The Traffic Stop Stickler and Three Stupid Things They Say

You know what never ceases to amaze me?  No, it wasn’t the traf­fic stop with the 18-year-old hooker with the love child…although that’s an amus­ing tale.

traffic stop

No, what never ceases to amaze me is when I’m try­ing to con­duct a traf­fic stop and sud­denly the dri­ver of the vehi­cle I’m attempt­ing to stop becomes a com­plete stick­ler for the rules of the road.

Case in point:

I recently stopped some­one for speed­ing.  I pulled out and hit the emer­gency lights. The vehi­cle just kept on a-goin’.

What the hell?!?

Upon the even­tual con­tact, I asked the dri­ver why they didn’t stop when they saw the pretty lights and heard the loud ass siren.

Here are three of the dumb­est things I’ve heard on a traf­fic stop as excuses for not stopping:

  1. The curb was red.  Really?!?  The noise and strobes behind you don’t trump the red curb?  God for­bid you use some com­mon sense and think that per­haps I have rear lights to indi­cate to approach­ing traf­fic to take car whilst I crush your soul.
  2. I didn’t think it was safe. I don’t care what you think is safe.  And by the way, I typ­i­cally don’t turn on my lights until I want you to stop…which is usu­ally right where you are!  Also, when you don’t stop, it makes it less and less safe as time goes on.  Because I assume you are hid­ing your kilo of coke and your sawed-off shotgun.
  3. I was in the left lane, so I thought I’d con­tinue my left turn and pull off the main road.  Well, far be it from me to dis­suade you from your cur­rent course and/or destination…oh, no.  Wait.  That’s exactly what I’m try­ing to do!

Good Lord, people.

The vehi­cle code (at least in the great state of CA…but I imag­ine other 49 have a sim­i­lar statute) requires you to “imme­di­ately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the high­way, clear of any inter­sec­tion, and therupon shall stop and remain stopped…” (CVC 21806(a)(1)) when a traf­fic stop finds you.

Remem­ber that place on your license with your sig­na­ture?  Yeah, that is more or less your acknowl­edge­ment that you are aware of and under­stand the rules of the freak­ing road.

So, do me a favor Mr/Ms Sud­den Stick­ler of the Law, when you see the flashy-flashies come on behind you, it would behoove you to pull to the right and wait nice and patient-like for me to make contact.

If you just keep on cruis­ing along on your whim, you may just see an extra vio­la­tion on your inevitable citation.

I am a motor officer, blogger, and financial coach. I help first responders create a unique and specific personal finance spending plan so they can improve their quality of life, reduce the necessity of overtime, and spend more time with their families.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or just simply stupid. Snark, however, is not only welcome, but encouraged. Cheers...

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12 thoughts on “The Traffic Stop Stickler and Three Stupid Things They Say

  1. The only thing i can see that might be a legit rea­son is the left­hand lane thing if it is not SAFE to get over into the right­hand lane. That being said, i’ve only been stopped a hand­ful of times and each time i saw the lights and heard the bwip of the siren, i imme­di­ately pulled over and stopped. Two of the times, the cop was fac­ing the oppo­site direc­tion of which i was trav­el­ling and had to pull a u turn to get behind me. in both instances, i stopped and waited for the offi­cer to pull up behind me. In all instances because i never con­test that i was speed­ing or had com­mit­ted a traf­fic offense, plus i am polite and apolo­getic to the offi­cer, i usu­ally am lucky and get off with a warning.

  2. About some­one not feel­ing it’s safe to stop: I’ve been taught and read sev­eral places that if you feel it isn’t safe to stop where you are you should pull to the far­thest right lane and put on your haz­ards, slow down, and then stop as soon as it’s safe. What do you think about some­one doing that?

  3. I care about safety. If, in my best judge­ment, I do not believe it’s safe for me to stop right now, I won’t. Given that you’re still wet behind the ears com­pared to me, I take pri­or­ity. That’s me tak­ing pri­or­ity away from you in spite of your absolute author­ity over all you survey.

  4. Sud­denly these peo­ple become author­i­ties on what is safe and yet now they are get­ting pulled over. It’s a shame they weren’t author­i­ties on doing what is safe five min­utes ear­lier because then there would not have been any need for some­one to turn on the pretty lights. When con­sid­er­ing that the per­son most at risk is the Offi­cer who pulled you over then I think his or her judg­ment can be relied upon and keep in mind the offi­cer is at risk because of your actions. So much for your safety con­cerns how­ever new to you those con­cepts may be.

  5. The best thing I ever did was attend a Cit­i­zens Police Acad­emy, where I devel­oped even more empa­thy for what Offi­cers go through every day. I haven’t been stopped in more than 30 plus years (no math allowed!) but if I WERE, I know to roll my win­dows down, turn on inte­rior lights, and keep my hands on the steer­ing wheel, until instructed to do oth­er­wise! And I would never (again) use a lame excuse (like hav­ing to pee…) :-)

  6. Well, I can tell you in sev­eral self defense classes for women, they say it’s per­fectly fine to con­tinue to a well lit area that feels “safe”…don’t take it personal„sometimes peo­ple just freak out when they see the sirens and lights…have a tiny bit of patience…

    • 1). Stopped by a motor­cop = day­time (usually)…meaning most places are gen­er­ally a “well lit area”. 2) As far as the “feels safe” thingy, your police imper­son­ators aren’t going to be on marked police motor­cy­cles ($ $$,$$$) wear­ing motor­cop gear ($ $,$$$). They’re usu­ally creepy freaks or wanna be cops who couldn’t pass the psych eval; and usu­ally are not rolling in the dough. They mostly scrounge together a cou­ple of small led lights or maybe a cig­a­rette plug ‘Cojak’ light or two from an auc­tion or scratch and dent online police sup­ply sale while wear­ing a patch­work ‘uni­form’ that screams WTF. 3) A motor­cop is almost always very selec­tive about when and where he/she turns on the flashy and yelpy thingys to pull you over; and that selec­tion usu­ally has as much to do with your safety as ours. So, yeah you go ahead and pick that ‘safer’ spot because you know bet­ter. Just know that if you put the motorcop’s safety at risk, you’ll prob­a­bly be cited for that too. Sheesh…“have a tiny bit of” com­mon sense…