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Thankfully, I Got Stopped by a Cop
Old 05-07-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Thankfully, I Got Stopped by a Cop

While traveling out of state is past weekend to be with friends, as I left a parking garage for only about a block, in the mirror I see the threaded flashing blue lights.

I'm thinking, "Darn, did I mistakenly blow a stop sign or stop light? Here comes a $100 fine or something." Then the wait as he turns on that blinding spotlight from behind. I just do what I've read to do. Sit quietly, roll down windows, both hands on steering wheel and wait. After about 10 minutes or so, the officer walks to my car. He greets me, I repectly say "Hello Officer" He explains the reason that he stopped me is because I didn't have my lights on. And asks for my driver's liscense. I say, "I'm sorry sir" (about not having the lights on). I give him my DL, then turn on my lights. He says politely, "I'll be back in a bit, then you can go on your way.' I say, "Thank you". He goes back to his car as I assume he's probably running my DL through the data base to make sure I'm not a runaway ax murderer or something. In a bit he comes back, hands me the driver's liscense and says that I can go. He then adds, that the street lighting is a bit bright, and the one way streets, and if I knew how to get where I'm going? I told him, "Yes, the streets are a bit tricky and that I have a GPS." Then I thanked him for stopping me telling me about my lights not on.

I then waited for him to drive off first, but he didn't (heck, I didn't want to phase out and make another improper move). So I left. The funny thing is about a minute later, I think I saw him pull someone else over.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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I've certainly learned that being polite and respectful goes a long way toward not getting a ticket.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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On our Echo, the lights always come on except when the car is in neutral (they are less bright than when you explicitly turn them on). So luckily this will never happen to us again.

The other thing that should never happen is leaving your lights on and therefore draining the battery. Is there any possible reason that the lights shouldn't go off when you take out the keys?

Note that lights on during the day improve visibility. Also, in California, you can get a ticket if your lights are off when it is raining enough to need your windshield wipers on.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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From the police officer's point of view. Pulling over someone is one of the more scary things for them to do. I knew that I'm clean (no outstanding warrants, etc. ) but the officer doesn't know that. That's why I read you wanna keep both hands on the wheel to let the officer know where your hands are (wouldn't want a Barney Fife to panic and get trigger happy ).
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #5
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He explains the reason that he stopped me is because I didn't have my lights on.
I wonder if "no lights" is a classic warning sign of drunk driving.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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I wonder if "no lights" is a classic warning sign of drunk driving.

I think so, plus I was moving slow and the one way streets didn't help.

Note: I'm a non-drinker, and he probably noticed that right away when he greeted me.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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I've certainly learned that being polite and respectful goes a long way toward not getting a ticket.
I always hand over my military ID with my license (military ID on top). This saved me from several speeding tickets in my days as a wild Lieutenant and from a ticket for an illegal U turn in my days as a know-it-all Major. It won't usually work in a military town, but works like a champ in the middle of west Texas or some other heartland locale.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #8
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I always hand over my military ID with my license (military ID on top). This saved me from several speeding tickets in my days as a wild Lieutenant and from a ticket for an illegal U turn in my days as a know-it-all Major. It won't usually work in a military town, but works like a champ in the middle of west Texas or some other heartland locale.
Interesting. Sure didn't work for me back in the Vietnam/Cold War era - maybe one more sign of how much things have improved when it comes to respect for the military.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by easysurfer
From the police officer's point of view. Pulling over someone is one of the more scary things for them to do. I knew that I'm clean (no outstanding warrants, etc. ) but the officer doesn't know that. That's why I read you wanna keep both hands on the wheel to let the officer know where your hands are (wouldn't want a Barney Fife to panic and get trigger happy ).
I certainly cant complain about the way policeman have treated me either. I would say I have been pulled over about 15 times over the past 30 years, and only received 1 ticket which was in 1987. I treat them respectfully and my offenses are always minor. I think they check my record when they pull me over and see its clean so they give me a break.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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Interesting. Sure didn't work for me back in the Vietnam/Cold War era - maybe one more sign of how much things have improved when it comes to respect for the military.
Many times I've gone to lunch in uniform only to find out that some anonymous citizen already paid for me when I asked for the check. I also get thanked in airports a lot and usually get a 10% discount when I ask if the store has a military discount (they almost never actually have one, but the cashier thinks it's a good idea and gives me the senior discount). It's really nice to feel so much support after hearing about the lack of it back in Vietnam. In many countries that support would NEVER happen. The Italians classify military members just a step above lawyers in the pecking order of reviled people who are a drain on society. P.S. I myself have nothing against lawyers.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:55 PM   #11
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Interesting. Sure didn't work for me back in the Vietnam/Cold War era - maybe one more sign of how much things have improved when it comes to respect for the military.
Should it have worked 30-40 years ago? How does respect for the military equate to a free pass for a moving violation?
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #12
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Should it have worked 30-40 years ago? How does respect for the military equate to a free pass for a moving violation?
It's much like a joke - if I have to explain it to you, you'll never 'get' it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #13
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It's much like a joke - if I have to explain it to you, you'll never 'get' it.
It works for CEOs too. Likewise, if I have to explain that, you'll never get it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:26 PM   #14
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It works for CEOs too. Likewise, if I have to explain that, you'll never get it.
I think we're on the same page here...
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #15
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Military deserves some respect but some of the fighter pilots testing their reflexes on the beltway can cause some real problems on the beltway.
LEO needs some respect too.

What was OP thankful for? The thread title confused me. I thought he was going to say he left a briefcase or something on the roof.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #16
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I was talking to my brother last night about my little incident. He says (from an ex-cop that he knows) that when they identify a car driving around with lights off, or going slow, for wandering around, the first thought is the person is a bit tipsy as at they state, they tend to forget the simple things like turning on the lights. Of course, one can't tell for sure as that's just a first impression.

About getting a break, he said one time, he got stopped (for speeding, I believe). When the cop asked him he where he was going, he said "driving my daughters home to their mom" (custody situation). So the officer looks in the back of the van and sees his four cute daughters just sitting obediently in the back. The sight kind of melts his heart and the officer then goes, "ok...be careful." Then let him go.

I've heard of the "strategy" of putting family photos like of cute kids next to the driver's liscense. But don't know if that matters or not it "playing the odds" to not get a ticket.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:31 PM   #17
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Military deserves some respect but some of the fighter pilots testing their reflexes on the beltway can cause some real problems on the beltway.
LEO needs some respect too.

What was OP thankful for? The thread title confused me. I thought he was going to say he left a briefcase or something on the roof.
Um..

1) thankful didn't get in an accident with my lights off

2) thankful didn't get a $100 ticket

3) thankful to not have a view that all cops are out just to nail you

Hope this helps the confusion.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:01 PM   #18
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I believe all the newer cars have what are called "daytime running lights". My 2011 Honda CRV has a switch to operate them manually or set to "auto". They are on all the time as running lights and go to full power as the lighting gets dim (sundown). If I'm not mistaken, Canada was the first to pass this lighting standard for daytime running lights.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:10 PM   #19
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I wonder if "no lights" is a classic warning sign of drunk driving.
With me it was a sign I lived in a city. I could drive anywhere without my headlights with pretty much the same visibility as daytime. Now that I'm out in the country if I forget to turn them on I notice within a hundred feet or so. It's dark out here!

I agree about lights not needing to be under driver control. On with the ignition, off with key removal (after a delay to allow you to get inside the house). I suspect more lives could be saved cheaply with this tech than front-side-and top airbags. Visibility is a huge safety feature. At the very least they should turn on when you turn on the windshild wipers.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:47 PM   #20
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I've heard that one of the most valuable returns on investments is a donation to the Police Officer's Guild and/or the local DARE program (with accompanying bumper-sticker application). Marine Corps stickers also work well. Personally, I go with the Grateful Dead sticker and drive EXTRA SAFE.
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