Traffic Watch

Traffic Watch – Report Dangerous Motorist Behaviour

SAPOL’s Traffic Watch Reporting Scheme.
Bike Adelaide believes that bad driving, especially that which endangers cyclists, should be reported to the Police so that they are aware of the issue, and can follow up with offenders.  The SA Police have set up a “Traffic Watch” service for reporting these issues. Just ring the number below, provide the relevant details, and the Police will follow up your complaint. While charges may not be laid, the motorist in question will generally receive at least a cautionary phone call from the Police, with possibly an official warning, or in more serious cases a fine or court summons.
SAPOL keep data on all Traffic Watch reports and follow up errant drivers when patterns of negative behaviour become apparent.

The following information has been provided by SAPOL (Nov. 2009):

Reporting Errant Driving Through the South Australia Police Traffic Watch.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and all road users need to be aware that they must share the road safely.  The South Australia Police Traffic Watch is designed to allow members of the public the ability to report errant or dangerous driving.  It requires the person who observes the driving to record the time, day, date, location, description of the offending vehicle including the registration number and if possible a description of the driver.  Once these particulars are recorded, telephone 131444 or attend at your local police station and report the particulars of the incident that you have witnessed.

The member taking your report will issue a Traffic Watch report number and ensure that you record this number for your own records.  Ensure that you keep the notes that you have made about the incident.
It is not necessary to give a full statement or to attend court to give evidence in relation to your report but bear in mind that if you are not willing to do so then no court action can be taken in relation to the offending driver.  All reports are adjudicated by a senior Traffic member who will decide on the action to be taken in relation to the complaint.

The majority of complaints are handled by a cautionary letter being sent to the registered owner of the vehicle concerned which will highlight the particulars of the incident and that the behaviour has come to the attention of the police.  No further action is taken against this driver and they will not have a driving record in relation to this incident. You will not be contacted again if this cautionary letter is sent.

If the alleged offending is of a serious nature (i.e. a allegation of ‘hoon driving’) the matter is actioned to the Local Service Area Traffic Manager who will issue it for further investigation.  This investigation may result in the arrest, report, issuance of an expiation notice, clamping or impounding of the offending vehicle or cautioning of the offender.  If there is insufficient evidence the matter may also be filed.  During this investigation the reporting person should be contacted by the investigator.

In some matters, there will be insufficient evidence to either send a cautionary letter or send out an action (i.e. there is no registration number or the registration number given is incorrect), then the matter will be filed.  In these circumstances you may be contacted to verify the particulars of the incident if it is necessary.
If a vehicle repeatedly comes to the notice of police through the Traffic Watch system, this information is collated and sent out to the registered owner’s Local Service Area for further follow-up.

Thankyou and Regards
Senior Sergeant Paul Warren, Officer in Charge, Traffic Training and Promotion Section, South Australia Police.

SA Police “Traffic Watch” Phone number: 131 444

See: SA Traffic Watch website For reporting driver behaviour, SAPOL request you note:

  • The location of the dangerous driving;
  • Vehicle details, including registration number and description of the vehicle;
  • What exactly was the driving behaviour that you deemed to be dangerous or reckless;
  • Time of the incident; and
  • Be prepared to provide your details and contact phone numbers.