We have all been on the road when we see the car in front of us weaving in and out of traffic, narrowly avoiding other cars and not seeming to care whether he misses or not. And chances are we have all written it off and gone about our day. But is there something we can do about it? Can we report aggressive drivers? Do the police even care?
Yes, you can report aggressive drivers and Washington State really wants you to. The Washington State Police (WSP) is so devoted to keeping the roads safe that it created the Aggressive Driving Apprehension Team whose sole purpose is getting drivers who exhibit aggressive behaviors off the road.
What behaviors should I report?
Aggressive driving can consist of many different behaviors, but a few behaviors to be alert for include:
- Speeding (especially through construction or school zones)
- Cutting other drivers off
- Speeding up to get through traffic lights at intersections/running red lights
- Refusing to yield the right of way
- Making threatening or obscene gestures to others on the road
- Texting and driving
- Driving while impaired
Does WSP need any information from me?
If you encounter a driver exhibiting the above behaviors on the road, call 911 immediately. Try to identify the color, make and model of the vehicle, any identifying characteristics, license plate number, the location you saw the vehicle, and which way it was headed.
Be sure to do this safely. Do not distract and endanger yourself or others attempting to gather this information. Pull over and call 911 when it is safe to do so. Never follow the aggressive driver in an attempt to confront him or gather more information.
In the event that there is no immediate issue but you realize that there has been a problem in the past, you can still make a report to your WSP district office.
For past incidents, you will need to identify, in addition to the details described above, the approximate dates and times that you have observed the behavior. If there is a consistent time that you have seen a certain car, make note of it. Be prepared to discuss the incidents in detail. Your testimony will be important in keeping Washington drivers safe.