Today, we have a question from everyone’s favorite long-winded lawyer, North State DA:
Lets say you have two cars coming towards you. The limit is 35, but the lead car, the one closest to you, is doing 55. The one behind the lead is doing 50. Both breaking the law and deserving swift and brutal justice, but which one do you ticket? The guy in front, who is going faster, or the guy in back, that is easier to pull over? Please assume that they are both driving similar vehicles, etc.
I ask because I generally like to break the law at a speed just a little less than the Speedy Gonzales ahead of me, on the theory that any hostiles (law enforcement) will go after the guy in front.
I love your blog- you are the coolest thing since Jerry Dermon!
I am so looking forward to bursting your juris-ass bubble over this one! For the sake of argument, let’s assume (save it, we all know what that makes) I’m on the bike. More often than not, I will cite you both. Double stops are not uncommon (least not ’round here). As both cars pass, I’ll pull in behind and activate my lights. If one is further ahead than the other, I’ll pull next to the second, slower, car and indicate he/she is to follow. Then, I’ll get behind the first, faster, car. As the first car yields, I’ll point to the second car and indicate they are to pull over as well.
Of course, I can already hear some of the “what ifs” careening around in your brain. What if the second car doesn’t stop? What if the first car doesn’t stop? What if the first car is too far ahead? I also realize there exists an inherent danger (above and beyond the usual) in double stops. Officer safety typically dictates NOT having someone pull in behind you.
If the second car doesn’t stop, the first car unknowingly gets a break. The second car gets a ticket and a lecture. If the first car doesn’t stop, vice versa. If the first car is too far ahead, well, who knows. Maybe I give up on the second and concentrate on the first, maybe I give up on the first. Every situation is different.
I’ve done double stops a number of times and each has gone smoothly. Could the next one be different? Sure, but so could the single. You just never know.
Just as an amusing aside…I once stopped five at once. I wasn’t on the bike, though. I was in front of a school bus that was stopped with the stop sign extended and five cars didn’t stop. I stepped out in the street and directed them all to the curb. All five got cites…at about $400/ea. It was awesome to say, “MC, 11-95 (traffic stop) on five” over the air.
Oh, and this is just for you, DA…I was cooler than Jerry Dermon back then, man. What makes you think the coolness would have decreased over the years? I thought you lawyers had to be sharp.