Authorities want people to report reckless drivers

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) During a ride along with Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Matt McLaughlin, a report of a reckless driver goes over the scanner. The caller has told dispatch she is following the car east on Interstate 80 and has just gotten off on McCarran Boulevard.

The first question: Should drivers follow drivers they say are driving recklessly?

“While, yes, we do appreciate people that are willing to follow and provide constant updates to us or our dispatch, in terms of locations and if they take an offramp or a junction which way they go, make sure that you are keeping yourself safe,” says Trooper McLaughlin.

The suspected reckless driver pulls on to Bergin Way and stops. Trooper McLaughlin approaches the car. “Sir, can you roll down this back window please?” he asks.

“They called it in and gave a perfect description of the vehicle including the plate. Do you want to tell me what was going on today?” he asks the driver.

“I don't know what they are talking about,” says the driver.

The complaining party stays behind and troopers get her story as to what happened several miles back on the highway just past Keystone Avenue.

“Tailgated her and she put on her flashers and then she said he threw two projectiles at her vehicle,” says a fellow trooper to McLaughlin, relaying the woman’s story.

“Okay,” says McLaughlin, who runs a check on the suspect's license.

The woman is asked if she wants to file a formal complaint, and she agrees to file and sign. Here is where a traffic stop is perhaps like no other. Because the troopers don't see the alleged infractions, they can only serve the complaint on behalf of the other driver once that complaint is signed.

The troopers will not automatically be involved in the court case should it go that far.

It’s information the alleged reckless driver is not happy with.

“These are false allegations,” says the driver to Trooper McLaughlin.

“I understand sir, this is her word against yours. I am just the intermediary in this thing,” McLaughlin replies.

“If that violator chooses to contest those charges, you would be required to come to court,” says McLaughlin.

While it all sounds time-consuming, Trooper McLaughlin believes you probably aren't the first to be on the receiving end of a reckless driver. Without your help, though, it won't be the last. The next time, the trooper says, the results could be deadly.