxster along Idylwyld Drive was charged with street racing and dangerous driving.

He said he had moved to Saskatoon from B.C. to provide a better environment for his family. He was worried about "firearms violence and road rage incidents" in his former home town of Maple Ridge.

He said he became alarmed when he noticed a red Intrepid following him and, remembering his Maple Ridge experience, he tried to put some distance between them. He said at one point the Intrepid was tailgating him.

It turned out the Intrepid was driven by an off-duty police officer, who testified that at one point he was going 135 kilometres per hour to keep up with the man.

The case went to trial, but the judge dismissed the charge, saying the Crown didn't prove its case.

4. Coke delivery man versus SUV driver (January, 2004)

A Coca-Cola driver got into nasty argument with a SUV driver who had parked in a no-parking zone at the University of Saskatchewan and blocked him from making a delivery.

When he blew his horn, the SUV driver responded by shouting curses and giving him "the finger," a labour hearing was told.

"This is road rage pure and simple and there is no excuse for it," an arbitrator said.

However, it didn't end there.

"There he sat, continuing with the finger and shouting profanities," an arbitrator said. "We have no idea why anyone would behave in such an outrageous manner. He was clearly in the wrong."

The Coke delivery man got out of his truck and cursed back. When told there was a small child in the SUV and the Coke man was scaring him or her, the delivery man said he didn't care.

The SUV driver complained to Coca-Cola and the delivery man got an written warning.

His union grieved it, but the hearing determined the warning was fair.

Kevin O'Connor


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