‘Things seem to escalate more quickly now’: Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez aims to tackle road rage

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez addresses the alarming increase

Houston, TX. – Road Rage cases are on the rise, happening far too often, authorities said on Wednesday.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said as a law enforcement agency, we have to get better at collecting data if we want to take a deeper dive into the numbers.

Being out in the Houston area, traffic can sometimes bring out the worst in drivers. Stress leads to aggression and then, in some cases, violence.

Over the last six months, an average of four people was shot each month in cases of road rage in Harris County, according to Gonzalez.

There were three cases in November, including one on Nov. 30, Nov. 17, Nov. 9, and another one on Oct. 31.

Gonzalez placed part of the blame on what he calls “a dangerous driving culture” that’s developed over the past few years.

“Speeding and tailgating. We’ve definitely seen where things seem to escalate a lot more quickly now,” Gonzalez said.

Historically, it hasn’t been easy for local law enforcement to measure and track road rage cases because they’re reported in different ways.

“Somebody doesn’t always shoot. Maybe they just displayed a weapon,” Gonzalez said.

He added they’re trying to get better at collecting data so they can understand the numbers better.

“We are trying to become more data-driven and really see where some of our hot spots, if you will, may be. Busy corridors and things like that,” Gonzalez said.

From an enforcement perspective, tackling road rage is a team effort with the sheriff’s office, DPS, HPD and the different constables’ offices all working together.

“It’s a big challenge but one that I think helps to be working collaboratively,” Gonzalez said.

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