Is road rage a crime? It depends on the case, say Victoria Police

The extent of an aggressive driving epidemic on Victorian roads is starting to come into focus.

From tailgating to verbal abuse and physical assaults, the most severe instances of road rage have ended with several motorists being hospitalised this year.

But is it a criminal offence to chase another driver or get out of your car and abuse them?

There is no specific road-rage offence and the law is unclear on whether individuals can be charged for deliberately pursuing another vehicle.

According to a Victoria Police spokeswoman, each road rage case is assessed on its own merits like any other assault.

Tailgating is an offence in the Road Safety Act, as is touching another driver's car (tampering or interfering with a motor vehicle without just cause or excuse).

If someone is verbally abused and afraid for their safety, this can also be classed as an assault.

"If a person feels they have been a victim of an assault they are always encouraged to report this to police," the spokeswoman said.

Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing, Doug Fryer, said perpetrators would be met with the "full extent of the law".

"Every time we have a road-rage incident that involves the ramming of a car or a physical altercation, we investigate that as a criminal offence," he said. "We don't see this as a minor traffic matter."