Saturday, May 26, 2012


  LISTEN MORE CAREFULLY TO YOUR DETECTORS, JAMMERS, AND APPS: You spent all that money buying the latest technology to avoid police enforcement, but you’re so quick to throw that Fuzzbuster out the window when you get a ticket anyway. DUMB! Like everything else in a mechanic’s toolbox, detectors, jammers, and apps are tools and if not used properly are useless, and not always do they guarantee the job will always be done correctly. Even the best mechanics have to have a second try when things still go wrong. Read the owner’s manual to know exactly how your technology works, and know when and how it doesn’t. Is it picking up Aunt Mable’s Amana Radar-Range or is that Trooper Death’s MPH K-55?  If Trapster or Navigon is screaming, “watch your speed” on your iPhone you should also assume a camera might be capturing your Kodak moment as you sail through a red light with a FLASH!


  BEWARE OF WHAT YOU DRIVE: The bigger, faster, or flashier the vehicle the lower you should assume is the officer's arrest speed. This way, you’ll increase the chances that Smokey will try to find faster and easier fish to fry. The more you stick out the better the chances you'll be caught in a net. Like a lion perched on a throne of quarry overlooking the Serengeti for that tasty morsel of prey that stands out, so it is with the police and your flashy ride.
    If your car is called a saloon where it's made, heed my advice: that is not about a drinking establishment, and more about something that goes faster than it looks, even faster than most sports cars. The more waft or numb the ride the more you’ll be anesthetized to the speed at which you're caught, but not to the pain of the ticket you'll receive. I’d be careful with apparitions such as a Ghost or a Phantom; they’re faster, more visible, dangerous, and haunting than their names might make us think. Cars that have a name that's been etched, anointed, or varnished with a precious metallurgical or mineral setting, surface, or finish like, "Silver Seraph" or "Diamond Black" or "Silver Spur" or "Diamond Jubilee Edition" may have value at auction at Christie's, Sotheby's, or on EBay, but aren't even worth their weight in gold and are useless to a trooper or a traffic court judge. Cars that come in number and letter combinations like, "XR4Ti" or "TR7" or "SL55AMG" or "750iL" won't crack the ticket code. For any car that has a GT or SS version, has an engine that's been either turbocharged or supercharged, or has a variant with the word "Speed" or "Super" or "Sport(s)" in its name, start establishing a Turbo Super Sport Speeding Ticket Fund now! Buses (attention: sleep and drug deprived bus drivers), RV’s, tractor-trailers, racy lipstick red cars (in fact, any kind of racy red or yellow jacket colored car; taxis and minivans included), and all sports cars, beware! If your vehicle growls, grumbles, roars, shrills, or screams at extremely high and/or low speeds or RPM's, or has a modified muffler or no muffler, hear me out! After watching police chase videos and the Rodney King beating, please don't tell me a Hyundai can't go 100 MPH! Oh, and just because OJ was caught driving slow in a Ford Bronco, that doesn't mean that a Ford Bronco can't go fast! If you have spent more than $1500 for a set of mag wheels for your new or old car, that's sure footing to make your way into traffic court! If your car is smoking (whether you want it to or not, and aside from you spinning the front and/or rear wheels) or your car looks like it is speeding even when stopped or parked, get your license ready and stand back!
Does it fly or does it drive?
Save yourself money by living vicariously
through your kids or grand kids
 by clicking here: "Hot Rod Pedal Car"
   Read this carefully: Anyone who drives a European car that ends with a vowel like, “Porsche,” or “Maserati,” or drives a car that has a name that signifies some kind of launching object like, “Continental Flying Spur” or “Jensen Interceptor” or “Vanquish,” or has a car named after peerage or royal lineage like, "Princess" or "Crown Victoria" or "Grand Marquis," or has a truck named after a dinosaur or bird of prey like, “Raptor,” or has a car named after a racing circuit like “Mulsanne” or “Le Mans” or "Grand National," or has a car named for a jet plane like, “Corvette” or “Concorde,” or named for a missile or projectile like, "Meteor" or "Dart" or "Titan," or named for anything related to a ranch or a range like, "Maverick" or "Range Rover" or "Mustang," or has a car named for a stinging insect or arachnid like, "Scorpio" or "Hornet" or "Spider" or "Super Bee," or named for a viscous snake like, "Viper" or "Cobra," or named for a predator fish like "Barracuda" or "Tiburon," or "Stingray," or named for a fast feline like, "Cougar," or “Jaguar” or “Panther,” or anything with flames, smoke, dust, wind, wings, lightning, crossbones, or crosshairs in its emblem or markings, or has “MACH I” emblazoned on the side, or a spoiler or an airfoil or even a propeller or a turbofan attached to its fuselage, or belongs on a raceway or at an airport and not on the streets or highway, is eventually asking for trouble, and quite frankly, is standing out for a ticket. AND it's a matter of time before you and your car gets one . . .
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ticket waiting to happen!


NEXT TIME TRY TO DRIVE BELOW THE OFFICER’S ARREST SPEED: What’s an arrest speed? It’s the speed an officer determines at what point he will conduct the enforcement. That’s his line in the sand. And like sand, he can erase it and draw a new one, so you have to guess where mine is. The lower the speed zone the lower the arrest speed. You better drop out of warp drive and go to impulse with little wiggle room if at one point you’re flying on an interstate and suddenly you’re on a one lane roadway with a school or church coming up ahead. Boy, are you in for a surprise if you’re not careful! I personally like the high rollers going 21 over the limit and above; it’s an extra one point on your license, and going 31 and above is at least $300, and speeding 41 and above the limit is around $500+ and an automatic suspension. If you are going to make me come to court, I am determined to increase the stakes. And in my jurisdiction there is no plea bargain, it’s winner takes all! Want to play Vegas with your license? Always bet on blue! The traffic court judges know I do this for these reasons when I come walking into their courtrooms. It’s where I built my reputation. I dare you to call me a liar in front of them! If you walk into court on my watch, you are a high flyer, and automatically, most likely GUILTY. HA! So give yourself 15 to no more than a judicious 20 mph over the speed limit on an Eisenhower roadway 55 mph and above, and not more than 15, probably less as the posted speed zone number gets lower. But speeders beware: this is only a guide, not a golden rule! I once had a colleague who often said, “one to ten, take out the pen!” He had an opposite strategy than mine, but was equally successful in traffic court . . .


      Are you entering a school or a pedestrian zone? We cops love to hide out in these areas, most likely we got a complaint from someone or two, and we have to answer the complaint(s) by doing enforcement.
        Are folks going to or coming from work or school? 
Are you in a business district or residential neighborhood?
There is a reason why not only is texting and driving is becoming
universally illegal, but plain distracted driving as well.

LEARN SITUATIONAL AWARENESS: Pilots learn to do this all the time in the air, so should car drivers on the road. PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU’RE GOING. Put that cell phone away. Stop yapping your head off in the car. Tell that back seat driver to button it up. Lower the radio. Pay attention. What time of the day is it? Are folks going to or coming from work or school? Are you in a business district or residential neighborhood? Are you entering a school or a pedestrian zone? We cops love to hide out in these areas, most likely we got a complaint from someone or two, and we have to answer the complaint(s) by doing enforcement. Is there a speed or red light camera at the next mile marker or intersection? You’ve been through here many times before; shame on you if you weren’t paying attention to the yellow light and now you got caught! I may or may not tell you where the cameras are hiding, but if you walk into the station house during regular business hours, I can give you a list of all the accident-prone location areas in my precinct. In some cases you can even look this up online. That’s where we’re going to be hiding. Are you the only one on the highway? Sounds to me you are the only antelope on the Serengeti that the lion is ready to take out!  Know where are you are, what’s going on around you and think like you’re prey ready to be eaten by a predator, because if you’re not careful, that’s just what’s going to happen, like when an officer like me out of nowhere locks you in on my radar.


DEAR SERGEANT AL: Yesterday I received a traffic ticket for unauthorized use of headlights for warning oncoming motorists of a speed trap on a local road here in my neighborhood by another trooper who was waiting on my side of the road. He wasn’t a happy camper. He told me that flashing my headlights in the manner I did was illegal. I thought I was doing everyone a benefit by making everyone’s lives easier, including the troopers. I guess he didn’t see it that way. I would like to know what my options are, and if the officer had any legal grounds for doing this in the first place. —Sick and Tired of Entrapment Traps

Dear SATOET: Sounds like you got a bum rap, but sorry to tell you, the officer has the grounds for taking the action he did, so while I can’t blame him for being annoyed at you for making their job a little more difficult for which you thought you were helping, but on the other hand, I can’t blame you for taking the action you did either. Apparently, you thought you might make life easier for everyone, but when you see officers conducting enforcement, you have to be careful. Although you had good intentions, motorists warning the public about upcoming traffic enforcement can be seen by some agencies as defeating the purpose of the police conducting the enforcement to begin with, and that has to do with the issues of DETERRENCE. Apparently the cops here wanted to do the deterrence and not you, that's their job and why they get paid. It is amazing how in some parts of the world that flashing your headlights is seen as an effective driving tool that should be encouraged in its use, like Europe, especially Germany, where signals like "flash to pass" flourishes, and in other parts, using your flashing headlights is seen as a rouse to mitigate police enforcement, or a signal of escalation for confrontation if you're not careful, like in places like New York or New Jersey, where you might instigate road rage. In your state, the use of high beams are only for the use of seeing more clearly on the road at night or during bad weather, and not when oncoming cars are coming the opposite way, which in such case you have to lower the beam, or warn the other driver he still has his on. This is hard to justify during daylight hours, absent unusual circumstances. My suggestion is this: as always, take the ticket to court. There’s a chance the officer will not show up, or if there, he might be amenable to a lesser charge with the time that has given him for a cooler head, or reduced fine, or if plea bargaining is not available, you might get a sympathetic jurist ear to dismiss the violation (after all, you were using your lights to warn of an upcoming road hazard, officers in the roadway conducting enforcement: a traffic court lawyer might articulate this to the judge more carefully), which is three points for 18 months starting the day of the ticket, and a $75 fine. Check with your insurance company if there's a risk surcharge, since it might be iffy if your insurance carrier considers this an equipment violation, like a broken headlight, as opposed to a dangerous violation like speeding, seatbelt, or red light violations, where someone could get hurt. No ticket from me SATOET, but consider yourself warned for next time: take it easy on those high beam flashers, and drive carefully. Good luck.