I was born and raised in the Midwest. Generally, when cars in the Midwest are stopped by police, drivers pull off the road (either onto the shoulder or into a parking lot). I moved to the South about a year ago. Here, cars stopped by police sometimes DON’T pull off the road. Instead, they just stop on the road itself (and cause traffic jams). What’s even more incredible is that police officers don’t ask them to move. Has anyone else noticed this?
I’ve lived all but two of 27 years in the South, have been pulled over a dozen times or more, and have obviously seen even more, but I’ve never noticed this and can’t even imagine it.
Wasn’t this a comedy bit in Chris Farley’s “Black Sheep”?
The only time I’ve ever seen cars stopped in the road were at a ‘roadblock’ where the law officers are checking every car coming down the road.
I’ve lived in the South for 47 of my 49 years.
No, the standard procedure for a traffic stop in the South is the same as you described, pull over to the shoulder or into a parking lot.
Possibly the car you saw was disabled and conked out in the road, or perhaps the driver was impaired. It’s certainly not normal.
I was stopped a couple months ago in Washington state (no ticket, warning only :D). Two lane mountain road, no shoulder at all.
When I saw him pull out behind me and hit the lights, I signalled to the trooper that I knew he was there, turned on my blinker and proceded to drive, trying to reach a place to pull off the road (probably a half mile ahead). This did not make him happy. He turned on the loudspeaker and told me to stop NOW. I did…in the middle of my lane as there was no where else to go.
When he asked why I hadn’t stopped immediately, I told him I thought I was supposed to pull over where I could safely get off the road. He informed me that this is why he has lights on his car and in the future I should stop RIGHT THEN.
I had never heard of this before, but since the same guy always works that stretch of road, you can be sure I will stop in the middle of the road for him if it ever happens again.
Say what? I’ve never noticed this at all.
Lived in the South all my life – more than one state, too – and have never ever seen this.
I’ve seen it a few times in NC but it was on a 4 lane road where the was enough room for traffic to change to the other lane.
Having spent my formative teen years (including driving lessons) on the roads in and around Houston, TX, I can say that I saw this all the time.
The police always wanted instant obedience, and would direct you off the road if they wanted you off the road. I have even been directed to block the fast lane, being yelled at through the loudspeaker and not even allowed to get over to the right on highways with no shoulder.
Insane, but I try not to argue with the police.
Are you talking about somewhere in the city, two lanes each way, and a curb rather than a soft shoulder? I’ve seen people stop in their lane in this situation rather than drive along until they find a parking lot.
If you mean people just stopping in their lane when there’s a shoulder available, I’ve never seen that and I wonder if you misunderstood the situation.