How to Report Dangerous Drivers in Georgia
As Atlanta car accident lawyers, we see the effects of dangerous driving all too frequently. Weaving across traffic lanes, going way too fast, texting, taking a slug from a whiskey or wine bottle as they zoom by, driving the wrong way on one-way streets, running red lights and stop signs, throwing things at pedestrians or other cars…dangerous behavior is limited only by the imagination of the dangerous.
Drivers don’t even have to be driving to create conditions that are dangerous. How often have you seen kids or pets left alone in a hot car, with no one in sight to see that they are okay or to help them if they are in distress?
Most people just shake their head and continue driving down the road. It’s very easy to do, especially if you are no longer in danger from the misbehaving driver. Who has time to get involved? Won’t somebody else do something?
The simple facts are that: (1) the only way to be sure that “someone” does something is for you to be the someone; (2) you would want someone to stop a dangerous driver before that driver injured or killed you or someone you care about; (3) reporting dangerous behavior on Georgia’s streets and highways is a very simple task.
Call 911 for Conditions That Are Dangerous
In Georgia, the basic mechanism for reporting drivers who are acting dangerously is to call 911, though the ever-expanding electronic revolution also provides several “apps” that allow you to do the same thing (though without necessarily the same directness as a 911 call). If you call 911, be ready to provide the 911 operator with as much of the following information as you can:
- A description of the behavior that you think is dangerous
- A description of the vehicle
- A description of the driver
- The license plate
- Any information that may help the police find the vehicle, like the location where you saw it, the direction it was traveling, the exact time you saw it
If you’re reporting a child or animal in distress inside a vehicle, stay at the location until help arrives.
Reporting Other Drivers in Georgia
There is also a mechanism that allows you to have the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) evaluate the abilities of a driver you think no longer has the mental and physical abilities needed to safely operate a vehicle on the roads of the state. This is obviously a slower, more complicated process than simply calling 911.
Evaluations can be requested by someone who has personal knowledge about the driver’s fitness. Typically, requests are made by:
- Doctors who treat the driver
- Law enforcement officers who have observed the driver’s behavior on the road
- Relatives of the driver
To request a driver review, you must fill out a form (available online), and either mail or fax it to DDS. The mailing address is: Georgia Department of Driver Services, c/o Medical Review Unit, P.O. Box 80447, Conyers, GA 30013. Faxes go to: (770) 344-3629.
The form is simple and pretty short. You just have to identify the driver you think needs to be reviewed, the mental, emotional or physical condition that may be causing problems, and any specific behavior that makes that driver dangerous. You do have to identify yourself but can request that your identity not be revealed to the driver you would like to be reviewed. DDS will honor confidentiality requests “to the fullest extent possible.”