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File a Complaint for Reckless Driving....and then what?

I was reading a thread about how to best handle a “road rage incident” and someone recommended calling the police and giving them the plate number of the offending driver. What happens after you’ve filed a complaint for reckless driving with the police?

I’m assuming they’re not going to go out of their way to hunt the guy down…are they? Do they see if they have a squad car in the area that can apprehend the offending driver? I feel like they would just say, “we’ll look into it” and that’s all one can reasonably expect them to do.

Just curious, I have a tendency to be a “vengeful driver” (who isn’t haha…right?) but I think it’s about time to put my vigilante road etiquette enforcement days behind me.

Here in NH an MA…unless they catch them in the act…NOTHING.

I can’t help you, after the fact, with this incident, but here is an idea for the future:
Find out if your state has a special “road rage reporting” phone number.

In NJ, dialing #77 on your cell phone puts you through to a special State Police operator.
She asks what township you are driving in, and then patches you through to the appropriate PD.

The one time that I used it, I was amazed that they put me through to my local PD within…literally…seconds. I then told the local folks about what I had just observed, and was able to provide a vehicle description and a partial license #.

I also told the locals that the crazed young woman in question was headed west, and would be out of their jurisdiction within a couple of minutes. I suggested that, unless they had a patrol car in the immediate vicinity, they should notify the Hillsborough PD, as that was the direction in which the young woman was headed.

Well, guess what? About 10 minutes later, I observed the offending vehicle pulled over in front of a Hillsborough patrol car. Whether my tip had led to this, or whether they had actually observed her continuing to be a hazard on the road, I don’t know, but I am glad that I reported her.

Find out if your state has one of these reporting numbers, and then be prepared to use it!

Here in Florida, you can dial *FHP from a cell phone to report something like that. When I call that number to report an apparent drunk driver, the operator always says he or she will dispatch a trooper. I’ve never waited around to see if they actually do.

Unless there is a persistent threat, like if a road rager is following you, you’ve done your part, and there is nothing left to do.

My vigilante days ended long ago.

With a motor vehicle violation, police in NH have to witness the violation to act. The dispatcher will call the complaint in to whoever is patrolling the area and they will look out for the vehicle and if they witness a violation stop it, but unless they witness a violation they’re powerless to act.

With other types of violations, such as a report of violence, a report of a gun, or other felonies, the groundrules are different. And in other states the groundrules may be different.

Yeah, they’re called law enforcement for a reason-that’s their job. Just report it and go on your way. Hot head drivers are emotionally out of control and you really just want to keep your distance. People that try to get involved often just make matters worse.

Years ago, my agressive driving started to worry me, so I gave it a lot of thought and turned it around. About ten years ago I was on the road in the morning and found myself trying to do some more agressive driving. Then I figured out why there seemed to be two or three nutty drivers along with me. The high schoolers were driving so I calmed down right away. I realized that I was one of those fish that get caught four or five times. I may not be released next time, so I have to watch out for myself. Gotta keep those kids safe.

The main reason the policia needs to see the infraction in action is that far far far too often the reporting of one hot head driver is being done by another hot head driver who just doesn’t like anyone’s driving that is slightly different than theirs.
So often, if the whole scenario had been viewed in its entirety, the citation would get issued to the caller too.
It’s well known that many squeelers are themselves to blame, they just want ( or need ) to shift blame.
Just witness any hidden camera of all three of my kids in the back seat together.

Hence, calls about drivers are only taken as a caution and not as fact.

Yes, all of what has been said it true, but when I report a driver who appears drunk because he or she can’t stay in a single lane, the officer can catch up to that driver and witness the behavior for him/herself, which is why I try not to report aggressive driving unless there are signs the driver is intoxicated.

You can often tell when the 911 operator cares by the attention they pay to your complaint. I called about 4 or 5 motorcyclists on I-95 about a year ago. They slowed traffic across 4 lanes to about 50 in a 65 zone, then sped up quickly so that they could pop wheelies and see who could stay up the longest (I guess). They were all accomplished daredevils and went a few thousand feet. I called 911 and the Staties didn’t care. I would describe my dismay, but They Might Be Watching.

The police have little discretion in this area. The statutes require them to see an infraction before thay can pull the car over. They must have probable cause. Their protocol is that the dispatcher notify the car on patrol in the area and the patrolman attempt to locate the vehicle and verify the complaint.

Again, complaints that fall into more serious categories require different actions. If you were to call in with a description of a vehicle and a report that the driver had waved a gun at you, that would give them probable cause to pull the vehicle over and attempt to verify the comp[laint. Their standard protoco for pulling the vehicle over would also be different. If possible, they’d have a backup vehicle join them before approaching the car.

Other states may vary. But this stuff is all proceduralized in NH.