Unfortunately, in my neighborhood (in California) a lot of drivers roll through stop signs and red lights, while turning right, sometimes almost hitting the pedestrians.

Do the pedestrians have any recourse at all (if they weren't hurt)? Does calling the cops do anything, if the cops weren't there to witness the reckless driving themselves?

1 Answer 1


That depends on the attitude of the local police, and the exact circumstances. If the pedestrian can report a license plate number, cops can (and may or may not) find the owner and deliver a warning. If the pedestrian can id the driver, the cops can charge and prosecute. They may not bother.

I was once cut off in a very dangerous manner by another car. I called 911 on my cell phone, and followed the other car, letting the police know my whereabouts. A police car drove up and pulled the other car over and issued a citation after talking with me. I was asked to sign a statement, and then to come to traffic court and testify. The other driver eventually pled to a somewhat lesser offense (careless driving if I recall correctly, rather than reckless.) That was in NJ, but I doubt the law would be very different on that point in CA. But whether the police would choose to act I could not predict.

  • The charges were based entirely on your testimony, or did you also have a dash cam or other witnesses?
    – MWB
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 2:37
  • @MaxB, entirely on my testimony. Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 14:38

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