North Texas

An Inside Look at Arlington Police Road-Rage Enforcement

Arlington police are working to stop aggressive driving after a young man, Dylan Spaid, was killed last summer in a road-rage shooting. The special police detail was back on the streets Wednesday, kicking off a series of weekly enforcement operations this month.

NBC 5 went along for the ride to show the dangerous driving on our highways and how police are cracking down.

During the Wednesday morning commute on Interstate 20, thousands of Arlington drivers are on their way to work and some are in a bigger hurry than others.

"Passing everybody on the inside shoulder, going over 100 miles an hour," Arlington police Sgt. John Brown relayed into his radio, as a black Ford Mustang sped by.

Officers followed the speeding car but couldn't catch up.

"Call dispatch and have them notify Grand Prairie," Brown told his partner. "We don't want to endanger our lives or the general public's life trying to catch up and stop this guy."

Brown has seen too many times how the story could end.

"I've seen families being affected in a flash of an eye," he said.

That includes Dylan Spaid's family. The 19-year-old was killed in a road-rage shooting on I-20 last June. Police are still searching for a black BMW caught on surveillance camera – and for the suspected gunman inside.

"Once it happened, we want to be on the front end, being out here being high visibility, being more proactive," Brown said.

That motivation started the Arlington Police Department's aggressive driving detail. Since last July, the unit has made 2,896 traffic stops — handing out 3,513 citations and arresting 36 people — for violations from cutting people off without signaling to tailgating and driving on the shoulder.

NBC 5 witnessed a second round of that dangerous maneuver when a white Ford SUV made multiple lane changes to continue driving on the shoulder. That driver couldn't get away.

"The reason we're out here, you get a lot of accidents," Brown told the driver. "A lot of accidents out here."

Officers are trying to drive home the dangers of potentially hurting someone else or sparking an unexpected anger.

"Does somebody have a firearm?" Brown said. "You don't know what someone has in their car. You don't know what someone went through that morning, and any small thing could trigger someone to do something that they'll regret."

They are hoping to change driver behavior for a calmer commute.

Arlington police have a road-rage hotline for people to report aggressive driving. So far they've received 240 calls. That number to call is 817-459-5389.

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