Readers seeks help in reporting distracted drivers

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Who would I call to report a 'make up' session going on in a car going 50 mph in the fast lane? Today, I ended up behind two separate cars with the woman driving, applying her make up, doing her hair, going only 50 mph in the fast lane of northbound Highway 1, with no one in front of them and swerving back and forth across the lane. Calling 911 on the cell phone seems like over kill, as by the time the car would be stopped, there would be no way to prove what she was doing, except by the poor make up job and the rearview mirror aimed right at themselves. Jessica Victorino, Aptos A: “I understand your hesitancy to call 911 for what appears on the surface to be a minor violation,” said Officer Sarah Jackson, CHP spokeswoman. “However, distracted driving is dangerous driving. Anything that takes a driver's attention away from the roadway and places it anywhere else is potentially very hazardous. If the distracted driver loses control of her vehicle, she could potentially be involved in a very serious traffic collision, possibly injuring herself or others. Using the Emergency 911 system to report a potentially hazardous situation is more than acceptable. The same would hold true at night if you were to see a vehicle driving erratically. You may think to yourself, "I think that driver might be drunk", but be reluctant to call because you might be wrong. The right thing to do is call. A life could be saved.” If the officer manages to catch up with the erratic driver, his or her presence could make the behavior stop, Jackson said. Of course, the officer has the option of stopping the driver and discussing the dangers of distracted driving, “whether a citation is issued or not.” Distracted driving is quite dangerous, said Jackson. She suggested that motorists, “Keep driving distractions to a minimum, leave extra time to get to your destination, and drive defensively.”
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