Hide and Seek

One of the many misconceptions I hear about traffic enforcement, particularly with regard to motors, is that we “hide”.  Allow me to take this opportunity to dispel some myths for you.

First off, let’s operate under the assumption that we do, in fact, hide.  My response?

So?

Now, that certainly isn’t the touchy-feely, mollycoddling response today’s society has come to expect, nay, demand from their friendly, neighborhood police officer.  In response, I offer a familiar retort:

So?

I feel a whole other rant coming on about how we handle most situations with kid gloves for fear of upsetting the tender sensibilities of society at large, but I’ll restrain myself and talk specifically about the “hiding” issue.

I’m sure I’ve offended some by my curt “So?”, so let the indulging begin.  I sit on my motor at every location I monitor.  It’s not a small motorcycle.  It’s black and white.  It’s says “Police” on multiple surfaces.  I am wearing a full police uniform with big ass boots to boot. (*Rimshot*)  I’ve got a helmet on that makes me look eerily like The Great Gazoo, minus the green face and antennae.  And the cape…egads, what I’d do for a cape.

The point is, I stick out.

As a matter of fact, I frequently hear, “I know you sit there!” after I’ve stopped someone.  To which I’ve always wanted to reply, “And yet you still decided to speed.”

The fact that it is well established where I sit to do speed enforcement and yet I consistently stop speeders there isn’t a reflection on me, folks.  It’s a reflection on how far up your own dark and smellies you bury your collective heads.

*We offer this break to further pander to you and insist that when I use the word “you”, I am not speaking directly about you, my dear reader, but all those others “you’s” out there.  Rest assured I would never want to upset you.  And by “you”, I mean you.  This time.  Promise.*

Recently, I’ve been tasked with monitoring some stop signs for chronic running.  By and large, the largest group of offenders happen to be cyclists.  Yes, yes, I know we’ve talked about them before (I amused the crap outta myself re-reading this nearly 3-year-old post.  Do yourself a favor and click on over).  My point in bringing them up this time around is the fact that I’m parked in a patrol car (extra duty) in uniform and about 50′ from the stop sign…and I’ve a clear view of about 500′ approaching the stop.  There is no landscaping blocking the view; their view of me or my view of them.  Hell, I stand outside my car and just wave them over to me.  I may as well be wearing a day-glo orange jumpsuit with flashing pasties (admit it, you’re picturing it) for crying out loud.  I’ve still written 25 tickets in about a three-hour period.

So, it would seem that it really doesn’t matter if I’m hiding or not.  There are those that are determined to break the law and put others (and themselves) at risk.

What’s that?  You’re not that person?  You drive the limit all the time, stop at every required stop, signal every lane change, stay off your cell phone, and buckle up?  Then what the hell are you blathering about?  Oh, it’s not fair?

Well, sir and/or ma’am, fair is a four-letter word that applies to the bus.  You’ve been misspelling it all these years.  It’s F-A-R-E.

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

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15 thoughts on “Hide and Seek

  1. For all the things I think police often do wrong, I’ve never understood the “hiding” complaint. There’s no right to be aware of the specific locations in which the police are doing enforcement at a specific moment. It’s silly.

  2. Heh….
    Ask your brother Happy about people being oblivious.
    Ask him how often people hit his big red trucks.
    Y’know, the ones that are 8′ wide, 12′ tall, 25-60′ long, painted bright red, covered in shiny chrome and flashing strobes, with some guy hanging on the airhorn chain while 128 db electro-mechanical siren screams.

    They seem to sneak up on folks too.

    BGM

  3. Again with the bikes! Every winter, right after New Years, we get a squadron of assholes that race down our street every Wednesday night for 6 or 7 weeks, or however long it takes them to abandon their resolution. But for those few weeks, turning on to my street at night is a harrowing adventure as 30 or 40 entitled retards go whipping arround the circle, giving you a dirty look because you dare to dissaprove. You see the lights on the front of the bikes rocking back and forth as they pedal like mad for some reason.

    I understand why they do it on my street- its a circle on a hill, so there is a closed loop that promises breakneck speed after working to climb a hill. I get that. The problem is, they are ALL going 35 MPH or so, and they are ALL running the stop signs. If they kept to the residential limit and stopped at the sign halfway down the hill, it wouldn’t be fun.

    But what these morons fail to realize is that one day, some mom in a minivan that is busy picking up a sippy cup that one of her screaming kids dropped behind her is going to have a moment of panic when she rounds the coner to 30 lights inexplicably bopping back and forth, and a collision will result, hopefully only killing an arrogant cyclist. The reality is that mom and her brat are ALSO put at risk, because she might yank the wheel over to miss the jackass cyclist and slam into another car.

    So please, knucklehead cyslist, OBEY THE LAW.

  4. I’m curious. Those stop sign runners and the various other cycling scofflaws…. just what proportion of them were wearing a helmet?

    For the ones that were not, I think they need to be referred to suicide counseling as well.

    Also, spandex is a privilege , not a right !

    I understand they think their butt looks good and want to show it off, but all I see is the mariana trench. *shudders*

  5. It’s hard to “hide” a big vehicle that says “Police” on it; however, in my neck of the woods we have those undercover vehicles that rang from mustangs to minivans. They may not be hiding but they sure do put themselves in some clever locations to crack down on violations. If people would just pay attention, you can figure out where they will be watching. Because I pay attention to where police sit, I correctly predicted the location of my first speeding ticket. I told my roommate that I would get it on our street on a day when I wasn’t paying attention and going over the 25 mph posted speed. Low and behold, that’s where I got it. Right by the park where the officer sits several nights a week. If we would all just pay attention and focus on driving, we wouldn’t be getting tickets!

  6. Here in Arizona, there is a bill pending that would exempt bicyclists from having to stop at a stop sign unless there is traffic. It seems stupid, but on the other hand not many stop now.

    Many years ago I was a reserve for one of the PDs here. I used to “hide” right out in plain sight. Didn’t matter, I always wrote a few up every time I worked.

    • “Unless there is traffic”. Must be nice to have that crystal ball and see traffic coming from all directions at a speed three times the cyclist’s speed.

      • I don’t know about that particular law, but usually laws like that require cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs. As in, slow, look both ways, and proceed if safe to do so.

  7. This and the speed trap bull droppings are two of the things that perplex me the most.. I’m with you on the “hiding” bit. Even if you chose a location that was largely obscured from view (there are a few spots in town where I often see police sitting, in the shadow of a billboard or far enough back in an abandoned parking lot that the building blocks them from view), no one who was obeying the law would be affected by it. Out of all the times I’ve been pulled over, only once have I thought to blame the officer. (That is another story entirely, and anyway it wasn’t for speeding or running any kind of signal.) Plus, there’s no law that says an officer must remain in full view at all times.

    The speed trap business… I don’t understand what a speed trap is supposed to be. Was the speed limit posted? Was it exceeded? Then the law was broken. We have an area in town of about two blocks where the speed limit is 30. It lies between downtown (25) and neighborhoods (35). Do I know why there is a new speed limit for these two blocks? No. But I know it exists, and this is all it takes for a person to be able to comply.

    When I was a freshman in high school, one of our first science lectures was on speed limits, and this is why I (more or less) obey and respect them. He explained who comes up with the speed limits and how. I may think highly of myself, but I am not conceited enough as to think I am more intelligent than physics.

  8. I live by a large UC campus which is surrounded by a huge party town (a well known Halloween party happens here every year, figure out where), the students here in general have no regard for the law – bicyclists and pedestrians alike ride/walk with their heads up there asses (or at least headphones in their ears with music so loud that they’re sure to have hearing aids before 60), blow through stop signs without ever clearing the intersection, whatever violation u could think of u will find here, it is seriously scary driving through this area bc ur the only one paying attention. So u’d think the SO and the CHP (both of whom patrol the area) would do something more about it but the politicians are no better than the students and they want to promote bike riding to save the planet and all that crap. A deputy buddy of mine told me one time they had a fatal car v. ped collision so the next day he sat out at that intersection and issued every single person that ran the stop sign a ticket, according to him he went through half of his ticket book in a 12 hour shift, only to have all of the tickets tossed by the superiors!!! Go figure

  9. My answer to the “you were hiding” argument is always quite simple (and never very popular)…”your driving habits should comply with the law, whether I am here or not!”