By drivingmecrazy - 28/05/2015 01:28 - United States - Sacramento
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The call taker was correct in asking the OP to not follow the driver, solely for the OP's safety. But, coming from a former 911 dispatcher, the OP being on their phone while driving should be the least of their worries and they should've worried more about getting officers out looking for the drunk driver. Someone needs to be put back into training.
52, op may have been using an ear piece though. Just because someone calls you while driving, it doesn't automatically mean they're holding their phone to their ear. I'm not sure why the operator would automatically assume that op was driving and holding the phone. Now a days, I would actually assume the opposite; if assume they were talking with an ear piece or the Bluetooth was built into the car.
That doesn't make any sense, I believe if you are 18 where I live and have a class C license, then you are free to use a phone for calling. I know it's not recommended, but it's really not all that distracting. OP was definitely more right for reporting a drunk driver.
Studies have shown driving distracted by a phone call can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. That's why in some states you can be fined even if you're using a hands-free system. I'm a security officer, so I have one-touch dialing for local police in the four counties I work in and travel through, state police, and 911. I recently caved and set up voice recognition on my phone so I can just tap my earpiece and say what I need. I've reported more potential DUIs than I can count, both professionally and on the way to or from somewhere. They always ask if I'm following (when they are on a main road and I'm going the same way it's not really following) but they never complain about me using the phone to make the call, even when I call the police directly instead of 911.
god damn. Report it and get him fired. That drunk driver could cause way more damage than you could've driving on the phone, and the operator would be partially responsible
the drunk driver in the fml is ALREADY driving badly, so bad that someone had to call 911. so OBVIOUSLY the drunk driver was wayyyyy more at risk of hitting someone in this scenario. obviously cell phones are distracting, but compared to someone whos currently swerving and making it blantently obvious that someone is on danger, its worth the risk of a phone for a few secs, to catch someone who is definatly going go do damage. if the drunk driver was in control of the vehicle enough to not be noticabe by people on the road, then maybe we can talk about the chances of crashes being close between the two. but im not gonna let you blame op for doing the right thing
#32, that driver is either a shitty driver or a liar. It's not that hard to check a phone. Yes it distracts you. I won't argue that. But where I live it's perfectly legal to be on your phone as long as you're not texting. And while I see a lot of accidents caused by texting, I see a lot caused by drunks and people just generally not paying attention. There are always distractions. Music is a distraction. Turning on your AC is a distraction. You can't get rid of all distractions, only limit them. So get rid of the bad ones and be a capable enough driver that you can make a phone call while behind the wheel to report a drunk. If you aren't a capable enough driver, then pull over. People have different driving abilities.
Except for the fact that 911 is only for a real emergency. A drunk driver can be extremly dangerous, but if he hasn't caused an accident yet it's something you would need to report to local authorities. You can actually get fined if you call 911 and are not reporting a real emergency. Next time take the plate # and call local authorities not 911
You forgot one small detail. 911 is for emergencies only. If you want to report a drunk driver who at the moment hasn't injured or killed anyone you call the local authorities not 911. By calling 911 you are wasting the operators time that could be spent helping someone in immediate danger and could indirectly cause someone to die because they couldn't reach a 911 operator.
37 most "drunk drivers" do not require an emergency call. Most of them are barely driving poorly and people are stupid enough to try to follow and drive as stupidly as they are. More often than not when my officers stop a "drunk driver," they are not drunk at all or they have observed no violations themselves and the person calling won't make any complaint because they don't want to be the one in court
at least you know you were doing the right thing, maybe the operator was new to the job and thats why they spoke that way to you, so don't swear it.
No the operator was like that because 911 is for emergencies only not a drunk driver who hasn't caused any harm at the moment. Between someone who is about to die and a drunk driver who hasn't caused any harm the immediate death takes priority. 911 is for an immenent death situation. That's why the local police station is equipped with phones so that they can be called and told about drunk drivers and not waste a 911 operator's time that could be better spent helping someone who is in immediate danger
Not sure what the law is in your country, but it is illegal in the UK to do anything with your hands while driving! So holding a phone, drinking water, eating an apple... Shame that you were trying to do a good thing and got shouted at for it! At least you'll have karma on your side. Kudos for trying to be a good human, OP :)