DENVER, Colorado — Concerned citizens have called Denver 911 about 65 times each day this year to report a reckless driver in the City or County of Denver.
"Reckless driving" is a single category that includes speeding, careless driving, drag racing and driving under the influence.
Just this year, Denver 911 has fielded 16,268 reckless driving calls.
There are a lot of people who want to keep the public safe. While officers at the Denver Police Department (DPD) operate with that same mission in mind, they said there are right and wrong ways to help.
Motorcycle Officer Kurt Barnes is part of traffic operations at DPD. He spoke to 9NEWS about how concerned citizens can be most effective without putting themselves in danger.
DO call 911.
"Anytime you see any type of impaired driving, please give us a call. Anything that is unusual is typically a sign of impairment. We want to get those people off the road. We would never, ever discourage anybody from calling the police and reporting any kind of activity, especially when it comes to drunk or impaired drivers. That's a safety concern for the entire public."
DO give detail.
"Call in, report the information, and give as much detail as you can -- a license plate number if you have it, color, make and model of the car and location."
DO answer these questions.
"Which main roadway are they on? Which direction of travel are they going? Are they going too fast or too slow? Are they making really wide turns? Are they stopping for a green light?"
DO be a good witness.
"I would say the best thing you can do is be a fantastic witness. Be the witness who is able to recollect, in detail, what actually happened."
DO keep an eye out at all times.
"Those calls come in 24 hours a day. We have a lot of impaired drivers during the day. We have people who are impaired by different types of substances. Alcohol is definitely one of the bigger contributors that we have. Anytime that we can get an impaired driver off the road, that’s a success for our entire society."
DO know Denver police appreciates your call: "If you call in once, if you call in 100 times, we commend you for doing that. And we encourage the public to call us."
DON'T get too close.
"Don’t get so close that it’s causing a hazard for you."
"Don't take those actions into your own hands. But if you’re going to follow somebody, never ever break any traffic laws. Your pursuit does not give you the right to break the law."
"Never ever confront a person that you suspect of being impaired. That’s our job. I commend you for being willing to do that, but your safety is paramount to us."
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