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I shouldn't have stopped

Wife and I took an 6500 miles road trip through parts of the southern and mid-west US. Had a heck of time and stopped at every opportunity (Jack Daniel’s, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam…). No problem at all during the trip.

Coming back into Maryland towards the end of rush hour, we traveled at about 80mph in a 65, but going with the flow of traffic.A state trooper was one or two cars behind us, swerving from one lane to the others and back several times. Then he turned on his lights and continued the same maneuvers without passing us or any of the other cars. Moving behind us, I figured he wants us to pull over and stop. It’s that “oh shi$$” moment and I pulled over and stopped.

Requesting the usual papers, driver’s license and insurance he asked me if I know why he stopped me. “Nope, no idea, officer” (never say yes. It’s an admission of guilt). He went on to say that I was going 78 in 65. "But officer, I was going only with the flow of traffic. Why did you single me out? His answer was short and to the point, but with a smile…“because you were the only one that stopped”.

I got lucky with that one once, I was the only guy that pulled over and stopped, got a $10 ticket for not having current insurance paper… The criminals win, the good guy pays, I mean if you were a criminal and knew a high speed pursuit would be called off would you stop? Of course I would stop again, but really I would support all means necessary to apprehend people that do not stop,

If you were in that area I would have suggested the Corvette Museum and the Barber Motorcycle Museum if time allowed. If not put them on your next list.

you are right. I drove right by the Corvette museum and didn’t even realize it. …next time

Hee hee. I was heading east on I90 right by Wisconsin Dells and a state trooper had pulled a guy over going west bound. He still had his radar gun in his hand when he timed another guy going west and signaled for him to pull over a couple times. The guy just kept on going and the trooper just threw his arms up in the air. What could he do? In fishing you can only have one line in the water at a time regardless of how well the fish are biting. He wanted to get his daily quota in one fells swoop.

Sounds like a fun trip. I’d want to go to that Noah’s Ark museum if I went! It’s an actual size Noah’s Ark somebody built. Dimensionally correct, right to the cubit.

Before I80 was built out here in the West it was just a two lane narrow road, one in each direction, for miles and miles. It was pretty common to see a police patrol car pulling over a whole bunch of cars all at once for speeding in the uninhabited areas of that route in the West. He’d find a place where the cars would be going fast, like a long downhill section, hide & clock each of them, then get in front of the whole pack of 'em and not let any of them pass, signal them to pull over, the entire group, might be twenty cars. Then he’d let the ones go that weren’t speeding, ticket the others. Which was most of them. That was his day job I guess. Dealing Blackjack at night probably.

It was sort of unfair, b/c if you didn’t go fast on the down-hills the 18 wheelers would pass you, then you’ve have to pass them on the next uphill again. Which was both difficult and unsafe as you’d have to pass each truck on the uphill in the lane with on-coming traffic. And that oncoming traffic would be going fast in their direction, downhill. Lots of head-on fatalities in those days.

Now w/I80 8 lanes in places even in the most rural areas you can drive really fast there. Some limits are 75, I think even maybe 80 in places. One time on the way from San Francisco to Denver I was going 85 on a remote section and a patrol car drives up next to me, and the officer shakes his finger “naughty naughty” l then smiles and goes on down the road.

A cop asked me if I knew why he pulled me over and I told him it was because I couldn’t find a slow moving farm implement to hold me up when I really needed one. Passed up a good opportunity to keep my mouth shut.

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Sounds like the state trooper was a real smart-xxx . . . there’s no nice way to say such a thing

If you immediately pull over, he acts like a smart ass

If you don’t immediately pull over, he uses the PA to tell you to pull over, and then he’s probably going to ask you why you didn’t pull over immediately

No win situation

When I first moved to the L.A. area many years ago me and another guy decided a few days after arriving there we were going to go up on the Sunset Strip just to see what if anything that was all about.

Traffic on the freeway was fairly light and I’m in no hurry; doing about 55 in the outside lane. A CHP trooper pulls up beside me and keeps pace for a few minutes. I look over at him and he motions me with his hand. (???)
I look at the speed and I’m good so I look back and he motions again.
I had no idea what he was getting at until he started raising his palm up repeatedly and I took that to mean speed up.

So I bumped it up to 60 and he kept motioning. He kept this up until I was a shade over 75, gave me a thumbs up, and pulled on away.

I didn’t quite get it because traffic was very light and I wasn’t holding anyone up.

Think of it as being like a hawk flying into a flock of starlings. He can only choose one.
You had out of state plates. Is it fair? Probably not. Is it life? definitely. Been there. The cops in western Massachusetts are famous for tagging out of state plates. They actually have unofficial quotas to meet. I got that from a statie I know.

Things have changed here due to the way license plates are stamped now but for many years plates in OK were stamped with a 2 letter prefix which designated the county where the car owner resided. This means it was easy as pie to tell if someone was from out of town or county.

Back when the local newspaper was a real paper with substance they used to print on Sundays a “Daily Record” which showed every traffic citation issued for the past week with the car owner’s name and address listed.

One could peruse those listings and every single week roughly 85-90% of them were citations issued to people who lived out of county.
This of course meant the odds of someone ever returning and contesting a ticket was about zero.

As for quotas, mountainbike is right although law enforcement will never admit to it.

About 7 or 8 years ago an upper level official in a DPS district in eastern OK actually admitted to it although he did this inadvertently to a member of the press. There was a lot of hemming, hawing, and backtracking when this made the news statewide. “Taken out of context”, “not meant that way”, yada, yada, yada.
No news as to whether that official was reassigned to Boise City out in No Man’s Land; an area claimed to be where wrong doers were sent as punishment.

I think the cops ask you an open ended question, like “Do you know why I stopped you?” to get you to talk. They are always looking for drunk drivers or intoxicated people on drugs or sleepy people, and they learn a lot from your interaction with them. So, I just talk to them. “What’s up?”, “how are you today?” that sort of thing. The first 10 seconds of a traffic stop are the most tense for a cop, so be casual, friendly, whatever, to lower the anxiety level. Even if you’re really annoyed, suck it up and be nice.

Like it or not, they have a job to do. You will never get out of a ticket by being any angry a###ole.

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I was on a business trip in Nashville and took some time off to visit Museum and factory tour. The factory tour was real good.

In their defense, you need to have some objective means of evaluating the troopers and the number of stops or tickets issued would be one indicator. The number of complaints from the public would be another and maybe miles driven except they might be limited by budget. I can see all of this compiled in their annual evaluation.

I’m still wondering why I wasn’t given a ticket some years ago. I was going 70 in a 55 on my way to an office move 150 miles away so was in a hurry. The trooper had a passenger in the car and he just told me to slow down. I don’t know if it was his boss, a partner, trainee, or ride along from the public that was with him. Or maybe he was a trainee and hadn’t been issued his book yet. I dunno. I have found the state troopers to be much nicer than the locals though. In Minnesota anyway they all go through customer service training so they make you feel good when they stop you.

I don’t believe there is a one cop, one car limit. I have seen this done in more than one state. In fact, where I grew up, they routinely had one cop on an overpass with a radar gun and one cop pulling over multiple cars further down the expressway. That one cop would have half a dozen cars over at the same time.

I got pulled over in a group once. At first I thought about ignoring him and just keep tooling along. In discussions with him, he revealed that he already had my plate number and would have no qualms about sending me a citation in the mail. In the end, I think the frank discussion helped me as he let me go with a warning.

I don’t mind a ticket if it’s legitimate (well, I don’t LIKE it, but accept that it’s my own fault), but I hate bogus tickets. I’ve only gotten one in my life, but it was wrong. I tried to fight it in a small town kangaroo court, and all I got was a reduction in the fine.

I have seen before . . cops turn on their lights for the sole purpose of slowing EVEYONE down by virtue of their existence doing so.
Mostly on my few trips to California. Those CHiPs do some strange things , all the while trying to keep traffic flowing.

Yeah in Minnesota I’ve gotten the flashing lights a few times as they pass you buy. The Iowa patrol used to team up like that and sometimes used planes to identify the speeders. Back in the good ole 55 days. Normally I don’t complain but the one I got on my 50th birthday still burns me up. City guy in a town of about 150, hiding in the dark about 10:00 at night. I had worked all day at my wife’s uncle’s auction and was tired after driving 150 miles. I guess he could have at least wished me a happy birthday but he was a jerk. Most of the time I take a different route now to avoid that town and not buy anything there.

One time I rented an old police cruiser from a small garage that was doing work on my car. I noticed people slowed down around me and got out of my way, especially at night. That must be a nice perk for driving an old police cruiser; if you keep it in good enough shape, people might assume you’re a plain clothes officer and clear a path for you.

Got a ticket for 1 over outside of Osage Iowa once. Made me so mad that I actually did go back and fight it in court. Got the cop on the stand, got him to admit he had no idea how his radar worked and that even if provided with evidence that his equipment was wrong, he’d still act according to what his equipment was telling him. Still found guilty.

Some of those small towns rely on ticket revenue to stay afloat. You won’t ever win against that kind of conflict of interest.