2021 is worst year for gun violence on streets and highways

Posted at 5:43 AM, Apr 05, 2022

2021 was the worst year on record for gun violence on streets and highways, according to a recent analysis.

The number of people killed by gun violence on the road almost doubled in two years – with 130 deaths.

"During the COVID it was rampant. People were pissed off," said Arroyo Grande resident, Scott Andrews.

California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Scott Andrews said they deal with incidents of aggressive driving on a weekly basis, often starting with people cutting each other off or brake checking. This often escalates into road rage.

"If you're the person that's involved, it's just about deescalating the situation," said CHP Public Information Officer, Miguel Alvarez.

Something easier said than done.

"It's very easy to just get caught up in the moment. Maybe if you're having a bad day, you kind of let your anger get the best of you," said Alvarez.

Officer Alvarez added that you never know what's going on in the other car or if the other driver may have a weapon.

"Just slow down, move over, let them go by," said Alvarez.

Scott Andrews lives in Arroyo Grande but often plays his saxophone near the pier in Pismo Beach. He noticed more aggressive driving during his commute – especially during the pandemic.

"Just people cutting each other off in ways that could really cause an accident," said Andrews.

He blames the lack of patience on the multiple pandemic-related lockdowns.

"It was way more rampant than we have any idea. People couldn't cope. They couldn't cope with being locked down," said Andrews.

CHP advised that if you witness road rage on the highway, call 911, and give a description of the vehicle, plate number, and the direction of travel.

Police response times depend on the level of staffing that day and how many officers are in the area.