Drivers encouraged to report distracted driving
Posted at: 03/05/2013 10:53 AM
| Updated at: 03/05/2013 10:13 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren | WHEC.com
When you see someone texting or talking on their cell phone or paying more attention to their radio and lipstick than the road, are you tempted to call 911? The Monroe County Sheriff's Office wants to give you another option, an online report.
Officials from Monroe County 911 said they get 40-50 calls a week from people reporting distracted drivers, that breaks down to about 6 calls a day. But if those distracted drivers aren't posing any immediate threat to others on the road, the sheriff's office wants you to consider filing out a report and mailing it instead of tying up lines at the 911 center.
To get to the form all you do is go to the Monroe County Sheriff's website. And on the left hand column is an option to "report distracted driving". When you open that up, it will take you to this form. You're supposed to put your name, address and phone number along with the license plate number of the offender, their gender, location of violation, description of vehicle, and what violation you witnessed. It's a lot of information to remember, but if you are able to pull over on the road and write it all down, you can plug it into the form when you get home.
The owner of that vehicle will then be mailed a "warning letter". No one who is reported will ever get a ticket. A sheriff's deputy would have to actually witness the act for that to happen. But the sheriff's office believes this form will get the community involved in cracking down on distracted driving.
Patrick O'Flynn, Monroe County Sheriff, said, “What it's going to do is it's just gonna be a gentle reminder to people when they get a note from the sheriff's office in the mail that says you were observed and hopefully it will be a nice reminder to let them know that it's a dangerous behavior and they really shouldn't be doing it.”
If you receive a letter, it won't tell you who reported you. It will simply say a vehicle registered to you was seen doing this. Sheriff O'Flynn doesn't think people will abuse the system and make false reports, but if you do get a letter and know you don't deserve it, you can contact the sheriff's office and they'll look into it.
To print the form, click here.