Friday, July 14, 2006

Reckless Drivers

This morning, for the first time, I reported a reckless driver to the police.

This could be the start of a new trend.

Here's what I learned (based on Toronto Police):

When you call the police and report the driver, the police will send out a call on the dispatch in case any officers are nearby. You need to describe the car and the driver. I'm sure the license plate helps. I assume they would pull the car over if they found it.

If they don't see the driver right then, not much else happens. (Since I called an hour after the incident, I don't think anything came from this today.)

To take things further, you need to file an official report at the local police station. The report will go on record, and will be referred to in the future in case anything else happens with this driver.

The best thing that could happen is to have that driver pulled over, get a ticket (or be arrested) affecting their driving record and their insurance. I know it's unlikely, but it's good to have a try. This is a lot better than them getting a lecture from me that they're not going to listen to.

It's best to make the call immediately. Whether you think it's necessary to call 911 or the non-emergency number is up to you, and could be based on whether you think more people are being threatened by the driver as he or she continues down the road. I also programmed the non-emergency police phone number into my phone.

Here's the contact information for the Toronto Police Service.

I plan on reporting reckless or dangerous drivers more often now. These people threaten me, other cyclists and pedestrians. I love riding my bike, and I have every intention to keep doing it. I'm sick of having people nearly hit me then verbally abuse me while telling me it's my fault because I was in their way. The lack of regard for human life that these drivers exhibit is disgusting.

So my fellow cyclists, consider programming your phones and keeping them handy. We need people to hear that there are consequences for antisocial driving and that "might is right" is wrong.

Darren J 7/14/2006 02:55:00 PM

3 Comments:

Hey Darren, I'm curious to know if this is similar to the "Road Watch" program? In York Region, one can fill out an online form at http://www.police.york.on.ca/formmail/roadwatch/complaint.htm to report unsafe driving.

The first time a driver gets reported, they get a letter from the Police. The second time they are reported, they get a letter and a call from the police. The third time they are reported, they get a letter and a visit from the police and face possible charges.
Hey Darren,

I'd love to hear what happened.

I filed a complaint against a driver last summer. Summary: He came up behind me very quickly, then gunned his engine buzzing me very close (there was plenty of room to pass properly).

I downloaded a copy of the Traffic Violation Report form from the ARC website and dropped it off at the station the next day.

Not sure if anything good came from that, but I'm hoping that they called the driver up, or at the very least noted this sort of thing on this person's driving record.
I'm not talking about any formal program in Toronto. I'm just talking about phoning the police. At least that way, there's a chance of an immediate response.

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