PHOENIX – Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona governor’s Office of Highway Safety, is appalled at the recent increase in road traffic incidents this week.
There were possible road shootings in Glendale and Peoria just on Wednesday.
Another shooting broke out on Thursday morning after a verbal argument between occupants of two vehicles in Peoria. The victim in the most recent case was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, officials say.
“During this time I have never seen three or four in a row, which scares me,” said Gutier. “It could be what I call copycats. It could also be the exact time we are currently living in. Apparently there is less traffic on the streets, but people still drive very fast. Everyone is in a hurry, and these are the things that lead to a kind of anger in traffic. “
According to Gutier, ADOT began recording possible road traffic incidents four years ago.
In 2018 there were 267 such situations. According to Gutier, that number rose to 522 in 2019 and 503 last year.
There were over 460 incidents this year, according to Gutier, which will overshadow any of the past three years.
“I am worried and hope that we will not exceed this number, because that is a shame and could be very dangerous for the citizens,” said Gutier.
Gutier advises de-escalating or leaving a tense moment.
That means getting off the freeway or driving to let someone else pass in order to avoid a confrontation.
He said that in severe cases, people should involve police officers, but most of the time an incident can be avoided.
Ali Vetnar and Debra Dale of KTAR News 92.3 FM contributed to this report.
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