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Road rage on the increase

Aggression is an increasing part of road usage.

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Road rage appears to be on the increase in Denmark, with swearing, nasty names, wayward fingers and even physical violence increasingly the order of the day, according to a survey by Politiken Research, FDM and the Danish Cycling Federation.

A total of 1,412 people in the Greater Copenhagen Area answered the survey on road rage – 25 per cent of whom drove cars and the rest bicycles.

Of these, 37 per cent said road rage has increased over the past five years, with only three per cent saying it had decreased.

Twenty-eight per cent said they had been subjected to road rage at least once in the preceding couple of months, either in the form of aggressive shouting, being given the finger, targets of threatening behaviour, being hit or having had their vehicle slammed.

The Danish Cycling Federation’s traffic researcher says that one reason, for the increase could be the increasing number of cyclists in the capital region. Crushes, overtaking, pushing and shoving all increase the risk of road rage.

“People have short fuses when they are under pressure,” says Anette Jerup Jørgensen.

Although there are no actual statistics on road rage, a couple of years ago the Station Amager police station counted how many cases of violence on their beat had started as road rage. The result was 75 per cent.

“Our feeling is that people have become a little more pig-headed in traffic. I have noted, for example, how wars are fought by some motorists on motorways,” says Dep. Ass. Commissioner of the National Police Traffic Department Jørn Pakula Andresen.

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