Cops and speed limits

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I assume in most places in the US, there are roads that are marked at a certain speed limit, but normally traffic flows faster than the posted limit. For example, one highway has a posted speed limit of 55, but traffic usually moves at 65-70 (except during rush hours, when it moves at a speed indistinguishable from zero). Recently I was driving on that road and, unusually, found traffic moving at 55. It soon became clear why – there was a police car on the road, and everyone in sight of his car was driving at 55.

So my question is, do cops get annoyed when people obey the speed limit and thereby slow them down? When driving in his civilian car, presumably the cop is used to driving at 65-70 on that road, but whenever he’s in his squad car, the people in front of him will slow down to the speed limit. And would a cop turn on his siren just to get out from behind those law-abiding citizens, even though there’s no emergency? (I would guess that’s technically not allowed, but would anyone find out and chastise him for doing so?)

No, no, and no.

I’ve been passed by cop cars.

I’ll be going the speed limit and they’ll pass at the first opportunity. Usually without turning on their lights or siren.

Some, well one, power tripped on driving near the speed limit and backing up traffic behind them. A new orifice was ripped in them on the spot by a acquaintance of mine when they tried to claim that they should not be passed ‘out of respect’. Though the officer issued the ticket, he failed to show in court and the ticket was dismissed. Smart officer, I would not be surprised if that person, at the very least, had a video of his arrogance to show to the court. Too bad for the public that he didn’t show.

They’re waiting for you to speed up so they can pull you over and give you ticket.

Yeah, if the cop was actually in a hurry, he wouldn’t be doing the speed limit.

I wonder about the ticket part, however. I was told once that unless he has a calibrated radar gun and used it correctly, a ticket can be overturned in court. I’ve actually been pulled over for twice passing a cop car on the interstate, and both times I’ve gotten a warning. I assumed the reason was that a ticket given in that situation won’t “stick”. Is that a local (Illinois) thing, or am I just wrong entirely?

People should stop being so childish when it comes to the speed limit and police. It (the limit) is what it is… And Cops are just people. Some are reasonable, some not so much.

Whining that the traffic “flow” was above the posted speed limit, therefore some justification in subsequent individual speeding should be allowed, is idiotic.

If one chooses to speed, one should accept the consequences, irrespective of the arresting officer’s state of mind. It’s all a game. If you can’t play it, slow down. Drive @or< than the limit and you will be golden.

This. And also they won’t even use their FUCKING TURN SIGNAL! Come on cops! I appreciate you keeping safe and such, but USE YOUR FUCKING TURN SIGNALS or NEVER PULL ME OVER FOR NOT USING MINE OR “DRIVING TOO PERFECTLY”!

Ok, I think I feel a bit better. Carry on.


I got pulled over for “driving too perfectly”. No clue what that fucking means. BUT due to a fuck up with BMV, car towed, night in jail, car impounded for 6 fucking weeks all for a $50 fine.

In Canada the unwritten rule is never go faster than the police car. On major highways, the speed limit is 60 mph, most people drive at 70, above 75 you are taking a chance. The cops also usually drive at 70 mph if not in a particular hurry, but drive at the speed limit or slower when they are trying to control traffic, roads are icy or wet, or some other reason.

I know many officers who drive much faster in private vehicles, but being “in the club” does not always prevent them from being fined or ticketed. Driving more than 30mph above the limit is a serious offence here and cops can and will seize control of your car on the spot.

That said, once got a ticket in New Hampshire for driving 2mph over the limit with an out of state (country) plate. Can’t they just tax their own citizenry instead of discouraging tourism?

Do you honestly feel New Hampshire was after you, simply because you were from Canada?

This sounds like there was more than “perfect driving” involved.:smack:

Those were his exact words for pulling me ovee. None of the fucked up BMV records would have mattered had he not pulled me over.

And re those records, I didn’t have proof of insurance on me (tho I was in fact insured), but the BMV said it was a 2nd offence (which it wasn’t).

True or not, NH has a reputation in New Brunswick for giving out tickets much more readily than Canadian cops, and this is often blamed on low state tax rates but the need to pay for services. Of course, I was exceeding the posted limit.

Speed limits are said by traffic engineers to reflect the speed of 85% (or is it 80?) of drivers. Many of these limits appear to have been set decades ago for large cars with sloppy suspension and worse brakes. It is especially apparent on secondary roads with lots of curves where a curve will be marked 30mph when it can easily be taken at 45 or 50mph in ordinary family sedans by the average driver.

Kind of sort of like the intro to Super Troopers?

Heh! Do it every rare occasion. And you would to. Yes, you would. Admit it.

I was a Sheriffs Deputy for a large metro Sheriffs office for 25 years. With the exception of my last 4 years when I was a Detective I was on the highway unit. I’d have a ball telling you stories.

After I retired I took a gig with another agency just to stay in the game. My current jurisdiction has a very small section of interstate running through it, so experience is limited. Also, we only have Laser, no moving radar. So I can’t right tickets off my speedometer because I can’t use laser to corroborate speedo readings (laser doesn’t have a moving mode).

We also don’t write tickets for anything less than 13 over because the judges around here won’t convict for less than that.

pkbites … land-of-cheese … if you are referring to wisconsin, guess their methods have changed … back in the 70’s those state troopers were strict as hell … 4mph over and you’d be pulled over (and ticketed). back in those years, the state would even promote a “sting” operation from helicopters … one time, over a dozen vehicles were parked on the shoulder (awaiting their “citations”).

as for speed-traps … i would think the only way to catch 'em now is by switching the emitters on instantaneously … rather than keeping the guns engaged. less chances for the offenders to detect the “signatures”.

i been commuting 130 miles daily to work 'n back for decades … interstate traffic at home-point is pretty sedate*(5mph over limit)* … whereas, get close to big city … 15-20mph over limit has become almost standard. going through one township, used to be they had no pull-overs. guess they instated a new sheriff … 6-7 years ago, new cop-vehicles appeared within that small stretch … and so did the citations. think of it this way … at $300 a pop … the township only has to pull over 100 drivers to pay for new patrol vehicle*($30k)*. one week’s patrol racks up that much and more … to me, that’s money in the bank.

i keep within 5mph of the speed limit … unlike others*(hypocrites)*, i do not slow down if cop is present. my cc remains engaged, and i don’t deviate … unless weather conditions mandate slower pace … or, an animal comes into view. but i also do not speed up to “match” the traffic flow of those degenerates who have no backbone. yes, i become annoyed when drivers inhabit the “passing” lane (left-lane) for sole-purpose of “texting” … they tend to irritate others as well … making some irate 'n irrational … causing the driver behind to speed up excessively. why they text while inhabiting the left-lane? can imagine the only reason is less risk of hitting the vehicle in front, as they concentrate on their damned cell-phones. which is why i use left-lane only to pass a vehicle. [it’s also the law.]

to dr.paprika … 30mph over 60? not only should their vehicle be impounded … but the one driving it should have his license taken away and be locked up for a night.

gophers has the right perspective (with regard to speeding and “games”) … and i would presume he’s been driving for a while. consideration 'n moderation seem to be key when sharing our roadways.

with respect to mark’s original post … i can say the cops in the town i live in are not perfect … they break as many traffic laws as normal citizens. some even seemingly do it with calculated deliberation.

that’s all i have.

Keeping up with the flow of traffic is driver’s ed 101, not ‘idiotic’. It’s a question of degree and common sense, like a lot things. If you’re almost alone on a highway at the limit of 65 and somebody whooshes by at 100, can you then go 100 to ‘keep up with the flow of traffic’? No. If there’s a posted limit of 55 on a heavily traveled road and the flow is at 65 (there’s one near my home too) are you being the safest possible driver to strictly stick to 55? No. And since speed enforcement is generally reasonable, at least more often than not, they don’t give tickets if you’re moving along at the same speed as anyone else on that road. They give tickets to people outrunning the pack.

I’ve driven for 43 years this year, have never stuck strictly to posted limits when the general flow was faster, and have gotten exactly one speeding ticket, by a camera when going 58 in a 50 zone with locals passing regularly as I recall. But these devices are now increasingly well accepted as revenue raising devices with questionable if not negative influence on road safety. Likewise slamming on the brakes when you see a cop car but are only going with the flow in at least fairly heavy traffic is bad driving. I don’t know if it does annoy cops, but it should.

I was late to work one day and going North on 280. I was doing just under 80MPH. I noticed a CHP car closing on me. I thought well here goes a ticket. I changed from the #1 lane into the #2 lane. But the Officer did not change lanes. I thought well OK someone else. Then they passed me. 4 CHP cars, 4 Motor cycles, 2 cars, and two motor cycles. And each of the cars had 4 officers ridding in them. When I go to work the Chief asked me if I had seen the group of officers. He was doing 85 when they flew past him. WE figured they were traveling 95. Probably had a meeting to go to. At that time the CHP traveled 280 or 680 normaly in the 80+MPH. Then the state started an effort to slow down traffic. Bringing in 8 to 15 CHP to travel one of the major freeways on different days. I think there was some back lash because I noticed the CHP them selves slowed down to 75 MPH.

I got pulled over once, the officer said that I was doing over 75. I questioned the speed. Telling him I had my cruse control set at 73 and I set it at 73 because it was under the speed that the CHP travels 280 at. He started to give me a lecture that it would be illegal for them to travel at that speed with out lights. I interrupted him with the comment come on lets get real you know that you travel at that speed, then I asked him if the CHP officers have had some pressure put on them to slow down because they use to travel at over 80 all the time? He did not have an answer to my question. Just told me he would be back with me in a moment, and went back to his car.

Yes I did get a ticket. My insurance card in my truck was out of date, the new card was on my desk at home. The ticket was for not caring current proof of insurance. And at that time the fine was $10. I figured he stopped me so he needed to issue a ticket.

Just yesterday going north on 101 above Solvang I was doing about 72 and noticed a CHP working his way through traffic and ended right behind me. I finished passing the car I was next to and changed lanes to the right. He passed me. The car in front of me was one of those that ride the left lane. He made the CHP pass him on the right. I thought that took balls. The CHP never pulled any one over and we traveled for about 10+ miles before I lost sight of him still going north on the 101.