Speed/Aggressive Driving

DC_InjuriesSpeeding and aggressive driving have been issues in the District for some time. Aggressive driving is defined as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Unsafe driving behavior includes speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, or any combination of these activities.

Aggressive driving is one of the most dangerous problems on our roads today. It is estimated that aggressive driving is a factor in an approximately one-third of all crashes, injuries, and fatalities nationally.

The District was one of the first jurisdictions in the region to join the Smooth Operator Program, a regional anti-aggressive driving initiative that today involves more than 50 law enforcement agencies in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Every year, Metropolitan Police participate in law enforcement waves targeting aggressive drivers. Offenses include:

  • SPEEDING – going faster than the posted speed limit or too fast for weather conditions.


  • RUNNING RED LIGHTS – and running stop signs.
  • TAILGATING – or following other vehicles too closely.
  • MAKING FREQUENT LANE CHANGES -unsafe lane changes or weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead.
  • FAILING TO YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY – not allowing other drivers to merge or cutting other drivers off.
  • PASSING IMPROPERLY – passing on the right, passing on the shoulder of the road, or failing to use turn signals when changing lanes.

Speeding is dangerous for many reasons including:

  • Reducing your ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway.


  • Extending the distance necessary to stop a vehicle.
  • Increasing the distance you travel while you react to a dangerous situation.
  • Increasing the probability of serious injury or death when involved in a crash.