Yellowknife Facebook groups are rife with gripes and warnings over erratic and potentially dangerous drivers.
Reports of poorly parked vehicles, speeders, and drivers weaving in and out of traffic fill the various Rant and Rave pages. Debate invariably ensues over how the author of the post should have reacted.
“Confront the driver,” and “call the RCMP” are among the suggested actions on a recent post to the Rant and Rave 2.0 page last week.
NNSL Media put the question to the Yellowknife RCMP to answer what, in fact, is the best course of action when presented with a potentially dangerous driver.
The answer, “the NT RCMP doesn’t recommend confronting an erratic driver,” said RCMP spokesperson Julie Plourde. “If someone witnesses erratic driving behaviours, the RCMP ask you to report it to us as soon as you can.”
If you are driving, RCMP suggest pulling over to make the report as soon as possible or having a passenger make the call.
“If we hear that someone appears to be driving erratically, we can respond, investigate and take them off the road,” says Cpl. Sam Munden, who’s in charge of NT RCMP Traffic Services. “If you’re ever on the fence about whether you should report someone, the answer is always ‘yes.'”
In the last year, a total of 57 impaired driving cases were reported to Yellowknife RCMP.
In reporting a vehicle, RCMP ask callers to provide the colour, make and model of the car, the plate number, location, and direction of travel. RCMP say they will then dispatch to investigate the matter.
Signs of erratic or impaired driving include: swerving, quick changes in speed, speeding or driving slowly, and drivers who appear to be falling asleep.
“If you suspect someone is driving erratically for being impaired by drugs or alcohol, or both, and they are an immediate threat to public safety, call your local RCMP detachment or 911,” said Plourde.
The Yellowknife RCMP can be reached at 867-669-1111.