What does ‘wheel witness’ mean?

Officers or other drivers can act as ‘wheel witness’

The definition of a wheel witness is basically a witness in any type of case against another person for a criminal driving charge.

As part of all driving charges, the prosecutor must prove that a person accused was actually driving the vehicle. This may sound crazy, but not having someone that can testify that the accused person was driving may mean the difference between a conviction and a case being completely thrown out.

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In most cases, the law enforcement officer conducting the investigation turns out to be the wheel witness. If they are physically stopping the car themselves for a violation that ultimately needs a wheel witness, then that officer turns out to be that witness that they need.

It is often the case that an officer will arrive on the scene of a crash or a situation and everyone’s outside of their cars or a driver of a vehicle has decided to leave. If the crash they responded to involves two or more vehicles, then the drivers or the passengers of the vehicles that remained at the scene may be able in some cases to act as that wheel witness.

This is exactly where the phrase “if you see something, say something” comes to play. Our laws are written in a very detailed way so that they can be followed and so that prosecution can happen accordingly. The term innocent until proven guilty carries a lot of weight within our society. Having a witness that can place someone behind the wheel of a vehicle is key to any charges no matter where the case may go.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.