Reckless driving is driving with a wanton disregard for the safety of others. In California, this offense is a misdemeanor.
Reckless driving can be driving aggressively, excessively speeding, racing, showing road rage, or any other pattern of driving that ignores the safety of others on the road.
These are very dangerous behaviors that can cause serious accidents, injuries, and even death.
If you witnessed such behavior or were involved in a resultant accident, you might be wondering how to report reckless driving in California. In this article, we look at some answers.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us right away to speak with one of our California personal injury attorneys.
How to Report Reckless Driving
In California, there are a few ways someone can report a reckless driving incident. Someone who witnessed reckless driving or was a road rage victim can do any of the following.
Notify California Highway Patrol
You can notify the California Highway Patrol of reckless driving incidents that are currently happening by calling 911. If the incident has already happened, you can call the non-emergency number at 800-TELLCHP.
Report the Driver to the California Department of Motor Vehicles
You can report a reckless driver to the DMV as a potentially unsafe driver. You can ask the DMV to order the driver to retake a driver’s examination by submitting a request form or writing them a letter.
Report Reckless Driving Online
Many people wonder, Can you report reckless driving online? Currently, there is no longer a database to report reckless driving online.
To report reckless driving online, follow these steps:
- Document Details: Note the license plate and specific details of the incident.
- National Database Reporting: Access the official national database for reporting reckless driving incidents.
- Online Complaint Platforms: Utilize dedicated apps or websites like “Bad Driver” for lodging complaints.
- Direct DMV Reporting: Report the individual directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if necessary.
- Form Submission: Expect to fill out a form detailing the incident and the vehicle involved.
There are some apps where you can do so, but the information does not get sent to law enforcement. Drivemecrazy, faildriver, and Bad Driver are some of the apps you can use on your phone.
Information You Will Need to Report Reckless Driving
Regardless of how you choose to report a reckless driving incident, you will need to gather information to make your report.
Here is some of the information you should have:
- The driver’s actions—what they are doing that is dangerous or reckless;
- The car—make, model, color, and license plate number;
- The driver—physical characteristics such as sex, hair, skin color, and age; and
- Location—for example, street names or mile markers.
If you can safely take a photo of the license plate or car, do so as long as it doesn’t seem likely to escalate the situation.
Do not try to engage with a reckless driver by confronting them yourself—leave that responsibility to the police.
What Happens When You Report a Reckless Driver?
When you report a reckless driver to the California Highway Patrol, if you provide enough information, they may choose to issue a warning letter to the driver. The driver would not receive a citation unless an officer witnessed the incident.
When you report a driver to the DMV, they may make the driver take a new driving test.
If the DMV decides they do not have the proper skills to be on the road, the driver could face punishment like having their license suspended. And if you report to CHP, they might also choose to report the driver to the DMV.
Victim of Reckless Driving in California? Wells Call Injury Lawyers is Here to Help You Seek Justice
Wells Call Injury Lawyers are experienced personal injury attorneys in California. If you were the victim of a California reckless driving or road rage accident, we can help.
We have a strong record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients. We are proud to have been granted numerous awards and recognitions in our field.
We also have two scholarships for students to bring awareness to distracted driving. Our Speech Contest Scholarship and Video Contest Scholarship aim to add to the conversation of distracted driving and how it can be mitigated.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our California personal injury lawyers.