Making a Driving Complaint to Police

TelephoneDo you ever find yourself wishing that the police were there when another driver does something dangerous around you in traffic? Should you just carry on or is it worth becoming involved?

It is up to you to make that initial decision. If you think that the driver will continue to be a danger to others, an immediate call to 911 is appropriate. If not, a call to the local police non-emergency number as soon as you have time is sufficient.

Details about the vehicle and driver including license plate number, make, model, colour, location of the incident and direction of travel are important to the complaint.

With these details out of the way, the complaint taker will want to know what action you wish the police to take. There are three scenarios, and all depend on your participation: The first and least likely to succeed is to make an anonymous complaint and hope that the police can locate the vehicle and find the driver doing something wrong that they can deal with then.

The second is to identify yourself and request that the driver or vehicle owner be warned about the circumstances of your complaint if the vehicle cannot be located.

The third and most effective method is to provide a written statement of the details for a follow up investigation and possible charges against the driver or vehicle owner. You must be prepared to attend court as a witness if you choose this method.

The police did not witness the driving behaviour, so they cannot give your evidence in traffic court if the charge is disputed. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to be able to identify the driver if the vehicle license number is accurate.

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Contributed by E-Mail

I handled the complaint letters for the area where I had worked for the California Highway Patrol.

I was always glad to get the complaints because I felt that it was an effective way of dealing with those situations. We had essentially the same options as you describe here.

I do remember on several occasions where I accompanied a sworn officer to an address to hand deliver a complaint, and those instances also involved a bit of "discussion" about the letter with the alleged offender. It seemed to be fairly effective and I applaud the fact that you bring it your readers attention.

Now, we all need to hope that it will elicit some added awareness of the problems (VS the sometimes solution we had in California where the offended driver simply pulled a weapon and assaulted the offender!) I am sure you are aware that this was a problem from time to time in California.

Not Nice!

Contributed by E-Mail

I am writing in response to the people who do not obey the laws. Its simple, when reported the police never do anything about it but say they will log the complaint.

I see inconsiderate people every day, like the ones that stop in a long line of single lane traffic only to block my access onto that road while I sit and wait for car after car to pass by before I can pull out. I thought it was against the law to block an intersection, but wait it is.

I see people every day making left turns and crossing two lanes to do it, right in front of the police station. I have a next door neighbor who has a motorcycle and has removed the baffles. He warms it up between our houses and there is a bylaw about it but nothing is ever done about it.

I guess thats why nobody complains, what good will it do? Seems like the only thing that happens is when someone shoots someone out of total frustration. Like the guy did in Revestoke or Kelowna, when he followed his annoying rap players to a camp and pulled out his shotgun and blew them away.

And you call it drive smart BC. Hah.

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