This one is for you, passengers.

I noticed something last week that I found interesting. By interesting, I mean really fucking annoying. Maybe you all can help me understand.

Many of us have been pulled over. Many of us have been passengers in a car that has been pulled over. These are two completely different experiences. In the first, you’re the responsible party. In the second, you’re just a bystander. You’re not on the radar (so long as you aren’t doing anything overtly stupid and/or dangerous). So here’s my question. Why the hell don’t you just keep your mouth shut?
On two separate stops last week, passengers in both cars decided to flap their gums at me. Why? Seriously. That’s not rhetorical. I don’t get it. Do you think you’re going to help the driver out by being an annoying pain in the ass? Not likely. So, why bother?
You might be thinking to yourself, “C’mon, MC, lighten up! You can’t expect the passenger to sit idly by every time!” And you’re right. Let me elaborate…
I’m not talking about the polite conversationalist or the guy that gives his buddy a hard time for getting pulled over. I’m talking about the attitude. The “I can’t believe you’re going to give him a ticket for that” guy (or in the second case, girl). In the first stop, I stopped a driver for a cell phone violation. *Cue dream sequence*
MC: Do you know why I stopped you?
Driver: No.
MC: You were on the cell phone.
Driver: I was calling my son’s doctor. He just had an impacted tooth removed and we picked up the medication at Walgreen’s and I wanted to ask the doctor how much to give him.
**Um….I’ve never seen a prescription bottle that didn’t have those details written on it, but that’s beside the point.**
MC: Is there a reason you couldn’t have called while in Walgreen’s or perhaps stopped the vehicle to make the call?
Driver (vacant stare): …
MC: I’ll be right back.
*I wrote the cite and returned**
MC: Okay, sir, I just need you to sign on the yellow highlighted portion at the bottom.
Driver: Thanks for your consideration about the medication.
**Now, I know he was being a sarcastic prick (takes one to know one)**
MC (what I should have said): But sir, I’m not giving you consideration. I’m giving you a ticket.
MC (what I actually said): Okay, sir.
**Here is where I have to truly bite my tongue**
JSL (Johnny Snot Locker aka passenger): I hope you like your job.
Now what the fuck is he piping up for? He’s not the one getting a ticket. I would have loved to have said, “Listen, you disrespectful little jerk, why don’t you worry more about whatever prescription scam you’re running on daddy here so you can inevitably sell your meds to your dipshit friends and less about the fact that pops is getting a ticket, huh?” But, of course, I didn’t.
The second situation was similar, only this time the violation was a seatbelt. I pulled the car over and had my usual interaction with the driver. The driver was very polite and gave me no static whatsoever. Not so much with the passenger, though.
To be honest, I think the passenger was a girl, but I can’t be 100% sure. (S)he was wearing a hat cocked sideways, a white tank top (can I say wife beater without offending?) and reflective aviator sunglasses from every 80’s movie involving the CHP and/or jets.
I handed the driver the ticket for her to sign and Pat the Passenger pops off with full on attitude, “What, she can’t get a warning for this?” To which I reacted by simply leaning in briefly and saying, “No. She can’t.”
I walked back to the motor shaking my head. So, here is my question to you. Two questions, actually. First off, what good can come from a passenger running their mouth? Second, is there a polite/professional way to tell someone, “Hey, how’s about a nice big cup of shut the hell up?”
I’m at a loss for both.

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

14 thoughts on “This one is for you, passengers.

  1. I'm honestly in the give the driver a hard time category :p

    However, I have had an officer address me a long time ago when I was still in highschool and my friend was speeding.

    Something along the lines of "Do you really trust him driving like that?"

    Of course only response I could give was "He is my only ride home…"

  2. You are right some people just don't seem to have any sense and whatever sense they do have points in the wrong direction.

  3. I think this falls under the cateorgoy of "99.9% of people are idiots".
    In other news I just wanted to say I love your blog over the past couple days I went back and re-read the whole thing. It's fab and witty but also very real! Thanks for sharing your thoughts/experiences with us! I love reading them!


  4. Unfortunately, it's incumbent upon you, the public servant, to be the better/more professional person. That can't make it easier, though, when you have to take this sort of stuff every day. 🙁

    When I got pulled over for speeding a few months ago, my mom was my passenger and kept her lips zipped the whole time. She later said she wanted to say something, but then realized nothing she could say would actually -help- the situation. Which makes sense!

  5. Well… no, I don't know. I'm one of those people who believe that first of all, before anything else, being polite and respectful costs nothing, so why not show a little respect? I have never gone wrong following my own good advice on this one. Second, when you find you're in a hole, the very first thing to do is stop digging. If I'm the passenger and the driver gets a ticket, I sit quietly and shut up.

  6. 1) The good is you are able to see idiocracy at its finest moment. We don't know what a certain % (it be more impressive if I knew the % but college was a long time ago) of the brain actually does. I believe this is the part that accumulates words and spits them out in sentences that are meant to show the level of intelligence of the spewer. The more stupid the sentence, the larger the % of brain not being used. It's as good as an IQ test.

    2)A few pop to mind: "You look familiar. Haven't I arrested you before for (insert gender appropriate response) prostitution / pimping?" "Usually people who run their mouth have something to hide. I now have probable cause. License please so I can check to see if you have any outstanding warrants." "Sir/Ma'am……..have you been drinking? Step outside for the sobriety check that will involve a few dance moves."

  7. I tell the driver, "I was just going to give you a warning but your buddy over there did a good job of talking you into a ticket."

    That should apply the necessary peer pressure needed to shut the idiot up.

  8. What's really too bad is that you can't scream "They're coming right for us!!!" and then tase the whole stupid lip-flappin, hat-cockin', androgenous wife beater wearin' lot. That's a pretty good cup of shut the hell up, right? I'm SURE they would never mouth off to a MC in Town after that.

    Stupid "laws" and "regulations".

  9. Wow. If I got pulled over and my passenger opened their yap at the cop that passenger would suddenly find they'd become a pedestrian.

    I've been a passenger a couple of times when the driver's been pulled over. Most of my energy was spent in between the discussions with the nice occifer, telling the driver that no, the world is not going to end, the nice occifer is being polite (and in one case, helpful, not giving half the citations he could have and offering ideas how to fix a glaring problem he couldn't avoid ticketing over).

    Really, what is in people's heads? *sigh*

  10. The most delicious cases I get are when the cops pull over some driver because his passenger isn't wearing a seatbelt, and the driver winds up arrested for deuce. Then I get to listen to the jail calls from booking . . .

    "Hey motherfucker, its me!"

    "Dude . . ."

    "Come pick me up!"

    "Dude . . ."


    "Dude, I am so sorry . . ."

    "Get your sorry ass down here and pick me up!!!"

    "Dude, I can't, I'm still drunk, that's why I had you drive . . ."

    Followed by screams of rage and the sounds of correctional officers doing what they do best . . .

  11. As soon as the "friend" pipes up, write on the ticket more and

    'Say "you need new friends." And walk away.

  12. Why? Because that passenger is not the one getting the ticket, not getting in trouble. That person does not have the ticket as a deterrent to pop off, AND as you pointed out, has problems with controlling attitude. Two things that should not be mixed….

    You need new friends is a good one.

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