BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As Alabama officers begin enforcing the new left lane law, CBS 42 is taking a look at some of the road rage cases across central Alabama in recent years.
Often times road rage incidents can begin when someone is driving aggressively, making inappropriate gestures, or honking the horn. Anger can lead to violence and in some instances have ended in death.
In July 2019, a suspected road rage shooting claimed the life of 25-year-old Zakia Bibbs, a young mother from the Tuscaloosa area. She was driving along Interstate 59/20.
“My sister was, like, very outspoken. She was wonderful. Not only was she a sister, she was also like our mom, and she helped our dad raise us at a young age and you know she was my best friend,” said Brittany Thomas, the victim’s sister said to CBS 42 this past summer.
Bibbs’ family is still waiting to learn who pulled the trigger. There is still a $5,000 reward from Governor Kay Ivey’s Office.
There have been several other road rage shootings that left drivers shaken up. In August of 2018, a man’s family was shot at in Irondale along Interstate 20.
“The window shattered, and my then I knew I was getting shot at,” said Jason, the 2018 victim.
CBS 42 agreed not to use the victim’s full name to protect his identity. He told us it was a close call, especially for his kids.
“Two little girls almost died. We had 5 bullets pass by 3 different people, and none of them hit us, but that is just insane,” the victim said.
Troopers say you never know what is going through the head of another driver, but following lane laws and common courtesy will lessen the risk of an altercation.
“Stay out of that left lane and don’t tailgate the vehicle in front of you and you will probably eliminate 90 some odd percent of these road rage behaviors,” said Cpl. Steve Smith with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Officers hope the new left lane will ease tempers. ALEA is reminding drivers to let troopers do speed enforcement.
“It doesn’t matter if you are going 70 miles per hour, if you have cars stacked up behind you because they cannot pass you, you’re impeding the flow of traffic and it is improper lane use,” said Smith.
Some drivers may already be on a short fuse behind the wheel. Agitating a motorist can fan the flames of someone with a short temper.
Troopers encourage drivers to leave early for a destination, be patient, and remember other innocent lives on the road.
“If somebody wants to get mad, that doesn’t mean you need to react in the same way,” said Smith.
For more information on the new left lane law, click here.
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