Check your: Headlights Tail lights Blinkers(and USE THEM!!) All windows(for cracks) Make sure your registration isnt expired!! Make sure you bring your drivers license License plate light, sticker, fully visible All gear properly tied down Tires not falling apart Don't paint up your car
And thats just a start!
Edit to add: And if you are borrowing someones car who isn't in your family, have them write up a little note and sign it and include a contact number where they can be reached!
"That's the big thing about education. People can be book smart, but not really intelligent about anything else. A lot of times they just taking in all this information and regurgitate it. It's much more important to process it and personalize it. To apply it to your world, to your life. You have to walk the walk, or you can't really report about it honestly."
A Edit to add: And if you are borrowing someones car who isn't in your family, have them write up a little note and sign it and include a contact number where they can be reached!
Great advice we are borrowing my friends grandmothers car and that really didnt cross my mind if we got pulled over the cops giving us a problem because its not registered under us. Gonna get on top of this thanks for the tip..
When I worked at UPS I used to commute around 2am to 3am 5 days a week and it was 30-45 minutes on the freeway for me to get back and forth. We called it "lush hour" because there were always drunks on the roads that time of night/morning.
As a result, I was pulled over frequently. Weave a hair while sipping some coffee? Whamo! On come the lights. Driving a hair too fast or a hair too slow? Bam! A visit from officer friendly. Have one taillight out? Yep, you guessed it. So, I got a lot of experience talking to the officers. My mother is a night nurse at a hospital and has had a very similar experience. As a nurse, she has her own set of tricks to avoid getting tickets (stetho on the passenger seat with hospital id), but for me, I try to follow a few guidelines. In over 20 years and hundreds of thousands of miles of driving in almost every state and three countries, I have gotten 2 tickets and both of them were for doing 10+ mph over the limit when I was doing closer to 20 mph over the limit. Now I'm pretty square-looking (to be honest, I'm pretty square) but this kind of approach has worked just as well for my crunchy Burlington friends who drive all over the country.
Oh, I should mention briefly that VA has some WICKED nasty speedtraps and some seriously hardened highway patrol. If you're coming through VA, watch your speed because they are serious.
So, here are my bits of advice for how to reduce your risks of getting pulled over:
1. Avoid driving during the wee hours of the morning if you can (midnight to 5am). 2. Check ALL your lights (tail, front, parking, brake, turn, and interior) and be sure they ALL work before you leave. Fix any that are not working. 3. Drive just about 2-5 mph over the speed limit, assuming good driving conditions. Do not drive more than 2-3 mph below the speed limit and do not drive more than 8 mph over the speed limit, or you're begging for trouble with those out-of-state plates. Cruise control, if you have it. 4. Drive well. No swerving, no horseplay, no weaving, etc. 5. Always use your blinkers when you change lanes, even if no one else is anywhere in sight. 6. Here's one a ton of people miss and gets them popped in some states: If you see a vehicle of any kind stopped on the shoulder, move into the lane opposite that vehicle to give them more room. In other words, get out of the lane next to that shoulder where the vehicle is parked. In many states creating that buffer zone of an empty lane is required by law (called "move over" laws in some places). TN has such a law, I believe, because a number of officers were killed by passing vehicles while working traffic stops. 7. Be courteous to fellow drivers. Let people merge, slow down for merging traffic, get out of the left lane when someone wants to move past you, etc. 8. Don't use your "high-brights" -- only normal headlights, unless you are absolutely alone on the road, it is dark, and there is no fog.
(I am also a believer in the use of daytime running lights, but that's a whole different matter.)
Ok, so once you're pulled over, do everything reasonably possible to set the officer at ease and allow her/him to control most of the situation and conversation. The more you can help the officer be at ease the less likely you are to get a ticket.
1. When you pull over, just find a nice clear large patch of shoulder (always on the right, never on the left) and pull off the road enough that you could have at least a few feet between your door and the road. Give the officer some decent-sized safe buffer to approach your car. Being hit and killed by a passing car is a real danger for officers in traffic stops. Do not pull off the freeway and into some abandoned lot of a shut-down gas station where you might be able to stash the body and patrol car if it goes badly. These scenarios make officers nervous. Well-lit and well-trafficked areas are preferred, so right there on the side of the road in front of your mother, God, and everyone driving by is probably best. 2. Leave your seatbelt on. Do not unlatch or remove your belt until after the officer asks you for registration & license. 3. Leave any lights on -- headlights, parking lights, whatever. 3. Turn the engine completely off and set the keys on the dash as soon as you are stopped. Set your vehicle to park and turn on the e-brake. Keys on the dash in plain and clear view makes it clear you won't be going anywhere in a hurry. I also usually place my wallet and the packet of registration and insurance papers on the dash also right away. (I keep those papers in a flap on my driver's side visor, so I can access them without going for the glove box.) I wait for him/her to ask for them before I hand them over, but they are there in plain view so I don't have to reach for them. 4. Roll down the passenger side window (the officer will usually approach from the passenger side in my experience). If you see the officer approaching driver side, roll that one down before s/he gets there. 5. Turn on your interior car lights if it is dark. Darkened interiors of vehicles make officers nervous. Try to set them at ease with a well-lit field of vision into your car. 6. Put your hands on the top of the steering wheel next to each other between the 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock position, resting casually. Always try to keep your hands in plain sight. 7. Greet the officer, "Good evening." Be friendly. Make eye contact, smile, etc. Be professional and formal in your tone. Sir and ma'am and officer are appropriate but don't overdo it. The South considers these important terms of respect but it only takes a couple too many of them for it to turn into a form of mockery. Just be professional and formal. I have a very Vermont-hippy kind of friend who has this down to an art form. He looks like he would be carrying a load of mushrooms and pot down from the farm to sell in bulk, but when he talks to the police it's like farmboy talkin to his revered grandpappy and oh man the cops just melt. 8. If asked a dumb question, be pleasant and non-confrontational. "Do you know why I pulled you over?" ranks right up there in the world of dumb questions, but the right answer is "No, sir" -- not "I have no idea, I wasn't doing anything wrong." If asked where you are coming from or going to, think carefully about how you answer. I prefer to just tell the truth. If I get pulled over, I will say I am going to Tennessee. If asked what for, I will say, a concert. If asked what concert, I will say "The Police." If asked if I mean Bonnaroo, I will say yes and then lie a tiny bit and say, "but I'm really just going for The Police" and let it ride. There's no way that answer will be worse for me than refusing to answer the question. You can refuse to answer questions and in some cases this may be best, especially if you think it's all going sideways, but most questions (even ones they should not ask) can be answered well enough without causing any trouble. Of course, if you have serious stash in the car that is going to put you way into the prison system for a long time if you're busted, then I think you might just want to be sure careful and not answer anything you don't have to. Nothing in my car is going to land me in prison, so I can answer safely. If you are not in that situation, you may want to clam up and use the "am I free to go?" and "may I call my lawyer?" answers. Do not tell clear lies to the police that could come back to bite you in the tail. Lying about something that can be reasonably evidenced as a lie can be worse than refusing to answer the question. Replying with one of those standard two questions is better in those cases, in my opinion. 9. Do refuse searches without a warrant. Always refuse searches. I have only been asked once and when the officer inquired why I refused, I apologized to the officer, told him I understood he was just trying to do his job, but that I felt it was not good to surrender one's rights and believe it important to require warrants or due cause for the search of one's person, property, or vehicle. They let me go without the search (I think the dogs were going to take too long to get there). 10. Said before but worth repeating: Always inform the officer when you are reaching for something. Where you are reaching, what you are getting, and ask if that is ok. Then move SLOWLY to get it. Nothing fancy. Just be smart and think about what the officer has to worry about: Some suicidal nut job meth head who is going to to try a shoot-and-run. 41% of all officers killed in South Carolina during the last 20 years were killed in traffic stops. It's by far the number one circumstance in which an officer is killed. The next highest are domestic disturbances and ambushes at just about 14% each. 11. Overall, just be pleasant and deferential. Don't be a prick. This isn't the time to puff yourself all up and try to act cool in front of friends or demonstrated the size and weight of your testicles. Let the officer be the alpha-dog.
Of course, all this assumes the obvious stuff like keeping all contraband out of sight, well tucked away someplace, and try not to smell like you just walked out of an Amsterdam coffeeshop.
I should mention that some parts of TN have had some bad incidents with police being... overly aggressive... and inappropriately violent... Most police I have met are decent human beings, but some are clearly not and I would never want to make the mistake of provoking the latter group.
Finally, ENJOY THE DRIVE! There is a lot of really beatiful area to drive around and see, so try to leave yourself time to stop and try out whatever or just look at the scenery for a few minutes. Turn on some good tunes, bring along some good friends, see some of the country, and enjoy something local every once in awhile. Getting there should be fun too!
I send you all my best wishes for safe, pleasant, and police-free driving/riding/caravaning experiences!
Post by canexplain on May 22, 2007 17:48:38 GMT -5
One thing I got busted for last year on I70 in Kansas was this … the officer said that if you are in the left hand lane of the road, and you are going to pull over to the right hand lane, you have to be 100 FEET, YES THAT IS 100 FEET, in front of the car you are passing … I think that is sort of baloney, but it got me pulled over …. And as far as saying yes or no to a search … I have a camper and I told the officer he could check my camper … when it got to prove too difficult, he called in two more cops and a dog … best thing to do, don’t have anything in your car that might get you into trouble .. you can get into all the trouble you want at the venue … cr****
Best thing I have read today - thanks for recognizing that - yes some are a*sholes. Just be polite and non-confrontational and all will be ok - always remember - the first thing on an officer's mind at a traffic stop is "Am I going to die today?"
"When I was 4 years old, they tried to test my IQ. They showed me a picture of three oranges and a pear. They asked me which one is different, and does not belong. They taught me different....is wrong." -- Ani Difranco
Post by wickedmonkeyz on May 25, 2007 1:21:17 GMT -5
3. Turn the engine completely off and set the keys on the dash as soon as you are stopped. Set your vehicle to park and turn on the e-brake. Keys on the dash in plain and clear view makes it clear you won't be going anywhere in a hurry. I also usually place my wallet and the packet of registration and insurance papers on the dash also right away. (I keep those papers in a flap on my driver's side visor, so I can access them without going for the glove box.) I wait for him/her to ask for them before I hand them over, but they are there in plain view so I don't have to reach for them. 10. Said before but worth repeating: Always inform the officer when you are reaching for something. Where you are reaching, what you are getting, and ask if that is ok. Then move SLOWLY to get it. Nothing fancy. Just be smart and think about what the officer has to worry about: Some suicidal nut job meth head who is going to to try a shoot-and-run. 41% of all officers killed in South Carolina during the last 20 years were killed in traffic stops. It's by far the number one circumstance in which an officer is killed. The next highest are domestic disturbances and ambushes at just about 14% each.
good points! I would have to disagree with number 3... I would suggest not making any movements whatsoever after getting pulled over, the cop who pulled you over will be watching any movements you make the second you start pulling over, what in reality is you reaching for your documents might be taken for something else by the cop, I have had a similar experience, after getting pulled over for speeding I reached down to put out my cigarette, the first thing the officer questioned me about was that exact movement, and at first he didn't want to believe it and continued to question me about it... so aside from turning off the ignition and putting your hazards on I would make no further movement until in plain view of the officer, other than that I couldn't agree more with your post...and as an aside, it should go without saying that 99% of the time the officer who pulled you over already knows where you are headed... the camping gear, coolers, etc will make that clear... they prepare (locally) for this event and most likely going to be profiling those heading to roo...
Post by wickedmonkeyz on May 25, 2007 1:35:57 GMT -5
and one more thing... every year one of things I look forward to most is checking out the various local and national newspapers to see what they have to say about bonnaroo...whether it's picking up the local paper at the first gas station on the ride home or say the new york times later I love seeing those pictures and quotes from roo...in 2005 I was sad to see this story, upset that this could happen
ONE MORE REASON WHY WE MUST BE PROTECTED ON THE ROADWAYS
The below video download is yet another amazing example of how dangerous the roadways are for emergency services personnel.
*****DIVERT-BLOCK-PROTECT!***** EXPECT CIVILIANS TO BE HIGH, DRUNK OR STUPID!!
(click HERE for the video)
Here is info from the news story:
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (6-15-05)-- Three Chester County concert-goers remain in jail after allegedly hitting a highway patrol trooper while they were high on druqs, officials said. The accident occurred on the northbound lane of Interstate 75 about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, about 35 miles south of Knoxville, Tenn., according to Melissa McDonald, public information officer with the Tennessee Department of Safety.
All three were being held in the Loudon County Jail in Lenoir City, Tenn. As of Tuesday morning, a bail hearing had not been held, said McDonald.
The group was on its way home from the Bonnaroo music festival, held in Manchester, Tenn. They were about 110 miles from the concert site when their vehicle, a Toyota Rav4, came upon the area where Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Rodney Redmon was investigating a two-vehicle accident, said McDonald.
The trooper heard screeching tires as he carried documents back to the drivers involved in the crash he was investigating, police said.
According to McDonald, the Rav4 slid sideways and hit the left rear quadrant of the trooper’s squad car before hitting Redmon as he stood on the shoulder. McDonald did not know how fast the vehicle was traveling. It was raining at the time of the accident. Redmon was knocked 10 feet into the air and landed in the right-hand lane of traffic, authorities said.
"Luckily, he was able to get out of the road before he was struck by anyone else," said McDonald. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where he was released later that night.
The Rav4 came to a stop on the shoulder and a search of the vehicle found 23 doses of LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, a pipe and rolling papers, police said. Blood tests were taken of the driver, McDonald said. Results were not yet available. Redmon, 52, of Rockwood, Tenn., is a veteran with the force.
here's the patrol car video
and here's the update from the knoxville news station
Dramatic video shows Tennessee officer hit on I-75
By: Teresa Woodard, Reporter By: Brian Holt, Photographer Date created: 9/2/2005 2:42:51 PM Last updated: 9/2/2005 7:59:17 PM
It takes your breath away. Advertisement
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Rodney Redmon was working an accident scene on the shoulder of I-75 in Loudon County, when a woman police say was drunk hit him. His body flew several feet in the air and crashed to the concrete.
The camera from a THP cruiser that pulled up behind Redmon caught the accident on tape.
Redmon watched it and and wishes he hadn't. And now the whole world is watching it. The video leaked out and now Redmon's accident is circulating the internet via email.
"When I watch it, I still can't put myself in it. It's somebody else," Redmon says.
He says he has no idea how the video made it to the internet.
"It's not supposed to be out, it's not supposed to be released at this time," Redmon says.
THP's spokesperson from Nashville doesn't know how it was released either.
"We did not play a roll in it. We wish it wouldn't have been," said THP's Melissa McDonald.
McDonald says THP administrators are worried the release of this video might compromise the case against the driver and two passengers. Criminal charges are pending against them. They were from Pennsylvania, on their way home from the music festival Bonnaroo.
Redmon says he can see a bit of a positive impact from people's fascination with his brush with death.
"If it will save another life, I'm glad it's out there."
He says once people see the video he hopes they will obey a new state law forcing drivers to move over when they see a cop or construction crew at work.
One woman didn't and scarred him forever..
"I get scared out there now," Redmon says. "I'm he same as anybody else. I'm not superman. It was somebody else looking after me. More powerful than me or you. He was looking after me."
"We all have our purposes in life. I don't have any idea what mine is, but the man upstairs, he's got a plan for us all and evidentally I haven't done everything he needs for me to do."