Why do cops angle their crusiers when at

a traffic stop? In other words, when I see State Troopers pulling someone over, they pull up behind the vehicle and turn their car about 20-30 degrees to the left, angling it.

Does this protect them or something? Does it let people coming up on them see the Police insignia on the side of their cars or something? Why do they do this?

Yes, it protects them. When you see a car poking out a bit from the shoulder, do you ignore it or do you move over to give it space? A police officer is usually on the traffic side of the stopped vehicle, so any little bit of room they can get is beneficial.

I’m not sure if it has to do with giving the officer more room on the shoulder(although it might) but I do know that an angled car puts more metal between the officer and a vehicle with occupants unknown. When the door is opened for the officer to get out and the car is angled to the left, the officer has a clear line of sight of the vehicle over the roof of his or her car, and has the protection of his or her vehicle between him/her and the stopped vehilce. If the officer is not going to approach the vehicle, but instead going to verbally direct the occupants to exit the car, he or she will often stand in the “V” formed by the car and the car door to do so. Pulling the car in directly behind the vehicle does not give the officer as good a line of sight and doesn’t offer as much protection.

I would also imagine that if some other vehicle plowed into the police car from behind the car would be moved into the slow lane, rather than directly at the officer and the stopped car. That might also be a consideration.

Angling also allows the car to block the edge of the shoulder, without requiring the door to swing way into traffic when the officer gets in and out.

It’s worse than that. After a couple of state troopers here were killed in traffic stops, somebody tipped the police off to a “sport” called dusting. A few sadistic truckers would ease over to get just close enough to knock the trooper’s flat hat off with the wind. :eek: Indiana now has a law that says you have to swing wide of a vehicle at the side of the road. If there’s room, you’re supposed to change lanes; if not, you are supposed to get to the far side of your own lane.

My job involves working with a sheriff’s deputy. He said that his fellows in the department angle the car from right to left, figuring that if there’s a gun, they can hide behind the engine block. He reckined the odds of that were low compared to being hit by a car, so he angles his from left to right, so that if it is hit, it will be pushed into the ditch.

Texas has a similar law: get out of the lane or decrease your speed to 10 miles under the speed limit.

Reduce to 20 under the posted limit, actually.

In my experience being pulled over (mainly in Texas), the police officer usually leaves his car straight and shines that damned spotlight in my rearview mirror in order to blind me.

I guess this technique has lots of benefits.

Many states require operators to move to a clear lane or decelerate.