All right, this has been beginning to really irritate me lately but I always forget to post it.
It seems the cops are really cracking down on lousy drivers in my city and surrounding areas and the cops are very actively pulling people over. If you don’t signal, and are seen, you’ll get a ticket most likely, without question. I have literally seen 2-3 people pulled over every day that I drive into town (about 9 miles)… Either going to town or coming back. It’s ridiculous…
That reminds me: Last night this new, red Corvette drove up behind me, quickly jumped a lane to the right and sped up ahead a little bit (4AM?) and just as he came to his turn at the light he didn’t signal… Right when he hit that corner I saw him get pulled over… Ha! Good for you, prick!
What’s really bugging me is when it’s night time and these cops tail me… WTF? Usually there are no cars on the road and only me… What are you looking for? A swerve?.. Well, I might fuckin swerve knowing your sitting on my ass… I might change lanes too… Hell, I might even speed up by accident… I don’t know. But fuck, do you have to put me on the spot?.. Wouldn’t it make more sense to check from a distance… I’m probably more likely to do something stupid if you aren’t right behind me.
Maybe they’re just checking my tags?.. Hmm… Do cops typically ride 30 feet behind you for 2-3 miles in a 25 zone on empty streets to check your tags? I can see you maybe pulling behind me for a few second to input the data on your laptop but shit … give me a fuckin heart attack why don’t you… I have nothing to hide but I don’t want a damn ticket because you need to make your quota and want to pull me over because I got nervous and swerved a little.
Shouldn’t there be a line here?.. How long can a cop just sit on your ass without the intent of pulling you over? Can they follow you as long as they want to?.. What’s up with this…
I don’t like being followed either, but I admit I wouldn’t mind seeing a cop around once in a while when I see other drivers weaving across lanes, blowing through red lights *en masse *at every intersection, blocking oncoming lanes, et cetera. Or rather: a cop around who will witness said behavior and not ignore it. I see lots of cops during my daily commute, all of whom are dutifully running radar in the same stretches of road every morning and evening.
On the other hand, they have made a significant improvement in the “drivers unfamiliar with that road who drive 10 miles over the speed limit” problem, which had previously been a real crime wave.
It sorta does feel like intimidation, doesn’t it? I, too, have had this happen and have been slightly annoyed by it. I becomes sort of a game to check that I’m doing everything right while he’s behind me.
Check rearview. Yup, still there. Check speedometer. Just slightly under limit. We’re good, even though every other lane is flying by. Check rearview. What’s he doing back there? Check signal. Good, not on for no reason. Check speedometer. Hanging in there at 59 mph. Turn on signal, change lanes ever so carefully while checking all mirrors affixed to vehicle, turn off signal. Check rearview. Is there something wrong? What’s wrong? Why is he still following me?! Gah! Check speedometer. I’m NOT SPEEDING!!!
Ad infinitum. It doesn’t take long before it makes me a nervous wreck. I start wondering if I let anything legal lapse, if I look suspicious, if there’s some warrant out there waiting to find me, if there’s an AMBER alert with a description that matches my vehicle, etc. Then, when the cop takes off without pulling me over, I figure he was just trying to intimidate and I can’t figure out why he would do such a thing. Is that just my imagination?
I’ve had that same thing (as the OP mentioned) happen to me several times a few years ago when I was passing through Brookline (this was back when I lived in the Boston area). I think the rationale was that I owed a buttload of money for unpaid parking tickets in Brookline, but they couldn’t drop the hammer until they found something for which they could pull me over (but you didn’t, did you, piggies [insert evil laugh here]).
In the last year or two, my husband got followed by a cop while driving through a residential area of a very well-to-do suburb in a late-90s very basic model domestic car, when most cars around there are BMW, Mercedes, Acura, etc. My husband finally just pulled over, and the cop stopped and asked him if there was anything wrong, which my husband asked back. The cop said something that more-or-less subtly conveyed the “you don’t belong here” message, like he looked lost or something. My husband pulled out his license - with an address in that suburb. (We rent, but the cop doesn’t know that.) The guy apologized, still trying to spin it like he was looking out for my husband’s well-being. Right.
When I was a teenager, I had a cop follow me nearly 15 miles in the middle of the night one time. I was staying at a friend’s house and had an asthma attack at about 4am, and my inhaler at home was 15 miles away. I got up, and drove home, and this fucker got on my tail after about half a mile, and hung there until I got within a few yards of my house.
I was amazingly paranoid the whole journey, and ironically the adrenaline this released cured my asthma and I could have turned round and gone back.
It almost happened to me. I was driving my friend home from an all nighter D&D session (those were the days ::sigh:: ) when the cops decide to star tailing me. For blocks and through turns he’s right behind me. Not just right behind me but almost on my damn bumper, and not just on my bumper but also with his damn high beams on!
His high beams completely blind me to either side of my vehicle. I cna see well in front of me, but if I look left or right I can’t see jack shit. Most likely because the high beams were shining in my eyes, my pupils close and the background then fades into black of course.
Well, I have to make a left turn unto a large two lane road with a strip of grass and treets in the middle, but since I can’t see to the left very well I am unable to judge the angle of the turn properly and end up on the green a few feet away from a tree.
Finally the cop stops me and angrily tells me that I need to stop “meandering through HIS streets”.
Happened to me in Mayardville, TN when I was 17. When I did go over the white line because of this prick he pulled me over and I spent two days in jail for “reckless driving” at 25 mph! I could have gotten out immediately but had to have friends raise the “$75 fine” while I stewed.
Considering that this police force, several years ago, used to pull over his black coworkers - driving to their job at the post office around 8 am - for DWB*, I’m not surprised at all that they’d follow someone who was driving a car that was “too poor” for the neighborhood. (The car is in excellent condition but obviously an old model year.) The reason they stopped the DWB pullovers was because these guys kept turning up late to work as a result, complained to their postmaster, and the postmaster had a talk with the chief.
My husband and I have lived in this suburb for years, and he grew up in the area. Due to that and his job as a letter carrier in our own town, he literally knows the place like the back of his hand. He wasn’t driving slowly like he was scoping anything out, like he looked lost, or like he was hesitant about where to go. It was his normal drive home, around 6 pm. He’s a law-abiding citizen, with a speeding ticket from several years ago as his worst problem.
*Driving While Black. Considering the sudden spike in getting pulled over, and it was only the black employees, it’s not like a bunch of postal workers suddenly sucked at driving.
It’s happened to me several times. One time, in high school, I got the distinct impression that the cop thought I might be tipsy and he was following me to make sure I got home okay. Sure enough, he did follow me from a party all the way to the mouth of my driveway, and paused at the driveway to shine a light on me as I pulled in. Bothered me at the time, since my Dad noticed and asked me why a cop had followed me home. No biggie in the long term, though.
By college, I figured out that the way to handle this is to find a spot to legally pull over to the shoulder. If the cop stops and asks why you stopped, make up an excuse. It occurs to me that a good one since the enactment of the mobile phone laws might be “an important call came in on my mobile and I decided to pull over to take it.” Gets the cop off your back and off to harass someone else.
So? What’s wrong with that? How do you expect the police to do their job without profiling? With thousands of people on the road, they have to focus their attention on the ones that they think are the most suspicious.
You really think that, if a cop sees two cars coming down the street at 11:00 PM, one an $80,000 Mercedes driven by a 70-year-old man and one a $1,200 beat-up Ford Escort with a bunch of surly-looking teenage thugs in it, he should think to himself “Now, now, I mustn’t judge people!”, and flip a coin or something?