Monday, August 07, 2006

When good cops go bad

There are few subjects upon which I can opine with such confidence, knowing there are few in this world who are more expert.

We all love police officers when they're writing a ticket to the jackass that just cut us off in traffic. But the feelings quickly change when the flashing lights are in our OWN rear view mirror.

I found an article on the net which outlines etiquette for a traffic stop. It supposedly provides guidelines which may help get you a warning instead of a ticket. Here are the article's main points, followed by my own thoughts on the subject.

1 - Pull over as soon as possible. As soon as you even think that you might be the one that the highway patrol car is after, pull over.
As soon as you've emptied the beer can into the floorboard completely, hidden your bong and managed to find the seatbelt, pull over. This may take a few blocks, but you can always say you thought he was after someone else, because as far as you can see, you weren't doing anything wrong.

2 - Always pull over on the right side of the roadway. On divided highways, signal and safely move over to the far right lane, and then to the shoulder.
Stop right there in the traffic lane. If you're going to get a ticket for going five over, screw it... the other motorists can suffer along with you. I see this happen all the time, and while I know it's not safe, there's a little part of me that snickers.

3 - Know where your paperwork is. Normally, when a police officer first pulls you over, he/she will ask for your license, registration, and insurance. If you're not well organized and keep the officer waiting while you dig through your possessions, the officer may be less likely to sympathize.
Take your sweet time. You're getting a ticket anyway. Might as well make sure that the fine you will pay equals the amount of time it took the nice officer to charge your ass with the offense. In fact, while you're digging around, make small talk about the community's Police Chief and what an asshole he is. This may be the quickest, easiest way to earn the officer's favor.

Oh, and when's the last time you ever showed your "registration?" They NEVER ask for that.

4 - Make the officer feel safe. Turn your dome light on at night. Always keep your hands in plain sight. Don't make any sudden movements. Roll your window down all the way. Stay in the car.
Get right out of the car when you're stopped. That way, technically there's no way he can prove you were even the driver. Besides, I'm sure he wants to know you aren't going to pull a firearm out of the glove box... and from outside the car, there's little chance of that happening. This will make the officer feel even safer.

5 - Let the cop talk first. Don't blurt out things that could incriminate you. Keep your calm, even if you're upset about being stopped. Don't volunteer information, like how fast you thought you were going. The officer may not be pulling you over for what you think he is.
Whatever! C'mon, you know why the officer is pulling you over. Blurt out "Wow, you must be really bored!" This will make the officer feel inadequate, and send a clear message that he's made a judgment error by pulling you over. It's a psychological ploy that will work in your favor, trust me.

Throw in a comment or two about donuts, then ask for his badge number. Do all of this in a thick irish accent. If none of this works, ask something like "Isn't there a funeral procession somewhere that you're supposed to be working?"

6 - Don't argue with the cop. Challenging the officer is a recipe for disaster, and likely means that you will be written up for the full offense and the officer will be less likely to opt for a compromise in court.
This is silly. It never hurts to have a lively debate. Most of our problems as a country, a society and a species have been solved in this manner.

Make sure the officer knows that you were just going with the flow of traffic, that the guy in front of you had just passed you so HE'S the one who should get a ticket... and that it's stupid to have such a low speed limit in this area anyway. How ELSE will the officer know he's made a mistake?

Also, if you're the opposite sex, this may be the time to play the "oral sex" card.


If you follow the advice from the internet piece, sure - you might get out of a ticket or two... but you'll really look like a wuss. Trust me, my way is more fun.

I should point out that if the officer is a female, all bets are off... you will get a ticket.


Blogarita said...

Where were you when Spouse Guy got a ticket three weekends ago? It's all your fault that he didn't have your sound advice in time to avoid that fine.

Lee Ann said... you want us to go to jail along with getting a ticket Dave?
Man, I thought you were my friend.

When I was younger, I got pulled over a few times, (I have no idea why, of course I wasn't doing anything wrong) but it would make me so nervous I would cry. I never wanted to cry, but I did. I never got a ticket fortunately.
Now, I am just damn careful to make sure I don't get pulled over! :)

~The Goofy Ass Chick said...

"Also, if you're the opposite sex, this may be the time to play the "oral sex" card."

Note to self: If ever traveling towards Morrisville, Dave Morris may be dressed as a cop.

Eve said...

ALl I have to say is Bless The Heartland where one can pay Chuck Rizzo 100 bucks at the Traffic Law Hotline to turn a speeding ticket into a non-moving excessive noise violation.

Amandarama said...

The likelihood that you will be pulled over increases in direct proportion to whether or not the officer has made his or her quota of tickets for the given month. Something I learned to my dismay when I was driving around with an expired inspection sticker...uninsured...

Violet said...

Spoken like a man with a lot of experience in traffic stops... Hmmmm....

I have to admit - I've never been able to get out of tickets. Hell, one time I was pulled over wearing only a swim suit (I'd just left the pool) and the homo still gave me a ticket!

(No offense, anyone....)

mcBlogger said...

I think you guys in the US have it alot different than us. I've never seen a cop with his hand on his gun while approaching a speeder that's pulled over. However, I have seen it in the US. Scary stuff.
I've been pulled over plenty of times, but never got a ticket. Must be doing something right. hehe (Knock on wood)

Lee Ann said...

Love the new pic!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Thanks for the advice, Dave. I could have used this the other night.

Raynwomaan said...

That's some kind of advice, Dave. I'd tell ya 'bout my secret for getting out of tickets, but my husband would be upset... oh! Well, there ya have it - I married a cop! :)

Ticket? What ticket?