Inquiry into Violence Associated with Motor Vehicle Use: Discussion Paper: Canvassing Issues Relating to Violence Associated with Motor Vehicle Use

Carolyn Hirsh, Robin Cooper, Kirstie Marshall, Ian Maxfield, Sang Minh Nguyen, Bill Sykes, Kim Wells, Russell Smith, Jamie Mark Walvisch

Research output: Book/ReportOther ReportResearch


On 7 March 2004, news services around Australia reported an alleged ‘road
rage’ incident in Western Australia which resulted in the death of a two-yearold
boy, Tyrell Hart (The Sunday Age 2004; Kelly 2004; Calverley 2004). Tyrell
was killed following an alleged altercation between his grandfather, Eddie
Barron-Ugle, and the driver of a Toyota. It was alleged that as Mr Barron-Ugle
was about to pull into his driveway he stopped to give way to a cyclist. One of
his tail-lights was not working. The driver of the Toyota reportedly became
‘upset’ about the faulty tail-light and yelled abuse at Mr Barron-Ugle. After Mr
Barron-Ugle had parked in his driveway, the Toyota driver allegedly ‘rammed’
into the back of his car. Unfortunately, Tyrell had already left his grandfather’s
car and had walked behind it. He was crushed between the two cars.
In the same week an ambulance officer attending a car crash in Sydney was
reportedly ‘run down by a motorist enraged at the road delay the accident was
causing’ ( 2004a), and a man in Melbourne was sentenced to
seven years’ imprisonment following a fatal stabbing associated with ‘road
rage’ (Herald Sun 2004; Gregory 2004). In the following month a Sydney man
went to court charged with having shot another motorist during a ‘road rage’
incident ( 2004b), a second man was stabbed in a video shop car
park in Queensland in an apparent ‘road rage’ attack (The Courier-Mail 2004),
and yet another man was allegedly bitten in a ‘road rage’ incident in Western
Australia (POST Newspapers Online 2004).
‘Road rage’ incidents such as these have resulted in much community concern.
There is a perception that such incidents are increasing. Moreover, it is
commonly thought that not only are ‘road rage’ episodes occurring more often
but also that the level of violence associated with these incidents is escalating.
As a result of these concerns and perceptions, the Drugs and Crime Prevention
Committee of the Parliament of Victoria has been given Terms of Reference
which require it to examine the issue of violence associated with motor vehicle
In conducting this Inquiry the Committee will examine available reliable data
with regard to the incidence of ‘road rage’ episodes in Victoria. One issue for
investigation is whether ‘road rage’ incidents are in fact increasing or whether
such a view is a misconception attributable to ‘media hype’, as has been suggested by some authors (see for example Elliott 1999). The Committee will
also explore possible causes of ‘road rage’. After examining the magnitude,
dimensions and causes of the problem, the Committee will analyse the
effectiveness of current strategies to address this issue and investigate
innovative and alternative strategies that may prevent or at least lessen ‘road
rage’ incidents.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherDrugs and Crime Prevention Committee, Parliament of Victoria
Commissioning bodyDrugs and Crime Prevention Committee, Parliament of Victoria
Number of pages47
ISBN (Print)0957918844
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Criminal Law
  • Road Rage

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