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Preventing road violence


Aggressive driving behaviour is increasingly being seen as a characteristic of modern urban life which can result in crimes of violence. The Victorian Parliament's Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee recently conducted an inquiry into road violence and found that it was caused by the interaction between a mixture of person-related, situational, car-related and cultural factors, precipitated by a single triggering event. Solutions to the commission of violence involve strategies that address each of the causal antecedents. These can be divided into three inter-related categories:

  • engineering:
    • improved vehicle design and traffic engineering to minimise some of the triggers that can lead to road violence;
    • education:
  • programs to address anger and violence among those convicted of road violencerelated offences;
  • approaches to prevent people from resorting to violence when confronted with stress and frustration in their lives;
    • changes to public attitudes to road violence, including more restrained media reporting and less aggressive and provocative advertising of cars;
    • addressing issues associated with masculinity and power imbalance;
  • law enforcement:
    • identification and punishment of violent conduct in connection with driving.

The causal antecedents of road violence


  • Parliament of Victoria, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee 2005. Inquiry into violence associated with motor vehicle use: final report. Melbourne: Government Printer for the State of Victoria. http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/dcpc

Cite article

2005. Preventing road violence. AICrime reduction matters no. 34. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/crm/crm034