Driving school experts weigh in on interstate shootings in Hampton Roads

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Posted at 10:12 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 22:13:04-04

NORFOLK, Va. — The number of people shot while driving on the interstate keeps going up. News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones connected with a driving school instructor who shares what we all can 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 kind of violent activities, and unfortunately it's spilling out into our roads," said Erick Mays, the co-owner of the Peninsula Driving School.

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

Saturday's shooting marks the seventh shooting that has taken place on local interstates and highways since June 1st.

"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 to not antagonize other drivers.

"[Things like] speeding more than 10 over the speed limit, tailgating people real 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, pull over or get off the interstate even if it wasn't your exit. A stray bullet has no name on it," Mays said.

Driving experts recommend having a first aid kit in your car in case you have to help a victim, a dash camera and some paper so that someone who is not driving can safely take down a license plate number.

"We do address this with our students, we try to help them understand that this epic road rage thing that's going on, it's real, it's happening, and it's happening more often," Mays said.

The Virginia State Police told News 3 that from January 1st through July 13th this year, officers have responded to 34 reported interstate shootings around Virginia. Last year there were 74 interstate shootings, up from 52 interstate shootings statewide in 2020.

News 3 also asked state police if Saturday's shooting appears to be a random incident or if it's connected to previous interstate shootings. The VSP did not comment because they say it's still an active investigation.