Everyone has been in a situation where they have witnessed someone driving poorly – whether they are speeding, driving recklessly, or engaging in an illegal activity like talking on a cell phone while driving. While in many cases these drivers go past without much chance to do anything about it, the fact is that not only can you report a dangerous driver on the road – you should.
Seeking Immediate Assistance
The emergency line should be used only in the case of a real emergency, but in the case of a very dangerous driver you should notify law enforcement as soon as possible. A driver who is putting the lives of other people on the road at risk is a driver who needs to be removed from the road as soon as possible. It’s important to remember that emergency lines need to stay open for life-threatening emergencies, so you should not dial 911 unless there has been an accident or someone is hurt. It’s a good idea to have a local police department phone number saved in your cell phone for such situations.
If you see a driver who is driving very erratically, who is driving in a very dangerous and reckless fashion, and is in imminent danger of causing a car accident, call the police immediately to report it. Remember that you should use a hands-free device to call if you are driving, or pull over to the side of the road to make your call safely. Report the exact location of the vehicle as well as the make, model, and license plate number if you are able to read it.
Reporting Repeat Offenders
Your local police department can help you with a problem driver in your neighbourhood. If you have a driver who consistently speeds through your area, drives erratically, or makes other dangerous moves, don’t approach them. Instead record the time, date, and location of each incident and report them to the police every time they occur. You may record their license plate number as well as the address of any home they visit frequently, but remember that police cannot arrest anyone or give out a ticket unless they have witnessed a violation in progress.
The more often you report a problem, the more likely it is that police will be able to catch the offender in the act and present him or her with a ticket. In some cases it is an ongoing problem with a number of drivers in the same area. Reporting to police that people are running a light or speeding can encourage them to increase patrols in that area. This will mean more police presence that can deter dangerous drivers as well as a better chance that they will be caught.
If your neighbourhood has a Neighbourhood Watch program in effect, report the driver to the Block Captain and make sure that the problem is known to everyone in the area. This will help others to stay safe and avoid the driver, as well as getting more people on the lookout for dangerous driving.
Avoiding Dangerous Drivers
Unfortunately, in most random incidents, police are not able to provide a great deal of assistance. By the time you can call in or report someone cutting you off or running a light, that person is long gone,.
The best thing you can do in most situations is to avoid dangerous drivers as best you can. If someone is tailgating, let them pass. If they cut you off, back away. Keep a close eye on any car being driven erratically and keep your vehicle at a safe distance. Even if you do choose to report that driver, keep your distance and don’t engage the other driver.
Remember that when you are also behind the wheel it’s vital that you stay calm and avoid letting road rage turn you into a dangerous driver as well. Turn the incident over to the authorities and make sure that you continue to drive safely and reach your destination.