Driving school experts respond to interstate shootings in Hampton Roads

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NORFOLK, Va. — The number of people shot while driving on the freeway continues to rise. News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones meets a driving instructor who shares what we can all do to stay safe on the roads.

Road rage and interstate shootings are on the rise. But why?

“We’re just starting to see a lot more violent activity, and unfortunately it’s spilling onto our roads,” said Erick Mays, co-owner of the Peninsula Driving School.

The most recent interstate shooting took place Saturday on eastbound I-264 near Military Highway. The victim was shot by someone in an unknown car.

Saturday’s shooting marks the seventh shooting that has taken place on freeways and local highways since June 1.

“I think it’s alarming. I think it’s scary,” Mays said.

With many years of teaching safe driving on the roads under Mays’ belt, one of the things he says is important is not to upset other drivers.

“[Things like] going more than 10 over the speed limit, tailing people really close and not managing that space in front of you or not using your signals,” Mays said.

News 3’s Kelsey Jones asked Mays, in an event where a driver witnesses a shooting, how can they get away safely?

“My first thought will be to slow down, stop, or get off the freeway even if it wasn’t your exit. A stray bullet doesn’t have a name on it,” Mays said.

Driving experts recommend having a first aid kit in your car in case you need to help a victim, a dash cam, and paper so someone who isn’t driving can safely note down a license plate number.

“We bring that up with our students, we try to help them understand that this epic road rage is happening, it’s real, it’s happening, and it’s happening more often,” Mays said.

Virginia State Police told News 3 that from Jan. 1 to July 13 of this year, officers responded to 34 reported interstate shootings around Virginia. Last year, there were 74 interstate shootings, compared to 52 interstate shootings statewide in 2020.

News 3 also asked state police if Saturday’s shooting appeared to be a random incident or if it was related to prior interstate shootings. The VSP has not commented as they say it is still an active investigation.


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