How Dash Cams in Personal Vehicles Can Help Traffic Investigators
The night of January 2, a motorist traveling northbound on 395 reported a reckless driver, The Nevada Highway Patrol arrived within minutes to apprehend the driver, and the vehicle that called 9-1-1 caught the whole thing on their dash cam.
The night of January 2, a motorist traveling northbound on 395 reported a reckless driver, the Nevada Highway Patrol arrived within minutes to apprehend the driver, and the vehicle that called 9-1-1 caught the whole thing on their dash cam.
"Technology being what it is, a lot more motorists have dash cams in their vehicles," Public Information Officer for NHP Matthew McLaughlin says. "And they're really invaluable when it comes to crashes or these careless, reckless drivers that we often see."
The suspect in this case is 26 year old Esperanza Rodriguez-Vazquez. She was charged with driving under the influence, having an open alcohol container, reckless driving, resisting arrest, and battery on a police officer among other charges.
McLaughlin says while these videos are always helpful to solidifying their investigation, motorists need to be cautious of driving near reckless drivers.
"If that vehicle is traveling well over the posted speed limit and is driving very dangerous, very aggressively, don't get yourself so wrapped up in it that you get involved in a crash or you get involved in some type of incident," McLaughlin says. "Sometimes these situations can lead to road rage."
McLaughlin says motorists should still call, if they can do so safely, when they see a reckless driver, even if they don't have a dash cam. He says be ready to give dispatch your location (a nearby exit helps if you're on a highway), a description of the suspect vehicle, and their license plate. If it's not safe enough to get that close, it's not worth putting yourself in danger, but the license plate provides the most information.
"Because even with a license plate we can often times locate the vehicle at the registered owner's address if need be," McLaughlin says.
McLaughlin says dash cams are often very helpful in traffic collisions, because often times the only witnesses to a crash are the people involved, so it's case of "he said, she said."
Whether you're involved in the incident or just acting as a witness, McLaughlin says make sure the case is complete before getting rid of the video.
"If you've been a witness to something and you think the incident is over, they've been issued a citation, make sure you hold onto it until the process has been fully adjudicated," he says.
We reached out to the person who provided us the video for an interview, but did not get a response.