5 Things to Never Say to a MotorCop

People are always asking me what they need to say or do to get out of a ticket. I always smirk as I pen a response because, let’s face it, 99% of the time you’re getting a ticket if you get stopped by either me or another motorcop.

Allow me to derail your excuses before you start. The bottom line is we are the physical embodiment of your error in judgement. We did not push your foot down on the accelerator. We did not make you change lanes without looking. We did not ring your cell requiring you to answer whilst you drive.

You did those things. Take some responsibility and stop whining. You’re embarrassing yourself.

Or don’t. Makes great fodder for my blog.

So, short of the thousand times I’ve told you to simply be honest and polite, that question is a dead horse. Let Mr. Ed go in peace.

On the other hand, I’m more than happy to guide you in what you should most assuredly avoid saying on a traffic stop.

  1. “I can’t get another ticket!”

    Really? I assure you that you can. Do you think you’re the one to break through the MC exterior and reach the cold, dead space that was once my heart using that line? You’re adorable. You may utter those words, but what I hear is “Well done, officer, I am indeed a shitty driver and must receive punishment forthwith!”

  2. “Don’t you have anything better to do?!?”

    Nope. Not a damn thing. Matter of fact, this is what I actually get paid to do. Cool, right?

  3. “You should be targeting the kids that (insert violation here) in my neighborhood!”

    Right. Basically what you’re saying there is you want me to enforce the law in your neighborhood when someone younger than you violates what will probably be the same section for which you just got cited. I hate to break it to you, but just because you have reached a certain age doesn’t mean you get to ignore the rules of the road. Years ago, I determined the arithmetic mean age of drivers from all my stops over a one month period. It ended up being early 40’s (I don’t remember the specific number off-hand). The point being that “those damn kids” aren’t the only class of lousy drivers.

  4. “I had to speed up to get around that car!”

    Let me get this straight. You had to speed up to safely execute a maneuver around another vehicle? A vehicle which, by the way, was doing the speed limit? How is that a good idea? Oh wait, you had to get around it because your turn was coming up. You know, in the area you’ve lived in for years and knew was coming up but were too involved in your own world to plan ahead for?

  5. “You’re just a (insert offensive pejorative here)!”

    That’s just mean and hurts me way down deep.

If you are looking to cement the chances of you getting an invitation to the policemen’s ball citation please make sure to use them in your next interaction.

However, if you have an inkling of hope that it’s either real close to lunch or time to go home, stay as far away from these statements as you can.

Resist the urge and it may go well for you.

Unless I stop you. Then you’re pretty much hosed.

Question: What would you add to the list? If you’re an LEO, what has been said to you to guarantee a cite? If you’re a civilian, what have you said to the cop? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr and Brett Nielson

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

37 thoughts on “5 Things to Never Say to a MotorCop

  1. In the words of Lloyd Christmas: “killer boots man!!”

  2. You make it sound fun. Can I come along sometime? I’ll stand behind you with an evil smile- it’ll drive them batshit.

  3. #4. Amen, MC, amen. The times I see a driver almost kill themselves and others to make that exit just makes me want to quit my current job and become a MC…how I’d love to crush a few of their souls personally!

  4. All cops are fucking hypocrites… you pull people over for speeding, but yet you do it yourselves daily, even in your damn car that my taxes paid for! And any pig that says they don’t, is a liar too! Why don’t you leave drivers alone and catch real criminals… oh, wait, I know… you have to meet your quota so you can get the extra money in your check so you can afford the doughnuts that make you a fat lazy cop. And since this post doesn’t support your blog, it will probably get deleted, and that’s fine. We all know you are lying, cheating, over-privileged assholes that use a blog to get even more attention.

    • Imagine the country without a real police force and see how much you would like it. Maybe Afghanistan would work good for you. You would probably be the first crying for help.

    • “We all know” Who constitutes the “we all” that supposedly “knows” all of these fallacies you speak of? Because in the past several work days I have had 7 different citizens on different occasions in different venues come up to me, shake my hand, and say, “I just want you to know that we appreciate your service and the sacrifice you make,” or a similar comment. “Lying” and “cheating.” I’m not sure where the lying and cheating comes from. Cheating at what exactly? And as far as lying goes, the District Attorney’s Office and the court system take honesty and integrity by LEOs quite serious. If you are deemed a liar, you immediately lose your job and are placed on a list. You can never work as an officer again, anywhere, and you can never credibly testify in court. See Brady v. Maryland (1963) reference “Brady Officers.” And “over-privileged”? I’d love to hear your argument for that. I work nights, weekends, and holidays so that someone will be out there to protect your or a member of your family should you unfortunately encounter the fraction of society your are fighting against. Last weekend I worked a detail standing guard for eight to ten people protesting the police because they were protesting at an event where the other 30,000 people in attendance were pro-public safety and support the city. The reality in that situation is that I was standing there protecting their right to protest against me and my department. I challenge you to find another group of people who will sign up to work under those circumstances. That is what you call service to others…something I’m sure you know little about.

  5. Might I add a few?

    6) My taxes pay your salary:
    -And what exactly do MY taxes pay for?

    7) Don’t you have anything more important to do, like stop murderers and rapists?
    -Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Unfortunately, all my time has been tied up stopping people that can’t obey simple traffic laws.

    8) I was only going __mph over the speed limit!
    -Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

    I think you just inspired an EMS version of this post 🙂

    • People used to use #6 on my dad when he was an officer. He always told them, “Good, I finally know who to talk to about not having a raise in 3 years!”

  6. Never ever cry (or pretend to)!
    Don’t ask for a warning because you got a ticket for the same thing last week.
    Don’t say your were rushing to go to the bathroom or to get sick. I will call your bluff EVERY time (hand me your license and I’ll follow you to the nearest bathroom).

    • nope, been a while… but seriously. Leave drivers alone, except in dangerous areas such as intersections, and school/construction zones… let Darwin Awards sort out the rest. And go after drug dealers, rapists, murders etc. Who really gives a fuck if someone is speeding? Is it really that dangerous to society? I don’t think so… oh, but I get it, you are pulling over speeders, in the hopes that you will find the guy that just murdered someone, or has a car full of drugs, or bomb-making materials etc. Which goes back to cops being lazy.

      • I’ll be damned if I will let Darwin sort out an innocent family driving safely when some idiot doing 20 over the limit slams into the side of them because he or she is going too fast to react. Driving is a privilege, not a right as many seem to think it is. There are rules, and consequences for breaking those rules.

        • I’m obviously in the minority here, but the point is this… cops are supposed to uphold the law… not be a fucking hypocrite… if you are going to pull people over for speeding, you better not EVER do it yourself, unless lights and siren are on. When I see cops speeding, for no apparent/obvious reason, I get behind them and follow… go ahead, pull me over, then get your supervisor over here too, and explain to him/her why you were in such a hurry, oh, and I am recording all of it. Don’t be a hypocrite.

          • Good luck with that, your insurance company will appreciate the higher premiums. Do some cops speed unnecessarily, yes. Do most cops, definitely not. The problem is that if someone is getting the crap beat out of them, or their house is getting broken into cops are not allowed to use lights and sirens (Usually because when using lights and sirens other drivers lose all sense of rationality and do anything but what the VC says to do which is pull safely to the right). If you want to change that I welcome you to do so through the proper channels. Breaking the law to prove a point makes you just as hypocritical.

          • My premiums are extremely affordable… It doesn’t make me a hypocrite, because I did not swear an oath not to break the law… you did.

          • This was the oath I took:

            “I, do solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance, to the Constitution of the State Of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties, of the office of Police Officer of the City of ______, acting to the best of my ability.”

            Doesn’t say anything about speeding or breaking the law at all. It talks about the constitution a lot, which means cops have to respect peoples rights, and violating those would be a violation of United States code.

            We did however sign the same forms when we applied for driver’s licenses and should be aware of most of the violations associated with operating a motor vehicle. So yes, you are the definition of a hypocrite (complaining about cops speeding, and following them at the same speed to see if they pull you over).

          • no, not to see if they pull me over, just to get where I’m going faster than the pussies that don’t have the balls to challenge authority. If it’s ok for you to do it, then it’s ok for me to do it… lead by example. If your superiors were not doing things “by the book” would you? Of course not… so neither will I… Point made, I’m done discussing this. You are all fucking hypocrites… and you can’t refute that.

          • Enjoy your little temper tantrum Jeremy, if using slurs and curse words to make yourself feel like some kind of hero of the people then I’m glad it gives you some self confidence. Some cops are hypocritical, same as you. Most of the officers I have served with are not. I do things “by the book” regardless of what my superiors do same as most officers I’ve worked with. I’m glad to see you run from this discussion I have tried to have intelligently with you. You’ve shown a real lack of class and civility.

          • oooh… and you are so civilized… I’m not running, this is a discussion that will go on for eternity, and has already. I hate cops, and you hate civilians… for whatever reason is beside the point. All I have to say is Karma is a real thing, and those that do break the law, when they are sworn to uphold it, their day is coming. So, since you a California cop… and like to pull speeders over, how is your violent crime rate in the city that you “patrol”??? I bet you serve more speeding citations, than get “real” criminals off the streets. But I get it, that’s what you are told to do… and this country needs more sheep.

          • I think you would be surprised at how many more “real criminals” I have arrested, then how many speeders I’ve wrote. Truth be told, I’m not really that big into traffic enforcement. I do, however support my brothers and sisters that are, as it is important as well. Enjoy your day Jeremy… you seem to have some pent up anger, take a chill pill, enjoy your Friday responsibly 🙂

          • A lot of folks don’t realize that traffic code in many states have exemptions for law enforcement in the performance of duties. They also don’t realize most police are driving from call to call, and often calls have already been holding a while waiting for units to clear up from other calls. We also don’t have sigsns explaining all the tactical reasons we aren’t using emergency lights and sirens along the way. It’s not “obvious” what we’re doing. If you have concerns about the way you see a cop driving call the department and speak to a supervisor. It’s easy to figure out who was driving a particular vehicle at a particular time. And it’s easy to figure out what call they were going to or whether they were on the way to Starbucks. There’s a whole range of disciplinary measures supervisors can take, especially when someone is chronically a problem. If you think there’s still a Blue Wall of Silence, I’ll disavow you of that now. This career is full of the same self important whiners as any career. There’s always a promotional opportunity that someone wants to show how eager they are to get by stepping on the backs of those below their rank. The busses at work don’t have breaks and there’s always someone behind you eager to kick you under. I’ll also address the “Why don’t you go get a real criminal,” comment. Tim McVeigh was stopped for a traffic infraction, arrested for illegally carrying a gun, and later found to be the bomber. Also, units like motors are specifically tasked with traffic enforcement. That’s your job, write tickets. Being a patrol guy I give lots of warnings. But the highway guys don’t because their job is writing them. In the end, the government pays us to enforce laws including traffic so that’s what we do. Bitching about us doing it doesn’t change anything. Lobby the legislature to change the traffic laws, lower the fines or include more diversion from convictions. We don’t care. We don’t make the law. We’re not personally invested in whether the speed limit is 55 or 75.

          • Sir, I think you’d be shocked at the real statistics. Where I work in California, I have served on our Major Accident Investigation Team for over five years. That means I handle all vehicular homicides that happen in our small 18 sq mile city of 80K or so people. Every year we have nearly three times the number of fatal traffic collisions than we do “violent” murders or deaths resulting from intentional acts of violence. And the fatal collisions are always a result of HUA (Head Up @$$) driving or DUI. These have been the statistics for the past five years. And unless you work in a city like Detroit, I’m guessing these stats are pretty typical of many municipalities.

          • “I hate cops…” – End of argument – you lose – credibility has been impeached. THANKS FOR PLAYING!

  7. Officer asked me do you know why I stopped you. I said because you saw me before I saw you. We both had a laugh then I signed the ticket. I was speeding allittle 60 in 45 also i am a private k9 handler

    • That is the best response ever! I may just have to use it next time… (hopefully there isn’t one though. Haha.

  8. Another ignorant comment about your taxes pay a cops salary lol. Most police departments budget equals 2% of a town or cities total budget so if your property tax for town or county is $10,000 a year that’s if you even own a home comes out to $200 a year you pay towards a cops $100,000 – $ 150,000 a year salary that equals about 3-5 hrs a pay wow do you really think you pay a cops salary lmao

    • As a public employee, I’m no fan of the “I pay your salary” crowd, but I
      have to call bullsh(oo)t on your claim that the average police
      department accounts for only 2% of municipal government budgets.
      According to a 2011 report by IBM Government Services, public safety
      services accounted for 57% of the general fund budgets of America’s 100
      largest cities. Police services alone accounted for 34% of those
      budgets, and had 38% of municipal personnel. This roughly matches what I
      see when I look at my annual city (and county) tax bills.

      • Absolutely not not sure where you live but I’m in ny and it’s 2% of the towns overall budget , school tax is the ridiculous amount . Sorry can’t speak for where you live but I work in one of the wealthiest counties in the country and that’s the #s !

      • I was shocked because my city’s budget towards public safety is similar to Daryl’s. I researched NYC’s just for S***ts and giggles. Shockingly only 10% of NYC’s $69B budget is dedicated towards a combination of Police, Fire, and Corrections. No wonder East Coast cops get paid so little and I’m told often head into the Federal System. http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/understandingthebudget.pdf

        • Thanks Daryl for clarifying your info. Btw east coast officers get paid very well and have great pensions it’s only nyc and very far north that don’t get paid what they deserve most other county town and village jobs make at least 100K a year but still not enough since I live in the county with the highest taxes in the country

  9. Maybe you should just let them know that, as Toby’s shirt says, “Motor Cops Even Scare Other Cops.” I for one try my best not to meet them professionally even though I, too, am a cop.

  10. How conveeeenient, Jeremy! Calling officers hypocrites! Personally, I wish one of those “hypocrites” had been around a few minutes before: the two times I was rear-ended by drunken fools; the time my mother was t-boned by a speeding idiot who ran the red light; or the time my mother-in-law was rear-ended by a semi (thank God he had already stomped on his brakes)!

  11. As a Traffic Cop in the UK you’ll be happy to know we hear the same things!

  12. Wow MC, it’s been probably a year since I have visited your blog (working on that little PTSD thing) and I am surprised to see the tone of the comments to such a non-threatening or politically challenging post. Sheesh. Some folks need to get a life (or perhaps a job?). Anyway, just wanted to weigh in as a Fire/EMS guy. I have had several ‘professional encounters with leos in my time when I was ‘off the job’. Only one was a jerk (since retired on the strong advice of his commander). Some gave me tickets which of course were justified, and some gave me warnings or stern advice. All were polite (except for that one) and I treated all with respect, afterall they ‘had me’ and I knew it. But I will never forget the first Cop that pulled me over, in a parking lot, when I was 17. He told me when it was over that he was looking for people who had been stealing a lot of cars from that parking lot. I was cruising up and down looking for an open spot, which looks a lot like cruising up and down looking for a car to steal. Anyway, he went over my car and paperwork with a fine tooth comb. He came up with 7 violations, the worst of which was inspection out of date. I was shaking because I knew my Dad would kill me, and I really had no idea that the inspection was expired (my first car and I forgot you had to do that every year, who knew?). Anyway, when he was all done, he scratched his chin and said “you know what?” and I said “No”, he continued “I am inclined to let you off with a warning, do you think you can get all this stuff fixed in a few days?” I said “Yes Sir, no Problem!” Then he asked me, “Do you have any idea why I am letting you off?” I confessed that I didn’t. He said, because you never argued with me, you took responsibility for all the defects, no matter how small, you never whined and you addressed me as ‘Sir’. You say ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’ in a way I can see is natural for you. I could tell you were raised right and I have a feeling your parents would give you a rough time if you came home with a handful of tickets, am I right?” “Well frankly sir, I would be dead meat and lose the use of my car.” He said, “yeah, I thought so. You get that stuff fixed and trust that I will check it out the next time I see your car.”
    So I never forgot that and I told that story to my kids when they learned to drive. The same thing happened to my son, however, in that case I had seeen him pulled over in front of a cruiser and pulled off the road about 100 feet down the road and waited until he was released. The deputy wlked up to my truck an asked if that biy was my son. He told me the violation (speeding) and asked me what he should do. I said “Deputy, you do your job as you see fit, and when you are done with him I will do mine.” He looked at me, smiled, and said “I am inclined to turn him over to your custody, do you have an opinion on that?” I thought for a minute and said “the boy is likely to suffer more under my hand than yours because I thought I raised him better.” The officer then grinned broadly and said “Well, let me tell you, my impression is that you have the makings of a fine boy there, he was polite, called me ‘sir’, and didn’t argue. I am gonna turn him over to you, I have no doubt you will make the lesson stick. Have a nice day.” Well I had a nice day, but the next 3 months weren’t too much fun for my son.
    Anyway, thanks for reminding me of all that. You be safe out there and ignore the nutcases.

  13. I think number one statement that’ll get it done is “I wasn’t speeding”(Yes yes your right I’m just a big liar and stopped your car out of the 50 just passed by because you weren’t speeding). Which I normally follow up with, oh ok then, do you know the speed limit?…awkward pause…weren’t speeding but didn’t know the limit, curious how that works.

  14. Haha, I really enjoy your sense of humor! However, I’ve been pulled over three times (yes three…) and have not once yet gotten a ticket. How about that! The first time was because the officer just wanted to make sure I was focused because of a stop sign incident (I stopped but went before my turn). I cried. I promised myself that I would’t but I couldn’t help it. She wouldn’t let me drive away until I had stopped crying. Then the second time, I was running late to my internship and was going 40 in a 25 zone (I honestly have no valid excuse…) and this time it was a motor cop! I don’t know how it happened, but he didn’t write me a ticket. Please explain how that happened?! Haha. The third time was for a registration mishap but it was no big deal.

    One of my old softball coaches is a deputy sheriff in my town and I went on a ride along with him during one of his graveyard shifts for a school project (best 6 hours of my life and now I’m looking into becoming a cop). While we were driving, I was telling him about the times that I had been pulled over. He can’t come up with any reason as to why I wasn’t given a ticket for going 40 in the 25 zone… Do you have any idea as to why? 🙂

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