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Recently, considerable research has been focused on applying ad hoc wireless networking technology to on-the-move vehicles. In this paper, we focus on distributed detection of dangerous vehicles on roads and highways. We propose the dangerous-vehicle-detection protocol (DVDP) to detect drivers who violate the permitted speed limit. In DVDP, each vehicle collects surrounding vehicles' identifications (IDs) and propagates warning information (including its position, speed, time, and collected IDs). This information is then forwarded hop-by-hop using ad hoc communications. A vehicle that receives this information will start to observe its surrounding vehicles. If surrounding vehicles are identified in the received warning information, it will estimate the speed of such vehicles. If the estimated speed exceeds the permitted speed, such vehicles are then marked as ??suspected vehicles,?? and the updated warning information is further propagated. By repeating this process, the suspected vehicle (where other vehicles observe the speed violation) will ultimately be marked as a ??dangerous vehicle.?? This judgment is then further propagated to warn others and to inform the traffic police. We evaluated the performance of DVDP using a simulator that performs both macroscopic and microscopic traffic simulation, taking into account realistic lane and speed models, mobility, position, and location errors. Simulation results revealed that DVDP's detection probability is greater than 80% when vehicle density is above 40 vehicles/min. When vehicle density is low, deployment of relay points can help to further improve detection probability. In addition, by utilizing vehicles in opposite lanes, detection probability can be further improved.