Am I paranoid?

I’ve lived in New York my entire life (so far) and I’m wondering why New Yorkers in general are not well received in other states or countries. There’s always a fear of being pulled over when driving through the northeast (Maine, Vermont, etc.) because of the NY license plates. Same goes for the deep south. I visited a friend in the Charlotte area last May to go to a NASCAR race. He insisted we use his car because of my NY tags. I realize it’s a fast paced place to live and I’m used to being served the minute I sit down but that’s only here at home. I enjoy a leisurely dinner in Alabama or Italy or wherever I happen to be. I’m not always in a hurry. I’ll let someone else go first. My question is do people from other places hate me because of my “New York state of mind”?

I think this is better suited for IMHO than GQ, since the answers will largely be a matter of opinion.

General Questions Moderator

I have definitely heard of cops targeting out-of-state drivers. It’s illegal (unconstitutional, actually) and I have no evidence that it actually happens. Also, it’s probably not entirely practical, since cops using a radar gun may not always have time to spot out the out-of-state people and target them.

But, from a practical standpoint, I can imagine a cop thinking that taking money from a New Yorker (or, any out-of-state driver) and putting it in his state’s coffers would make sense. Just like I can imagine a cop preferring to give a ticket to someone with a bumper sticker showing a political affiliation he disagrees with. I’m sure it happens, but I doubt it’s the norm.

Best advice I can give you is to (a) be polite if you’re pulled over, and (b) take off that Obama bumper sticker when you’re driving through Alabama!

So what happens if you pull a Top Gear and paint “MAN LOVE RULES” and “HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT” along with “COUNTRY AND WESTERN IS RUBBISH” on your vehicle?

Seriously? I have never heard of that here in Western NY. Going into Canada, maybe (although that fear is more tied into “I don’t want to get pulled over in another country”), but never in a neighboring state.

I think your friend in Charlotte was being a bit over the top. Maybe things are different in Charlotte but here in the Raleigh area it seems (exaggerating) that half the people around these parts are from NY/NJ anyway. Heck, I have two coworkers that grew up with 30 miles of where I did in upstate NY.

Anyway, I just tell people I am from upstate NY not “The City” and I have never had any problems. Neither my parents or I have ever been pulled over while driving out of state. There are only two issues that I have heard of throughout my extended Long Island native family. One aunt/uncle set moved to Maine and were forever (20+ years) referred to as from away, but I don’t think that is specific to NYers. Other aunt/uncle set retired to coastal NC. The aunt worked as a subsitute teacher for a short time and was told she sounded like “the Nanny”.

I got pulled over a lot when I first got to California with my NY plates. There’s a law here that you have to register your out-of-state vehicles here within a certain amount of time after moving here and that first time registration fee for bringing a car in from out of state was very high, or at least it was back then. It was a good revenue generator. I think that the other reason, as a cop friend told me, is that “you all drive like lunatics - slow the fuck down”.

So you don’t think there’s a stigma attached to being a New Yorker as opposed to any other state ?

The only stickers on my vehicle are Martin Guitars and a big number 88. I’m a big Dale Jr. fan.

Well, that explains it. Cops HATE those hippy, tree-hugging Martin Guitars!

When I drove to visit my dad in Texas, he was relieved that I didn’t have NJ plates on at the time. I was living in FL then and he thought that FL plates would be much better for me. He was sure that I would be harrassed in some way. This was about 15 years ago. I remember thinking, Really? They hate us Jersey Girls that much?

Oh no, there undoubtedly is in some people’s minds, but most of those people are willing to look beyond the stereotype if you show yourself not to be the stereotypical loud, obnoxious NYC/LI resident.

I have heard of it in Maine. A lot of Canadians I knew traveling through Maine have gotten really stupid tickets, like speeding tickets for which there was no radar, the cop just said he “timed them”. My ex-girlfriend had Michigan plates and was pulled over near Portland for speeding when she was driving at a snails pace due to thick fog. A local business owner explained that was normal for the cops to pull over the tourists because they would almost never come back to contest the bogus charges. It would be cheaper to pay the fine than the travel expenses to traffic court.

Remember the dark blue with gold, then the gold with dark blue licence plates from NYS until about 30 years ago?’s-80’s.jpg

I remember reading that the number of tickets given to NYS drivers out of state decreased by a pretty big number after the plates changed to the generic white with blue numbers. (no cite)

I’m not loud or obnoxious but I am a NYC/LI resident and when I meet someone in another state/country and mention where I’m from there is usually some sort of feedback about typical New Yorkers. And that’s my point…most people have this preconceived idea about what a person from this area is like.

I’m not sure if a ticket that gets reduced or tossed out in court reflects on the individual officer, but someone that lives several hours away is probably less likely to actually show up in court and fight it.