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Drivers say they have their own pet peeves

July 07, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HALFWAY

Drivers interviewed Thursday at Valley Mall about the way they respond to aggressive drivers said they get mad, but don't get even.

Some were surprised to hear that in Maryland, police need to see three out of seven possible driving violations in order to write a ticket for aggressive driving.

"I never knew that," said Melissa Baker, 37, of Williamsport. "By that time, you have someone dead."

Baker said she has issues with drivers who change lanes without using a turn signal, and those "riding my bumper."

Michelle Wilson, 40, of Boonsboro, said she thinks police should at least give warnings or tickets for offenses that could be components of aggressive driving, such as making an unsafe lane change or following too closely.

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John Mullican, 65, of Sharpsburg, said drivers "are trying to cram too many things into a single day." He believes one offense is enough for police to cite someone for aggressive driving.

On the other hand, Keith Nicholson, 23, of Hagerstown, said he doesn't think police are always right when it comes to accusing a driver of committing such offenses.

"Nine times out of 10, I don't think when they hit you with a ticket, they really saw you doing it," Nicholson said.

Bobby Cubbage, 42, of Hancock, said he gets aggravated when drivers pass him on the right or tailgate, especially since he usually has children with him in the car. He usually watches them pass and tries not to make the situation worse.

Ann Miller, 86, of Hagerstown, said she doesn't usually drive far and doesn't see aggressive driving.

About 20 or 30 years ago, Eugene Shoemaker, 66, of Hagerstown, would have thought aggressive driving was not a problem, he said.

Now, Shoemaker said, he worries about the mentality of the drivers who tail him on the roads.

"A young man loses his composure - you don't know what to expect," he said.

Katherine Campbell, 21, of Baltimore, said she can be an aggressive driver, and thinks that Maryland penalties for the offense are fair.

"I drive fast," Campbell said. "I'm slow, so I'm always in a hurry."

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