Thursday, December 14, 2006

Day 14: Procedural Inquiry

This one is for the Gunfighter, our resident law enforcement professional in these parts.

Gunfighter: I've noticed frequently that when state troopers pull over speeders on the interstates around here, they angle their patrol cars in such a manner that generally either the front end or sometimes the back end is sticking out into oncoming traffic. Any one who paid attention in driver's ed knows this is dangerous and illegal as it impedes the flow of traffic and puts you at risk for being struck. As we all learned, when you pull over, you're supposed to pull completely out of traffic.

So, why do law enforcement professionals position their cruisers in a manner that impedes traffic and risks an accident when they pull folks over?

I'm just wondering because everytime I see this, I curse at the LEP. I know I probably shouldn't, but their manuever just seems so illogical. Anyone else would be cited.


Anonymous said...


The whole I dea is to make drivers, that are sitll in the lane of traffic, have to move a bit further away from the stopped car, and therefore give the Trooper a bit more room to work.

You'd be shocked... or maybe you wouldn't, by the the number of people that like to see how close they can come to a cop on a traffic stop.

There are people that acually make an effort to see if they can make the officer flinch or dodge the oncoming car.

Not a small number of Officers, Troopers, and Deputies have been killed that way.

Janet M. Kincaid said...


Thank you for that. I figured that was the case and it makes sense, but it always worries me when I pass a police officer who has done this, especially when s/he sticks the front of his patrol car out in traffic, thus having to walk into the lane of traffic to get around his car and to the car of the speeder/perpetrator.

I can well imagine there are people out there who try to see how close they come to a cop in a traffic stop. Those people are idiots.

Not to be maudlin or anything and while it's not a job I would ever want, I'm grateful there are men and women out there who are willing to put their lives on the line to keep us safe.

Thank you for indulging my inquiry. Be safe.

And to the readers of my blog out there, please be careful in your travels this holiday season. There's nothing--not a party, toy, holiday performance, or family gathering--out there worth speeding for. If you're late, you're late. Slow down and arrive alive.

janeannechovy said...

Yes, they have to walk around the front of the car to get to the stopped car, but that's done quickly. It's more important that it provide a protected spot outside the stopped driver's door, where the officer will be standing for longer.

Here in Oregon they passed a new law last year that drivers in the right-hand lane either have to move over or slow way down when there are emergency vehicles on the shoulder.

Heh--my word verification below is "osaiul". Brings to mind Oksana Baiul (can you tell we play the license plate game--where you try to come up with a single words containing the license plate's letters in order--around here?).