I narrowly avoided another speeding ticket yesterday afternoon. Coming home from Toronto, I was in the fast lane behind a police car. I was chatting with a friend and wasn’t thinking about my speed until the officer pulled something of a crazy manuevre to get behind me and pull me over. He swerved out of the lane to the left and then pulled his car within a few feet behind me. I can’t say I’m entirely pleased with what he did, but whatever.
Anyway, he pulled me over and askedÂ why I wasÂ following him at 130km/h, to which I replied that I just wasn’t paying attention. Stupid on my part, of course, but that’s the truth of it. He went away for a bit, then came back and told me to smarten up.
He leaves and I get back on the road. And here’s the amusing part…when I got back into the flow, the fast lane was going faster than 130km/h. I stayed in the middle, of course, but even then I was going 120km/h in the middle of a pack. Of course, he was long gone by then.
I’m not complaining at all about being pulled over.Â I was prepared to accept the ticket for what I had done and I’m lucky to have gotten away with a warning. No, my concern is with the consistency and, more importantly, the safety of it. Truth is, I was driving in a perfectly safe manner until he flung his car to the side, which surprised the heck out of me. And then to tailgate me until I stopped…that was absolutely unnecessary. Then to find that if I had slowed down for awhile and let him get farther ahead of me, I could have driven at 130km/h when the pack caught up, with no repercussions.
It’s just…inconsistent. After all, I may have been going 130km/h, but everyone else was going 120km/h. Last I checked, the speed limit was 100km/h.
And really, shouldn’t the cop obey the speed limit too?
What I’d like to see–and yes, I’ve said this before–is police officers focusing on truly dangerous drivers. It’s easy to ticket me for speeding…instead, try getting the lane hoppers, tailgaters,Â and the motorcyclists weaving in and out. Go after the guys driving 30km/h faster than everyone else on the road.
Or actually enforce the law and pull over everyone in sight until we all obey the speed limit.
In the end, a police cruiser on the highway is similar toÂ a referee in a sporting event. The difference is that it’s harder to sneak things past the referees, because they’re there for the entire game. We need to figure out how to get drivers–including myself–to obey the traffic laws because we should…not because there’s a police car nearby.