Have You Encountered a ‘Beltway Bully?’

Aggressive driving in the Washington, DC region can be a pain. Here’s how to deal.

By Whitney Teal

The Capital Beltway can sometimes feel like a high-stakes, anything-goes gamble on wheels, with fast and furious speeds, tailgating and an abundance of bobbing and weaving.

WTOP.com has labeled these kinds of drivers “Beltway Bullies,” aka aggressive drivers.

"Aggressive driving is when an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses as to endanger another person or property. These include speeding, improper passing, disregarding signs and lights, following too close, failure to yield right of way," Fairfax Master Police Officer Allie Eggers told the station.

Law enforcement around the region face challenges combating aggressive driving and launch an annual “Smooth Operator” campaign to encourage more blissful drivers.

Check out what Montgomery County police say about dealing with bullies—and ensuring you don’t become a bully yourself:

  • Allow extra travel time.

  • Maintain an adequate distance from the vehicle in front of you to ensure proper braking distance.

  • Use turn signals when turning or making lane changes. Make sure you have plenty of room to avoid cutting off other drivers.

  • Come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs.

  • Don’t become angry or frustrated with other drivers; avoid road rage.

How do you handle “Beltway Bullies?” Tell us in the comments.


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