One of the late Ford Crown Victoria’s best attributes was its unique turn signal/parking lamps, which, when viewed in a rear-view mirror, alerted savvy drivers to the possibility that there could be a police officer on their tail. Or a retiree. Either way, best to slow down, pardner.
Today, drivers don’t have that luxury of instant nighttime recognition, and police forces and suppliers are increasingly making it harder to distinguish a lurking cop car during the day. Well, Ford has now brought the stealthiness to another level. (Read More…)
A roadside drug-testing pilot program signed into law at the end of June is unconstitutional and runs the risk of destroying lives, a motorist’s advocacy group says.
Michigan’s “Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift Law” will see five counties selected for roadside saliva swab tests designed to identify drivers impaired by drugs. The one-year pilot, which became law on June 24, raised the ire of the National Motorists Association, which claims the law oversteps boundaries and could prove inaccurate. (Read More…)
If you’re anything like the writers at TTAC, Pokémon Go is a strange and scary thing, like what those teenagers might be doing over there.
We’ve avoided writing about the misadventures associated with the nerdy phone app — grown men falling off cliffs, kids finding corpses, awkward romantic escapades — but a moron in Baltimore tipped our hand.
Two nights ago, a Baltimore police officer’s body camera captured a Toyota RAV4 colliding with his parked cruiser. The young male driver, who clearly couldn’t figure out how to cover his ass, immediately admits to playing Pokémon Go behind the wheel.
Thousands of innocent Americans are going to jail due to faulty science and prosecutors who take the results of cheap (and error-prone) roadside drug testing equipment as gospel.
That’s the finding of a damning report published in the New York Times with the help of non-profit investigative journalism body ProPublica.
The Nixon-era chemical-testing technology used by police officers to analyze suspicious substances found in vehicles was never supposed to be the last word on a suspect’s guilt or innocence, but that’s what’s happening across the U.S. Backed into a corner, citizens faced with a “positive” test often accept a plea deal for a reduced sentence to get the nightmare over with faster. (Read More…)
The state of Indiana is cracking down on motorists driving too slowly in the left lane.
In the first year of the State’s highway slowpokes law, state police issued 109 tickets and at least 1,535 warnings to drivers that didn’t move from the left lane when they should reasonably know another vehicle is trying to overtake them. The law went into effect last July.
The Los Angeles Police Department just inked a deal that will see 100 BMW i3 electric vehicles wear the iconic black-and-white paint job of their vehicle fleet.
BMW emerged the winner in a supply bid that saw the i3 and rival EVs vie for the LAPD contract. The force chose the slab-sided Bimmer for its reliability and connectivity, and for the company’s charging infrastructure and service network. (Read More…)
Did this Romanian driver have his seat in the full, upright position (and seatbelt fastened) before his vehicle hit cruising altitude?
The brief blip that showed up on radar screens earlier this month turned out to be a compact hatchback making a Dukes of Hazzard-worthy leap over a roundabout. (Read More…)
It was nice of Tesla founder Elon Musk to deliver a Model S P85D to the Los Angeles Police Department for testing last year, but they’re kindly going to return it. Possibly with a note under the wiper asking him to make it much cheaper.
The hyper-performing electric sedan took up residence with the LAPD (along with a BMW i3) last September, part of a research initiative that studied how EVs could fit into a future policing model.
With testing over and grades handed out, the LAPD can now say with confidence that the Model S isn’t their cup of tea. The speed was nice, but the price? This isn’t Dubai. (Read More…)
by Richard A. Ratay
In 1974, Congress passed legislation establishing the national highway speed limit of 55 mph. The original goal of the law was to conserve gas during the first OPEC Oil Crisis. Later, proponents of the lower limit argued it reduced highway fatalities. (Remember “55 Saves Lives”?) In time, studies showed the lower limit accomplished neither objective. It did, however, irk just about every driver across America.
Truckers were already equipped with their own means of skirting the new limit. Using their CB radios, long haul truck drivers kept each other informed about the whereabouts of “bear traps” and “Smokeys” lurking along the highways.
But drivers of automobiles sought their own weapon for combatting enforcement of the new lower speed limit. They found it in a device called “The Fuzzbuster.” Released a year before passage of the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Limit, the Fuzzbuster was the creation of Dale Smith, an Ohio driver who had earlier found himself seething at the side of the road after being nabbed in a police speed trap.
Call it the Ford Narc.
In the near future, police cruisers could detect drug labs just by sniffing the air as they drive down a street, CBC DFW reports (via Autoblog), all thanks to a device built by a team from the University of North Texas.
The highly sensitive mass spectrometer, calibrated in the clean air climes of Antarctica, was installed in the front seat of a Ford Fusion Energi sedan eight months ago. (Read More…)
Two suspects in a non-violent Los Angeles burglary decided yesterday that if you’re being watched on TVs everywhere, you should at least entertain your audience.
The two men, who were pursued by police and watched from the air, drove their rental Ford Mustang convertible through rainy afternoon traffic and past excited crowds in what the L.A. Times has called “The most L.A. chase ever.”
It’s getting harder and harder to recognize cop cars in your rearview mirror.
First, Ford dropped the long-serving Crown Victoria police cruiser, whose telltale headlights could be spotted from the moon, and now the rooftop light bar is fading into history.
Sure, most (if not all) cop cars offer protection from boring ol’ pistols and AR-15s. But if you’re looking to drive into a hail of armor-piercing .30-caliber rifle or machine gun fire, Ford’s got your back.
The company announced yesterday that its Police Interceptor vehicles will now offer the highest level of ballistic protection among pursuit-rated vehicles.
Ford says the plates inserted inside the doors of its pursuit vehicles will meet the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV. The move is a bonus for police officers and delivers bragging rights to Ford, given that pursuit vehicles from other automakers only meet Type III specifications. Poseurs. (Read More…)
Qui custodiet ipsos custodes? When it comes to police and their dashcams, the answer appears to be “nobody, due to suspicious technical problems.”
Last Friday, the Washington Post released a scathing indictment of the Chicago Police Department and its officers’ intentional sabotage of their dashcam equipment.
The same department is already under siege from all quarters. Homicides are soaring by 75 percent year-over-year in 2016, senior officials are leaving in droves, and a recent report has shown that a minor group of “untouchable” policemen is responsible for over $34M in settlements since 2009.
(Sarah Nader/Northwest Herald)
An Illinois sheriff knows a barn find when he sees one.
According to the Northwest Herald, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stadler spotted an old parade Chevrolet Caprice with 4,000 miles gathering dust in a shed and decided to bring it back into service.
The 20-year-old, LT1-powered police cruiser — which sports none of the modern police cruiser amenities including USB ports, massive touchscreen or even traction control — was pressed into service when Stadler’s Impala was retired.
“I could see the diamond in the rough,” Stadler told the newspaper. “Your non-car person would look at this thing and think, ‘Why would I want this 20-year-old thing covered in dirt?’ Where I was, ‘I really want to clean this thing up.’”
Hell yes. (Read More…)