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Aggression on the Highways

August 07, 1988

Your article (July 26) regarding Raymond Novaco's survey on the subject of highway violence is good in that it comprehensively describes the symptoms of the problem. Where it is weak and incomplete is in its understanding of the underlying reason for these drivers' antagonism.

The patient, law-abiding driver will not have provocation for anger unless he is treated unfairly by someone in his highway traffic situation. If someone cuts in and out of traffic without proper clearance or takes unfair advantage by driving down the shoulder or tailgates or in other ways violates the law or decent consideration, then a law-abiding driver will become angry and will want to retaliate.

On the other hand, the impatient law violator will become upset by the traffic situation that prevents him from driving at 65 to 75 m.p.h. and will do all of the things mentioned above to vent his frustration.

The obvious answer to this problem is to remove the lawbreaker from the situation by proper law enforcement, which, of course, we don't have.

BRUCE H. PLANCK

Mission Viejo

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