Road-rage scourge


31 May 2018 • Herald Sun, Melbourne (General News)
by Alex White

VIOLENCE NOW TOO COMMON A SPATE of violent, drugfuelled road-rage attacks has sparked calls to clamp down on aggressive drivers.

It comes as an armed truck driver charged with tailgating and ramming two teachers on the Tullamarine Freeway stands accused of another violent, high-speed rampage in which he allegedly beat his victims with a baseball bat.

Elten Gevergizyan, 27, appeared at Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court yesterday accused of producing a hammer and threatening to kill Leigh Mahady, 62, and Julie Dougherty, 60, before viciously attacking them on the roadside. Hours later, he allegedly rammed another car off the road at 100km/h in Epping.

The court heard Mr Gevergizyan, withdrawing from ice, allegedly assaulted the occupants with a baseball bat. Details of that attack came as the Herald Sun yesterday revealed another horrifying attack which left a Sunbury family fearing for their lives.

Graphic footage shows an alleged drug-driver stomping on the roof of their car, caving it in on an 11-year-old girl’s head. The alleged driver, a Sunbury man, 24, then yanked open the child’s door and threatened to hit her with a wooden bollard on Saturday. The incident outside Sunbury police station came after he allegedly twice rammed the family on the wrong side of the road.

He was charged and released on bail.

The state government and Opposition have vowed to act to protect drivers in light of the extreme road-rage violence.

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the government and police were “looking at” ways to deal with the scourge, and violence on the roads was unacceptable.

“It is very concerning that people cannot just manage their behaviour, manage their anger and feel the need to go take it out on somebody else, whether that person did something wrong or not,” he said.

“People need to calm down – this is where you end up in potential situations where someone can get seriously injured or killed.”

Police Minister Lisa Neville said education and awareness measures would be considered to “minimise driver aggression on the roads”.

Shadow attorney-general John Pesutto said “something must be done” to protect innocent road users, and the Coalition would consider stronger sentencing for aggressive drivers if elected in November.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said road rage was becoming more common and drivers who used their cars as weapons deeply concerned police.

About the Author