Walnut Creek Police Department Introduces Use of Reckless Driver Letter

January 30, 2014 10:00 am · 44 comments

Every year, the Walnut Creek Police Department (WCPD) receives over 600 calls reporting reckless driving.

Officers respond to these calls for service but because these vehicles are on the move, the offending vehicles are often unable to be located.

To help keep drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians safe, WCPD is introducing a Reckless Driver Letter as an additional tool for education.

In addition to responding to calls regarding reckless drivers, this allows the department to send a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle that is reported to be driving recklessly. The letter informs the registered owner that their vehicle was reported to the police department. This allows for education of the driver of the vehicle.

“This letter is just another tool in our effort to prevent accidents and protect life and property”, police said.

The Mamba January 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM

That would make an excellent fire starter in my outdoor fire pit.

Cal January 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

So if they get the same vehicle reported by more then one person and/or the same vehicle is reported in different locations do they take any kind of action?

T-Rex January 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Hey bro, may I borrow your car real quick?

Grantline January 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Excellent proactive policy from an excellent police force. It would be helpful if the letter were sent th the RO insurance co., but i suppose that would be deemed unfair. It would encourage appropriate conversations.

Jessica January 30, 2014 at 10:53 AM

It may be a “waste of paper” but at least those jerks will know that they have been reported to the cops! After so many reported offenses they should be made to take a driving class!

gimli January 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The increased use of dashcams would help for these situations.

wc44 January 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

This is going to be a short lived program as the letters begin to flood Rossmor.

Elwood January 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I hope they’re going to send out the notices in Spanish also.

Opinions January 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

What constitutes reckless driving in the opinion of an untrained professional?
Can an ex-spouse report on their ex?
What is to prevent anyone from revenge or a kid playing a joke on a friend?
If someone wants to report a reckless driver, the whatever law enforcement agency should immediately respond to the situation as the should for someone reporting a drunk driver for this to be actually effective.
IMHO, it allows for too much false information and is nothing more than another government attempt to get us to snitch on each other.

Anon January 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

This sounds realistic to remind people to please drive carefully without a possible confrontation and gives the person time to reflect. Maybe the 2 seconds he saved won’t mean as much.

James Dean January 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM

How stupid….What’s to stop anyone from just getting a license number and continually reporting it or having a friend do it again…what if that person is disliked by another individual.This was not thought out well…and a waste of money time and paper!

anonanonagain January 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I’m sure if they are being reckless on the streets they will just toss this note into the can. Too many selfish jerks on the streets today. I saw a vehicle today in a souped up truck speeding down Contra Costa Blvd, black exhaust fumes coming out the back almost rear ending a vehicle then speeding off in a fury while straddling the lanes. Scary.

Just me January 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Considering reckless driving calls are based soley on ones interpretation of what happened I’d say this is worthless. It’s kinda like the “how’s my driving” bumper stickers.

People get mad because they get cut off or someone honks at them and they want to cause the other person grief. The only thing they can do is call the cops or their company. At the end of the day the person who called likely doesn’t even remember the incident and now someone else gets harrassed.

It’s a waste of time and money and just another service that will be abused by people with nothing better to do

I once called 911 to report a drunk driver January 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

all the dispatcher did was argue with me.

Kirkwood January 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Remember this is inside the city limits, I’d bet they get maybe a few per week. An intern can fill in the boilerplate and stuff an envelope in a minute. Might do a little good and certainly won’t hurt.

Please Let Me Write This Letter. January 30, 2014 at 12:25 PM

The first words of the letter should be “ATTENTION DOUCHE BAG!” in bold, red type.

This letter is a good thing if used correctly, but it will be abused, and ignored. This letter should not be sent to those that are reported for cutting off, or driving in an immature manner. This letter is for the times where people are impaired and their causing an accident is eminent, and the only reason that they get away is due to the reporting party losing contact with them. I’ve been in this position several times and it it’s quite frustrating when the reckless driver gets away without even a warning.

Young Duck January 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

An old lady would say you were reckless for going 50 mph. Useless, waste of time and police services.

Ted K., Supermax January 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM

I would expect a ton of “revenge” reports being filed. Is there any mechanism to combat potential fraudulent claims? Is the reporting person’s information included? In a court of law, the accused has the right to face and question the accuser…

Charles-the-cat January 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Interesting idea. Not sure I like it. Maybe that says something about my driving. Hopefully they don’t accept anonymous reports and have some level of vetting, like requiring multiple reports from different people before they issue a letter.

I once called WC police non-emergency line to report reckless parking. A truck was parked in the middle of the road just past a blind corner. Like #14, all the dispatcher did was argue with me and tell me to call back AFTER there was an accident.

This is a PR move ONLY January 30, 2014 at 1:04 PM

So? Send someone a reckless driver letter? Based upon WHAT? A citizen reporting, in THEIR opinion, that another person was driving in a manner that they didn’t like? How do you determine the traffic violation? Have they studied the vehicle code? Did they copy the plate correctly? Even getaway cars from a robbery, witnesses mostly give the WRONG plate. So therefore some poor vehicle owner gets this totally unenforceable waste of police resources and taxpayer dollars letter? To do what with?

No kidding, I once drove across an EMPTY parking lot near Rossmore Safeway, and some old bag actually followed me to the gas station and laid into me about my “violation”…quite rudely and insistent she was. What are you talking about I asked? “You drove across the painted parking lines in the lot. You are supposed to follow the arrows”! Um..lady it’s private parking and there isn’t a care within 500 feet! See! Waste of time.

Clayton Pete January 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

This sounds like a waste of time.
No real consequences or way to enforce, for reasons already mentioned.
What will they do after someone gets 20 such letters? Nothing…. except send more letters.
Just hire a couple more cops to actually patrol and be available to respond to these calls.

The Dude January 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Isn’t this going to just reinforce to the offender that no real action can usually be taken against them? If scrapping the whole program bought a few more hours of a traffic officer on the streets it would be worth it. California has used up its smoke and mirrors, the criminals don’t care any more.

Professional Driver January 30, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Great idea. CHP should adopt the same.

..and OMG – drove down I680 yesterday from the North-end to the South-end and now I know why there are so many accidents on this highway. Just because you turn on your blinker does not mean that there is room for you to move over…you still have to look!!!

Re: Just Me @ 13 = if there are cars cutting someone off and people honking then somebody is doing something they shouldn’t! It’s not harassment to call their attention to it.

Re: This is a PR move ONLY @ 20 = PR? Really? I don’t think so. Besides if the plate was wrong, and I, for example, got the letter in error, it would still cause me to stop and reevaluate my driving. Not a bad thing for all of us to do once in a while. It could save a life, maybe your own.

Elwood January 30, 2014 at 2:12 PM

@ Jive Elwood #8

I’m trying to figure out what your motivation might be for posting in my name.

Just me January 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

@professional driver – I assume by your name you drive truck. If so, just like me you see multiple instances of stupid on a daily basis. However I guarantee that sometimes its your fault just as much.

Take the guy that put his blinker on near the exit and came over anyways. Maybe you were thinking they should have come over sooner and didn’t want to let them in when in reality you could easily backoff and let them over.

Everyone’s so “entitled” to their lane. How many times have you had to push someone out of the way because you needed over. It happens daily.

Of course. You could be one of those Super Truckers that never does wrong but we all know they’re full of bs

Jose January 30, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Now I have a goal-to get one of these letters, frame it, and display it proudly in my living room. Captain Freeway is probably having a heart attack right now, lol.

Elwood January 30, 2014 at 2:38 PM

@ #24

I didn’t you realize you own the name Elwood, but if you need to know, that is my last name and I live here in Concord, Ca.

RANDOM TASK January 30, 2014 at 3:22 PM

oh sweet so I can get de-suages and boneheads plate number and send in a ton of letter as to bad driving and politics sweet deal

anonanonagain January 30, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Too bad the red light runners can’t have a photo sent with the letter and the threat of sharing a bunk with Charles Manson…..:)

mika January 30, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Hearsay! Prove it!

Charles-the-cat January 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

@Jose – Great! I’ve been stressing over what to get you for your birthday. Writing the letter now!

Jose January 30, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Thanks, Charles, but I’m not looking for a gift. I want to EARN it!

I wonder if Concord PD will do something similar. I don’t drive through Walnut Creek much.

@Elwood #8 January 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

I’d strongly reccomend that you post here using a name other than the name Elwood, even though it’s your last name. Unless you are as rediculous and annoying as the usual Elwood, that is.

OVERLORD January 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM


From hence forth you shall be known as Elwood the Lesser. So it is written, So it shall be.

Gus January 30, 2014 at 6:15 PM

And just like YELP! Those pesky letters will disappear with a donation to the police retirement fund.

Not only that but you people do realize that 50% of these letters will be complete bullish€>. I was almost rear ended today by a dumb little girl talking on the phone. She honked at me and gave me the finger. But under this new rule my boss could a letter saying I was driving unsafe. Thank you Californian liberal retards.

Anyone can complain about anyone, there is no oversight, to prove my point the next time I see a “claycord” bumper sticker (I’ve seen two recently) I am going to report you as a reckless driver, then you can post about it.

anon January 30, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Would be good to use at all WC schools when children are dropped off and picked up. 500 letters a day for starters. Watch out mom.

The Closer January 30, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Claycord bumper stickers??? I want one. Where Can I get one Mayor?

Retired Cop January 30, 2014 at 7:22 PM

“I once called 911 to report a drunk driver January 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM
all the dispatcher did was argue with me.”

“Like #14, all the dispatcher did was argue with me and tell me to call back AFTER there was an accident.”

Above is no surprise at all.

Silva January 30, 2014 at 10:42 PM


Kitty January 30, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Ha! Add this to the city wide smoking ban and then watch the road rage/reckless driving after a fine for smoking in public…

Jess January 31, 2014 at 12:19 AM

What a ridiculous idea. I can see high school kids calling in as a prank to get someone in trouble. Maybe one pizza delivery guy calling in a rival just to stir things up. Exes calling in each other to bolster their side in a custody dispute. Waste of taxpayer money.

anonymous January 31, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Not a bad idea, though I’m usually too busy avoiding being hit to get a license number.

BusBoy January 31, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Anyone remember the exhaust reporting letters the DMV sent out… WAIT…. I had to look and lo and behold it still exists!! lol

I once got two of these in like a 6 month span… car never smoked but it was a bit loud.

I then did one on myself for kicks… it literally took like 3 months to get to me!

Have fun with it Claycord! Hint Hint… BAAQMD? Hmmmmmm


J. January 31, 2014 at 8:03 PM

It’s a waste of time. Specifically because it’s all based on the “opinion” of a person who is not properly trained on knowing what a “reckless driver” is. Perhaps, most of the complaints will be made by people who are upset, having a bad day, stupid drivers, and people who have a lot of time in their hands. What is stopping people from falsely reporting individuals because they’re just evil an are using the stupidity of the policy to harass and tarnish the reputation of another?

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