This post originally appeared on the Uniform Stories website and is reprinted here with their permission.
In my capacity as a law enforcement officer and, more specifically, as a motor officer, I contact a lot of folks. Primarily, my interaction occurs during an enforcement stop. You may call them “traffic stops”. Either moniker will do.
Over the last 8 ½ years in my current assignment as a motor officer, it has occurred to me there are a finite amount of the kinds of people I will speak with during a stop. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I decided it would be amusing to officially categorize them.
What follows is by no means a comprehensive list of the kinds of folks one may encounter during traffic stop. However, these are my experiences. If you are a fellow enforcer of the law, you may have crossed paths with some of these folks. I invite you to add to the list in the comments below.
If you have gotten stopped at any point in the past by an officer, you may recognize yourself.
Without further ado, I give you the 9 types of drivers on a traffic stop.
- The Peruser – You’ve given the citation to the driver, but before signing it, the Peruser spends a good two minutes double checking your work. Common corrections include: “This isn’t my address” and “My car isn’t tan. It’s taupe”.
- The Inquisitor – Prior to signing the citation, the Inquisitor will ask you every question under the sun. The aforementioned questions may or may not have anything to do with the stop. Example: “Why did you put 55 instead of a lower speed?” My answer is typically, “Because that’s how fast you were going.”
- The Denier – One of the more irritating of the categories, the Denier. Not because they actually have a legitimate argument as to why they violated [insert vehicle code], but because they simply refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. They are akin to the folks who put fingers in their ears and loudly repeat “nope, nope, nope”.
- The Befuddled – These poor bastards. They just don’t understand. Anything. At all. They’re like the bastard cousins of the Inquisitors…but with a much lower IQ. When I run across these people, the only statements and/or questions they ask are similar to “But. How could I…? I don’t… How is that possible?” I actually feel bad for someone so inanely stupid that they can’t conceive of the intricacies involved in applying too much pressure to the accelerator which, in turn, resulted in their vehicle going too fast.
- The Blameshifter – Undoubtedly, the group I like the least. These people will blame literally every other person/vehicle/mammal/inanimate object on the roadway, but never themselves. The fact that I can’t realize the veracity of their innocence is so utterly offensive to them as to be apoplectic. They insult my heritage, my youthful countenance, and choice of occupation. Because they could never, ever, have [insert violation her] and I should damn well know better.
Wanna know the other four?
You’ll have to head over to Uniform Stories for the full skinny!