Monday, October 29, 2007

I Thought It Was A Ringing Bell

So there we were, driving along the freeway, when suddenly all we see are brake lights up ahead.

I yell at caution Hubba-hubba to slow down, because obviously there is an accident ahead, or perhaps dangerous debris on the road. Surely, only something of that magnitude could force approximately fifty cars to suddenly slam on their brakes, right?

Wrong.

It was a highway patrolman who had pulled somebody over off onto the shoulder of the freeway.

People, people!

What do you think the chances are that in the middle of checking the license and registration, or in the actual act of writing the ticket, that the cop is going to see you going by and simply jump in his car? That he would just drop everything unfinished to chase after you when he's already got his sucker of the moment?

What would you say, perhaps .08%? Maybe I'll give you .09% if something fairly egregious happened, not just somebody going a little faster than the rest of the pack.

Yet still, there is some sort of Pavlovian response that happens when people see that patrol car, and the right foot automatically travels to the brake pedal.

Except for me. If he wants me, he can come and get me.

18 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

Haha! My husband always slows down even though he never speeds. I hate driving with him sometimes because I love to go fast (on the freeways).

Family Adventure said...

I think it's the same morbid fascination people have with accidents. Ever notice how everyone has to SLOW down to look at the scene of an accident, too? Even a fender bender on the other side of the median. Must. Look.

Not our most flattering quality.

Heidi

Anvilcloud said...

We do behave strangely at times -- not me or you of course.

Liz said...

That kind of rubbernecking wreaks havoc on the roads in the DC area too.

MrsGrumpy said...

I had to help my daughter (on the freeway of all places) when she "thought" she had car trouble (but that's another story). A policeman had pulled up behind her by the time I got there and he had his lights on so that no one would run into her in the driving rain. He also ran her license (standard procedure to make sure that a young girl in a Catholic school uniform hadn't just stolen a 10 year old Intrepid). All of a sudden, still in the posession of her license, he took off after someone. That was my WTF, what do we do now moment. She had no license. Do we go to the station? Wait? We waited..in the driving rain...for a half an hour before he remembered he had her license and came back. Sorry for the ramble, but your post made me think of that.

dgm said...

Finally, someone else who sees the situation my way. I commute to San Diego and this happens ALL. THE. TIME. If I see the cop outside the car, I take great delight in whizzing past the boneheads. Cuz I live on the edge.

Scout said...

Actually, the only time I got a ticket was when an officer had pulled someone over and then waved at me to stop, too. He had a friend ahead to catch me in case I tried to make a run for it.

Steph said...

Yeah, that's annoying. Just keep on going, people. Nothing to see here...

Patois said...

But if we didn't slow down to see what horrible sideshow might be happening on the shoulder, think of what we might miss! Yeah, one of my personal peeves, too.

ML said...

I think a lot of those "slow down cause there's a cop car" people do so cause they're doing the thing I detest: rubberneckin'

Carrie said...

Oh, I'm such a dog.

Cherry said...

People do this all of the tine... this and the rubber necking! And then there is the no apparent reason to slow down reasons too!

This morning there were quite a few of the, I'm going to go 10 mph under the speed limit because I want to and I don't HAVE to go the limit because its the limit, people out there. ARGH! Breath in.. Breath out...

Autumn's Mom said...

see, when I see a patrolman on the side of the road otherwise occupied, I see this as an opportunity to "speed" ahead. Too bad everyone doesn't think like I do!

Hope said...

here, we have a law that when passing a pulled over police car/emergency vehicle or construction workers we MUST slow down to 50km or 1/2 the posted speed, or face double fines and points. This was done to protect those individuals.
I automatically hit the brakes whenever I see a patrol car coming from any direction. preservation instinct.

dr sardonicus said...

Were they slowing down for the cop, or were they looking to see if Lindsay Lohan got pulled over again?

Ana said...

LOL! I just hate when people do that. Or cause a completely traffic jam because they have to brown-nose about something that happened on the side of the street.

Paige said...

better yet, what the h e double hocky stick makes dumb you know whats slam on the breaks for a cop passing out a dance coupon to someone going the other way on the other side service road?
Just give me an inch or two so I can skinny by and get the heck away from them.
The last one spent 10 miles catching up to me... he could have been after some one else ya know.

Margaret said...

HEy - in Texas - you HAVE to slow down when passing a cop on the side of the road. Or move over 2 lanes. But you have to slow down 20 mph (minimum). We had a cop killed here 2-3 weeks ago. Writing a ticket and someone didn't see him (talking on the phone) and threw the cop 90 plus feet. Wasn't good. :)

I agree with you in principle - I really do. But after that...I am extra careful to slow down.