Arrive Alive

Response to Witnessing Unsafe and Reckless Driving

Witnessing Unsafe and Reckless DrivingIn the development of the Arrive Alive website, we strive to provide information that could assist with road safety awareness and make our roads safer. Our road users often participate and share information as to what they observe on our roads.

This includes video footage from dashcams and cellular phones.

It is important to note that we do not condone the use of cellular phones while driving and would much rather use dashboard camera footage or clips taken by passengers from inside vehicles for educational purposes.

Video footage is invaluable for the analysis of perceived risks and threats to safety. It also offers an opportunity to advise on what the appropriate response and actions should be to make roads safer.

We would like, with the assistance of well-known forensic investigator Stan Bezuidenhout, to take a closer look at one such video and offer advice on "What to do when witnessing unsafe and/ or reckless driving behaviour?"

Having watched the video expecting nothing short of a horror ending, I am happy to share some thoughts on what you should do if you ever encounter a situation like this:

  1. DO NOT use your mobile phone while driving. If you want to record - ask a passenger to record or always have your phone mounted.
  2. DO NOT approach closely or drive within striking distance of the car - anything could happen and intoxicated drivers can act very unpredictably.
  3. DO NOT confront an intoxicated driver, or make an attempt to affect their driver (like trying to drive them off the road, etc).
  4. If FATIGUE - get cautiously close and hoot from behind to wake.
  5. DO NOT interact with them directly - they can easily become highly aggressive or even dangerous - especially if they might be armed.
  6. DO take down, record, or make a voice note of the date, time, place, vehicle description and registration number.
  7. Call the police or METRO police and REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY. They might try to keep you on the phone to react or respond. [10111]
  8. If you are unable to contact law enforcement, submit a complaint to the authorities via the Arrive Alive Website, at https://www.arrivealive.co.za/report-bad-driving
  9. Alternatively, drive to the nearest police station and make an attempt to file a reckless driving complaint.

Keep the following in mind, however

  1. Filming purely for entertainment value (social media exposure) will not have any positive effect that can last.
  2. Confronting or interacting with an intoxicated driver can move the risk to YOU.
  3. You may not be successful in filing a reckless driving complaint.
  4. You cannot (technically) lay charges against a CAR. It is the driver who should be charged with reckless driving 

Before you judge

This kind of driving looks very dangerous and it may well be an intoxicated driver as many people claim on social media, but consider the following alternative dynamics:

  1. The driver might have a medical emergency, such as a diabetic about to go into a diabetic coma.
  2. The driver might be on a mixture of medicines that are conflicting, causing a loss of consciousness.
  3. The driver might be suffering a stroke and losing consciousness.
  4. The driver might have suffered an injury (gotten shot, for instance) and might be trying to get help.
  5. There might be serious mechanical issues with the vehicle.
  6. There might be a fight or struggle that is ongoing in the vehicle, such as between a hijacker and their victim.

Because you don't know the TRUE reasons for why a person is acting in what looks like an intoxicated, irrational, or reckless driver, you could literally be saving their life or that of others by ACTING and calling on law enforcement Immediately.

To conclude

Safety First - Keep your distance while trying your best to alert other road uses and the authorities of the danger without increasing the danger.

Also view:

Report Bad Driving

Medical Incidents and Road Crashes

Analysis of a runaway truck - What can or should be done to reduce the risks?

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