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Reckless driver on EB Route 120: Lic. 715 2785

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Reckless driver on EB Route 120: Lic. 715 2785

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 6, 2010

One of my pet peeves is the dangerous, aggressive driver, and I spotted this one on Route 120 outside Woodstock this afternoon.

I was eastbound on Charles Road from Queen Anne Road about 2:40PM, when the driver of a light green, four-door, mid-size sedan (Illinois license 715 2785) came up fast behind me after passing a car in a no-passing zone. He had to wait for two-three oncoming cars, and then he passed me. Traffic was moving at the 55MPH speed limit, and I estimated his speed at 70+ to go around me. He then slowed behind a D-200 school bus and tailgated it very closely, but he wasn't able to pass it due to oncoming traffic.

The schoolbus driver made a complete stop at Route 120/Greenwood Road, and the aggressive driver made a half-hearted attempt at stopping and then crossed the intersection behind the bus. The driver then moved over in the acceleration lane for Route 120 traffic, passed the schoolbus on the right and re-entered the through lane. He continued east past Thompson Road and got stuck in traffic.

That's when I called the McHenry County Sheriff's Department and reported him. I didn't really expect that a deputy would be able to intercept that driver, but you never know. If there wasn't a deputy in the area, I was hoping the dispatcher would notify the City of McHenry P.D., and then they could stop him as he entered their city.

As luck would have it, an MCSD deputy pulled up at Route 120 on East Wonder Lake Road, but he was about a minute behind the errant driver and had no way to know that that driver has already passed through the intersection.

One of the things that MCSD dispatchers do not do is collect caller information to be able to re-contact a driver who reports a dangerous driver. In my case, had an MCSD deputy or a McHenry cop made the stop, I would have stopped and requested tickets issued to that driver. Without my complaint, they'd have no probable cause to stop the driver until they made their own observation of a violation.

Wouldn't it be nice if dispatchers asked for a name and callback number and asked whether the caller would be willing to testify in a prosecution of the violations? I suspect that many callers would be willing to do that, especially if dispatchers acted like partners with civilians to catch dangerous drivers.

And, if the Department publicized its willingness to partner with civilians, a good team could be formed. They are drivers who are willing to take action to get dangerous drivers off the road.

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