You are driving down the highway when suddenly a vehicle zips past you and proceeds to weave through traffic ahead of you. Or maybe it is more than one vehicle and they seem to be racing. You ask yourself, where is a cop when you need one. There is an answer.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) asks you to call 911 and ask dispatch for the WSP. They want reckless, aggressive, and intoxicated drivers off the road too. These drivers are dangerous to everyone on the road and need to be reported so the WSP can take action. All drivers on the road are additional eyes for the WSP.

What To Do?

Sgt Darren Wright of the WSP offers these guidelines. If you see one or more dangerous drivers on the road, call 911 and ask for the Washington State Patrol. The dispatcher will connect you to them quickly.

Obtain as much information about the offending vehicle as possible, such as your location on the highway (e.g. – northbound on I-5 on the Snohomish flats – milepost 196), make and model of the vehicle, the color, the license plate, and anything distinctive like a roof or bike rack, or a ladder. If the motorist flew by too fast to gather all that information, do the best you can. Sgt. Wright said, “Avoid trying to catch up and put yourself in harm’s way. Just get as much information as possible.”

Share the location and vehicle information with the WSP dispatcher. They will contact nearby troopers to pursue the offending vehicle. Unfortunately, the WSP has to personally witness any infractions. Yet, your call and information is critical to help find these motorists.

Dash Cams

Some drivers have dash cams. Sgt. Wright said, “If you witness a crash or other infraction such as a DUI, dashcam video can be very helpful for criminal cases and can be shared with the WSP. A DUI is one such criminal case.” In such cases, the WSP will ask the public if they have any video evidence of a crime on the highway. Any such video becomes a public record, yet the video was recently helpful for a successful DUI case.

Why

Why do a few motorists behave in such a reckless manner on the highway? Some people are simply in a hurry, running late to their destination, or get impatient with other motorists who are too slow or in their way. When asked about the influence of video games or movies on reckless driver behavior, Sgt. Wright noted, “Yes, racing video games and movies involving fast cars do have an influence. At least one successful court case involved that outside influence.”

So if you encounter one or more drivers who are going too fast, weaving through traffic particularly without signaling, tailgating, or other aggressive actions, there is something you can do. Call 911 and alert the Washington State Patrol. You are their additional eyes on the road and they appreciate your calls to help find these reckless drivers.

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.