Safe Roadways Initiative makes more than 1,100 arrests in effort to combat road rage, HPD says

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Thousands of arrests made in effort to combat road rage killings
The Houston Police Department says thousands of suspected road rage shooting arrests were made thanks to the Safe Roadways Initiative.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Authorities are searching for the person who shot a 26-year-old driver several times in southwest Houston near Fort Bend County on Monday.

The Houston Police Department believes the shooting happened on the Sam Houston Tollway and West Hillcroft at about 12 p.m.

The victim drove more than a mile to the Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road and West Fuqua before crashing into a barrier. As of Tuesday, he is still in critical condition and is being treated at the hospital.

Investigators said he was shot several times, including at least once in the head.

Police believe the shooting may be an act of road rage. If so, it will be at least the 15th road rage shooting reported in city limits this year.

Year-to-date, the department unofficially reports 14 shootings with the same motive.

As of March 18, 2023, there had been nine reported road rage shootings. Within the same timeframe in 2022, there were 20.

"Call 911, give us the location, the direction you're traveling, and if you're close enough to get a license plate, that's huge for us. But don't get close enough to get the license plate. The main thing you want to do is not get involved in the scene itself," Commander Clifton Holloway, who leads HPD's Traffic Enforcement Division, said.

Holloway also oversees the department's Safe Roadways Initiative. It was first founded in 2021 and revived at the beginning of this year after a 17-year-old homeschool student, Louise Wilson, was murdered while driving to the beach.

RELATED: Teen from small Texas town tries to avoid crash but cuts off driver who shoots her, HPD says

"Imagine your daughter on the side of the freeway taking her last breaths. Those are the images that play through my mind every night," the 17-year-old's father, Daniel Wilson, said after the shooting.

HPD partners with other regional agencies, including the Department of Public Safety and Harris County Sheriff's Office.

In the past 11 weeks, all agencies combined have made 24,000 traffic stops, 1,100 arrests, and seized 38 firearms.

"The best thing you can do is disengage from the situation because this is Texas. Everybody's got a gun," Holloway said.

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