By on January 30, 2009

and could only write tickets for ONE infraction, what it would it be? For me, it’s failure to stop at a stop sign. I live in a neighborhood that looks a bit like the one in Lady in the Tramp. We’ve got wide sidewalks, Victorian houses, well-groomed canines, equally well-groomed Swamp Yankees, a property tax bill that could crush rocks, the works. As the proud owner of four daughters and two dogs, I’m keenly aware that the sidewalks are often used for recreation: walking, running, bicycling, skateboarding, etc. (And that’s just the dogs.) So when I see a motorist blow through a four-way stop sign at speed, usually clutching a cell phone, I wish the capitol city would re-instate capital punishment. For some reason, I’m even more narked by R.I. motorists’ near-universal propensity to perform a so-called “rolling stop” at octagon-marked intersections. What part of STOP are you having trouble with? The real danger here: countless drivers perform this maneuver whilst turning at an intersection. They don’t bother checking to see if anyone’s crossing. The resulting carnage isn’t pretty. [see: above]. And I’ve seen cops watch drivers execute this illegal maneuver right in front of them, without batting a single chowderhead. So, what’s in your fictional ticket pad?

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84 Comments on “Question of the Day: If You Were A Traffic Cop for One Day…...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    IMHO most stops should be yields. Driving a manual car with a short 1st gear, and that rebels against downshifting to 1st if going over 3 mph, complete stops take time, waste gas, esp if nobody is around.

    If _I_ was cop for a day, I’d ticket distracted driving and/or tailgating.

    I hate them both. IMHO cellphones/radio/music should be banned in cars. I’d much rather have someone who is paying attention “yield” at intersections than someone make a complete stop while yacking on a cellphone and then turn without looking and smacking someone.

    Inattention is the problem, not complete stops.

  • avatar
    kkop

    Easy:

    Cargo not properly secured:

    – loose items in pickup beds
    – mattresses tied on roof with twine
    – etc.

    It makes navigating the highways of Georgia very dangerous sometimes. It’s one of the reasons I avoid highways on my motorcycle; don’t feel like dodging lazy boys and ladders on the way to work.

  • avatar
    cwp

    Failure to signal when changing lanes. I live in northern California, where this behavior is so common that you could probably wipe out the state’s $50 billion (or whatever it is these days) budget shortfall by ticketing for this.

  • avatar
    ARacer

    Doing anything with a cell phone… text, talk, whatever. Here in NJ it is illegal without a hands free device. I am sick and tired of people doing the following while on the phone:
    – driving half the speed limit
    – weaving between lanes
    – stopping at green lights
    – failing to recognize that the light turned green 30 seconds ago
    – rolling through stop signs at 20mph
    – making a left hand turn from the right hand lane and vice versa
    – driving on the shoulder such that I have to dive in to the bushes to avoid being hit while I jog or ride my bike.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Use of cell phones while driving. The cops should be able to stop the car, seize the cell phone and use a good sized hammer to smash it to smithereens. On the spot.

    There was a ten best account by a cop in C&D, yeah, I know already, about a stop of a teenage girl who, during the entire process of getting a ticket, continued yakking, and then drove off yakking. Sorry, the concentration/focus particle in most people’s brains isn’t large enough to handle driving and yakking on the cell. It constitutes reckless driving.

  • avatar
    montgomery burns

    Oh man I’m with you on this one RF. I routinely have to wait at green lights as the four or five cars running the red go through the intersection.

    Part of the problem is the local government using stop signs to try and control speeding. There are lots of stop signs placed in peculiar areas that make no sense for traffic control.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    Goddamn high beams! Niggling, I know. I can’t stand them, and they make driving at night irritating and unsafe.

    Stop signs … maybe for blowing a stop sign, but I all but condone the California Roll.

    I’d also pull over every vehicle (1975 and newer in California) that’s spewing smoke. Really, it’s irresponsible and illegal, all around. I’d also pull over all of the yahoos driving around with no license plates (in the back), clearly outdated temp tags, dubious dealer plates, etc. These assholes are the reason insurance costs so much.

    And probably idiots with super loud stereos. I’m 26 and too old for that neighborhood-destroying nonsense.

    Hmm … that’s way more than ONE infraction. I guess they all fall under “general idiocy.”

  • avatar
    Jeffer

    Failure to stop! In the last five years all the close calls I have experienced have been at a rural intersection one block from my home. Some don’t even look up the road when they blow through. Others look and pull out anyway, (I guess those must be the really important folks)
    The other one that really grinds my gears, are folks that blow a stop sign to get ahead of others, and then drive under the speed limit.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    chuckR> hear! hear!

    I agree 100% :)

    And I’m a cell phone owner.

    I typically toss it in the trunk when I’m driving so the ringing doesn’t even bother me.

    I answer all calls after I am at my destination.

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    Ugh.. where would I even start.

  • avatar
    Rev Junkie

    I’d write tickets for failing to use turn signals. It seems like half of America cheaped out on the options list and decided to forego the signals.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    As others have pointed out, the use of 4-way stops is way too liberal and most serve as a speed control measure. If roundabouts are too complex for the average North American driver, yield signs would be sufficient in the majority of cases.

    Cellphone-holding drivers are my fave, with 2nd place going to those who make turns without bothering to signal.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    1) Driving in the left lane on interstates.

    2) Speeding in (legitimate) 25 mph zones.

    The 55 mph interstate speed limit, followed by interstate speed limits that are still generally too low, has undermined respect for all traffic laws.

  • avatar
    1981.911.SC

    Hanging out in the left lane on multi lane highways.
    The punishment would be severe

  • avatar
    eamiller

    I would pick one of these 3

    1) Failure to signal (or signaling too late) for a turn

    2) Driving in the left hand lane without passing any vehicles (or failure to move to the right for faster traffic)

    3) Driving at dusk with no headlights or only with parking lights (or parking+fog lights)

  • avatar
    pb35

    When I was a young driver many years ago I witnessed the car in front of me blow thru a stop sign. A cop came out of nowhere and pulled him/her over. Since then, I always make a full stop, always.

    My beef is with non-signalers. I would love to be a cop for a week and pull these cretins over too see what their excuse is.

    Just yesterday I was trying to exit my garage at work and a car stopped dead in it’s tracks just before the garage exit (and my freedom). I let him sit for about 10-20 seconds and then started beeping. After 2 honks he pointed to an open parking spot on the right that he was trying to pull into but there was someone getting in their car so he couldn’t pull in. You could have avoided the whole episode if you had just put your blinker on, jackass!

  • avatar
    chrispc88

    Using the turning lane to enter traffic. It’s highly dangerous, and happens all of the time where I live. Or even worse, using the turning lane as a driving lane – I saw a girl drive in the turning lane for 2 miles last week, nearly hitting 3 different cars. Cops around here don’t do anything about it, accept if it causes a wreck, then they will cite them for it. Otherwise most people don’t even know it’s illegal.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If it’s winter, failing to clear the f___ing ice and snow off your vehicle and then driving on the highway. I personally love playing dodge’em with two-pound ice fragments flying off the back of transport trucks on a packed highway. Abso-f’in-lutely love it.

    Tailgating and speeding, again for trucks would be a another. If I stop, can you?

    Failing to signal lane changes, or turns in general.

    My absolute favourite, though, would be failing to yield to a pedestrian. My wife got knocked down by someone who proceeded right through a three-way intersection without so much much as glance. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten dirty looks from drivers because I dared cross when they wanted to turn. Yeah, pedestrians have the right of way. Cope.

    I kicked a dent in the hood of a pair of kids im a Civic who actually revved their engine and quickly came forward at me, once, in an attempt at intimidation It was a month after the aforementioned accident, and their doing so actually left my wife in tears and panic. It was stupid on my part, and I felt like a twit, but boy, if I was a cop I would have gone on such a fishing expedition.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Where do I begin?

    1. Keep right on limited access highways except to pass.

    2. Stop at all stop signs.

    3. Stop at crosswalks for pedestrians.

    4. Require all bicyclists to also obey numbers 2 and 3.

  • avatar
    rjones

    Either “changing lanes in an intersection” or “driving across a parking lot”.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Only one?! I sometimes FANTASIZE about being a traffic cop (sad, I know…). Ah, to ticket all the fools!
    Distracted driving is a particular peeve of mine. Cellphones, obviously, but also reading, texting, playing with the ipod, applying make-up (on the highway!), and so on.

    My absolute favourite, though, would be failing to yield to a pedestrian. My wife got knocked down by someone who proceeded right through a three-way intersection without so much much as glance. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten dirty looks from drivers because I dared cross when they wanted to turn. Yeah, pedestrians have the right of way. Cope.
    My wife makes sure she carries a heavy yet cheap travel mug for such occasions. Being a good thrower, she’s dented more than a few cars…

  • avatar
    Sonic EJ

    no_slushbox said:

    “1) Driving in the left lane on interstates.”

    +1

    Why don’t cops write tickets for this? Has 1 ticket ever been issued for this amazingly annoying lack of driver awareness?

  • avatar
    TEW

    Mine would be for people driving slow in the left lane. What I can’t stand is the phantom stop sign that the county uses to slow down traffic. I almost ran one because it was hidden behind trees and on a 45 MPH road. It is an unsafe way to make the roads safer or write tickets.

  • avatar

    KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Robstar

    AKM> Your wife should be careful. People here (Chicago) have been shot for less.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    chrispc88

    Not sure were you’re from, but in California (for better or worse) you can use the Center Left Turn Lane to enter traffic. This might be true in other states as well.

    Questionable advice here.

    It seems like a necessity on busy streets.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I’m torn between going after slowpokes in the left lane and people with high beams on. Depends on which shift I get when I’m cop for a day, I guess.

  • avatar
    SWComp

    “Not signaling” – give me a break! Not worth a cops time.

    “Speeding in (legitimate) 25 mph zones” – there are very, very, very few of these; I can ride my bicycle faster than 25 mph.

    No, #1 must be: driving 50 mph in the left lane of a highway with speed limit 55+! When the roads are dry and cars are passing on the right – no excuse, get the f*** out of the way! The only thing worse is when the left lane is an HOV lane and the idiot is driving 50 in that!

  • avatar
    mcs

    In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, traffic turning left at an intersection typically will not yield to oncoming traffic. When a light turns green, the car turning left tries to go first. It’s very common in the Boston area.

  • avatar
    kamikaze2b

    Rolling stops at slow speed are fine IMO.

    But running red lights and going too slow on the highway would be my two ticket-fests!

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    This doesn’t quite fit the question, but we also need much better driver training.

    The insurance lobby is incredibly strong, but supposedly they don’t think people should be given better driver training because it might make them more confident (risky) drivers.

    Sonic EJ:

    “Has 1 ticket ever been issued for this amazingly annoying lack of driver awareness?”

    I’m sure in Europe. In the US a person is lucky if it is even against the law in their state. I’m proud to say that my state made using the left lane for other than passing on interstates illegal a couple years ago. But I doubt a single ticket has been written.

  • avatar
    tced2

    Right turn on red (and not stopping). And the general lawlessness that surrounds this privilege.

    variations on a theme,
    Right turn on red folks driving off the road to make the turn.

    Right turn on red folks driving on people’s yards to make the turn.

    Right turn on red folks squeezing between my car and a guard rail to make turn. (and I’m scared the whole time about them scraping my car)

    Drivers further back in line to a right turn honking to get first person in line to make a turn. (the right turn on red is optional and is at the discretion of the driver at the front – only he can evaluate the traffic conditions)

    Tickets to them all.

  • avatar
    kkleinwi

    +1 for not passing in the left lane

    +10 for “passing” 0.1 mph faster than the traffic on the right

    +1,000 if the blocker is a truck

  • avatar
    Prado

    Considering I am now on my 4th windshield on a 2003 vehicle, I would write up the construction and landscaping trucks that are constantly dumping their crap on the freeways here in Phoenix.

  • avatar
    kps

    If I have to pick just one: turning into the wrong lane.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Tailgating. No question the single most dangerous driving offense.

    Can I be the judge the following day?

    If so, they would call me the hangin’ judge….

  • avatar
    NickR

    Incompetent parking defined as a) striking an adjacent vehicle, b) using too much space, c) creating an obstacle to other vehicles or pedestrians, and d) taking too damn long!!! Parking is part of driving…if you can’t do the former competently, don’t do the latter.

  • avatar
    jaje

    My pet peeves. Not passing while in left lane but living there – slowing down when cars are on right so you block traffic and speeding up when you get out in the clear and remain in left lane as if you own it.

  • avatar
    dean

    A lot of good ones here. tced2’s right-on-red response reminded me of a guy I carpooled to university with way back when. We were driving home and he sailed right through a red light while making a right turn. I said “Dude, that was a red light.” He honestly did not know that while you may turn right on a red light, you still have to stop first. With that quality of driver education is it any wonder that there are so many fender benders?

    If limited to one, I’d probably choose tailgaiting. Left-lane blockers are tempting, and infuriating, but the behaviour is not inherently dangerous.

  • avatar
    brownie

    Blocking the box. Specifically, city buses blocking the box. I’m starting to think bus drivers enjoy causing gridlock – there is no other explanation for why they would cross an intersection on a yellow light when traffic is backed up to the crosswalk on the opposite side of the street.

    Maybe this is only a problem in New York.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    My absolute favourite, though, would be failing to yield to a pedestrian. […] Yeah, pedestrians have the right of way.

    I can only speak on Texas law, but pedestrians do not always have the right of way. The only place pedestrians have the right of way is in a crosswalk. Even then, if they don’t give the vehicle enough time to stop, the pedestrian can be cited.

    The way Texas law is written, pedestrians may cross the street anywhere they wish unless there are traffic signals at each end of the block they are crossing. If they are not in a designated crosswalk and traffic has to slow down or stop, they are impeding traffic and may be cited for such.

    Back to the topic…

    I would cite people who do not merge properly. For instance, those who enter a highway on a ramp at low speed and cause the highway traffic to slow – this is failure to yield right of way and should be cited.

    Also, I would cite those who, when the lane they are traveling in is ending, especially in a construction zone, run up to be at the “front of the line” instead of merging smoothly when they see the sign.

    I think these are some of the most dangerous behaviors I see day to day.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The stop sign thing is one of those, “yeah, but” situations. If stop signs are actually placed in a location where, when and if you stop where indicated, you could actually look both ways and see whether or not there was any traffic coming, then, yeah, the laws about rolling through stop signs should be enforced.

    But, the reality is that too many stop sings seem to placed well back and behind where they should be placed. When and if you stop, you can’t really see squat. There’s usually a hedge, or God knows what, blocking the view of the roadway. People who actually do stop don’t have a clear view of any oncoming traffic. They frequently pull up and do a “double stop,” but sometimes they just take off after stopping, even if it means pulling into the path another oncoming vehicle.

    I think that an awful lot of the stop sign situation is bad street design more than anything else.

    I’d like to see more enforcement of people who talk on cell phones. Too many times I’ve been stopped behind an idiot at a stop light, the light changes and the idiot in front of me just sits there, oblivious to the light having changed. Nine times out of ten, they’re on a cell phone. They deserve to get ticketed. Obstructing traffic or something.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Not using turn signals. When I worked at a VW dealer I got plenty of cars come in where the turn signal stalk was being used to support a garbage bag or purse.

    I agree with those above who say that the rolling stop isn’t anything serious. As long as you can see that nothing is coming, and you look in every direction for cars that don’t have to stop, or pedestrians, what difference does it make if you have a tiny bit of momentum left. There were plenty of people that I almost hit that were stopped at a stop sign, were turning left, looking right only, and didn’t see me coming fro their left. What I don’t get is that failure to yield, is a 2 point ticket here in MI, while a rolling stop will get you a 3 point ticket for running a stop sign.

  • avatar
    srclontz

    Honorary mention goes to people who commit any traffic infraction while using their cell phones. A favorite of cell phone using drivers is to look left, while striking the car in front of them that decides to stop for a red light or a stop sign. As a penalty enhancement, the officer should be allowed to throw the cell phone as far as they can, or run over it with their police cruiser.

    Bronze goes to drivers who use well marked lanes ending soon as an opportunity to get ahead of other drivers, relying on politeness and self preservation to move ahead of everyone else. As a penalty enhancement, the drivers car should be equipped with a bumper sticker that reads “I only care about myself” for one year.

    Silver goes to drivers who don’t understand proper lane usage, blocking the left lane for miles, or hanging out in the center lane because they are lazy, completely unaware that there are other drivers using the same roads. As a penalty enhancement, such drivers should be restricted to the right lane all the time for two years, with marking on the car that would make it easy for law enforcement to spot in case they decided to thwart the law.

    Gold goes to drivers who can’t use their turn signals. Signaling your intent to other drivers is not only helpful, it’s courteous, and may help prevent accidents. Mandatory week long classes, combined with a mechanical inspection and certification that the signals work properly, and a driving test demonstrating proper turn signal usage would be used in addition to a fine in this case. Annual follow up certification of their turn signals and the ability to use their turn signals would be done for three years.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    Failure to signal. The penalty would be immediate pistol whipping followed by shredding of the offender’s license.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Irvine

    Failure to use turn signals. (Indicators) Many is the time I have waited to turn right while the car approaching from my left finally turns right beside me. But as a furriner, my biggest beef about American traffic is the number of cars, even new ones, with RED rear indicator lights. Even European cars which would have amber lights at home. I ride a motorcycle and within a millisecond of spotting an amber flash I know the car beside me intends to change lanes. A red flash could be brakes or the sidelights coming on – it takes too long to determine.

  • avatar
    trk2

    In my world:

    Anyone merging onto a highway at 50mph or less should be ticketed. Anyone coming to a complete stop results in the complete loss of a license.

    Other peeves:

    People who take right turns on to a new street immediately into the left lane (I hope that makes sense).

    People making left hand turns who don’t ‘square’ their turn and end up cutting into the opposite travel lane.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Man, I only get ONE?

    I’d have to say failure to signal is the worst. It has litterally almost killed me untold times (Lanesplitting on bikes). If you don’t blink, don’t f’ing turn, even if it means running straight into a wall. I’d even welcome an interlock feature requiring 3 seconds of blinking before the steering wheel lock disengages. And then only in the direction you blinked. That would do it. Kind of makes running the twisties a bit of a biatch, I guess….

    Also, parking / stopping, regardless of how briefly, on sidewalks.

    And turning left by careening diagonally across the intersection, crossing the double yellow instead of driving straight, making a 90 degree turn. If you’re in such a a hurry, learn to use the handbrake, rally style. A friend on a bike was moved down while sitting still on his bike, by some monkey in a tractor disobeying this.

    And don’t fly out of garages onto sidewalks without making sure there are noone approaching on them. And that includes kids on scooters and bikes (Adults should ride their bikes in the road).

    And crossing / touching the double yellow in a left bend, or the white shoulder in a right one. Bikes have every right to stick their tire within an inch of the centerline as long as they lean into their own lane. If this messes up your drift while canyon running, get a narrower / shorter car, or go to a race track designed for oversized GT’s. Trying to save your ego from being humbled by built Miatas, by apexing across the centerline in your overgrown midlife crises yuppie toy, should result in your toy being removed. Along with your drivers license, for the next however many years it takes to get over said midlife crises.

    Man, I’m only getting started. I ought to switch carreers to law enforcement….

  • avatar
    benders

    Non-functioning brake lights.

    And if I had time, not yielding to pedestrians (my handprints are on lots of cars because they came too close when I was trying to cross the street) and turning into the wrong lane.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Without question, failure to signal. Also a pet peeve, since others seem to have added them, is the driver who, upon your outward courtesy to allow them to (pass, merge, let into lane, etc) and they ignore your extension of courtesy by not even acknowledging you with a simple wave. Kinda makes me want to ram them…

    RF, can’t agree with the stop sign thing because where I live, so many stop signs were added where they never were before. Some streets look like lollypop land with all these unnecessary stop signs being added. If they were not there before and there was no change in the road/traffic, many people usually blow them with impunity. Such thoughtless placement of signs tends to make people ignore them, and frankly, devalues them.

  • avatar
    gogogodzilla

    I’d ticket those that do not use the passing lane to pass, but instead… tootle along a speeds equal to that of those in the slower, non-passing lanes, effectively blocking the flow of traffic.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    I would make a bad traffic cop because I would have a gun in car and I already don’t carry a gun in the car because I would be sorely tempted use it at least once a week around Boston.

    Tailgaters, running red lights. Stopping and backing up into traffic because missed turn. Cell phone anything. Wild manouvers.

    Nobody mentioned drunk driving, this is bad, right?

    My personal favorite is a vehicle equipment offence. Motorcycles with loud pipes should all be confiscated on the spot and crushed and sold for scrap to the Chinese to help with national debt, rider pays haul and crush and shipping fees and taxes. I am on #42 motorcycle, in 42 years of riding, I love bikes but I hate loud pipes on the street, they do not need 2% more power. Up in NH I hear groups of harleys rumbling in distance for 5 minutes down the valley before they come into view then they drone off for another 5 minutes. Tassles flying in wind.

    Reason its OK with cops is they either have one just like that or really want one so nobody gets ticketed for illegal loud bikes in USA.

  • avatar
    JG

    Any vehicle bearing truck nutz would be held at roadside for a flatbed tow truck, which would deliver said vehicle directly into a metal shredding machine for recycling.

  • avatar
    nonce

    People who use the exit lane as an opportunity to pass on the right.

    I’ve deliberately worked to stop these people from re-merging after they “miss” their exit. And I have no apologies.

    I changed my commute route so I no longer have to deal with those guys, which is probably good for my blood pressure.

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Excessive speed in residential areas. The area I lived in in Louisville, KY had a posted 25mph speed limit. Kids playing, people out walking thier mutts, etc… Idiots would fly thorough at 40+mph while texting, hunting for things on the floor board, etc.
    I really, really, really wanted to own a set of spike strips while we lived there.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Tailgating

  • avatar
    p00ch

    johnny ro:

    +1 on the pointless man-child Harley pipes

  • avatar
    improvement_needed

    too many to list…

    however, failure to turn on your headlights (and thus taillights) when its raining is a huge peeve.

    If your wipers are on, your lights (front and back) should be on.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Johnny Ro-

    “My personal favorite is a vehicle equipment offence. Motorcycles with loud pipes should all be confiscated on the spot and crushed and sold for scrap to the Chinese to help with national debt…”

    Damn. You beat me to it. I too am a long-time rider. I have never seen the need to increase the noise level of my bikes. But more important, I’d be really embarassed to ride something that disturbed reasonable people.

    I live in Manhattan near the 59th Street Bridge. In the summer, there’s no shortage of bozos who go roaring over the bridge with open pipes. I would love to be able to practice my sharpshooting on these ****tards, which, I suppose is why it’s so difficult to get a gun license in the city.

    My other favorite ticket? The mythical $350 ticket for horn-honking. You see the signs *everywhere* in Manhattan. To my knowledge, no one has ever been ticketed, which is really strange because with a little effort, we could close the billion-dollar city budget deficit just by writing tickets for this offense.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    All I can say is that, if we fined drivers for:

    A. Failure to use turn signals

    ~ and ~

    B. Inability to maintain a safe assured distance from the car in front of you

    Rhode Island would be loaning money to the Feds…and the Chinese.

    I mean, Jesus, who the hell teaches you people to drive?

  • avatar
    210delray

    Tailgating. Double for semis doing it. And quadruple for going downhill.

    My wife would probably say loud pipes on motorcycles.

    On stop signs, I think many should be yield signs, especially where one minor street intersects another. In my native state (PA), stop signs are placed willy-nilly as speed control devices. I’m glad my adopted state (VA) doesn’t do this.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I read about half of the responses, and nobody had yet mentioned “failing to match traffic speed when entering a freeway.”

    If people are not competent enough to match speed and merge onto a freeway, they should be taking the bus.

  • avatar

    Number one reason for accidents is…..

    Not maintaining a safe distance behind the vehicle in front

    NOT

    stop signs
    DUI
    speed
    Driver distraction etc

    Number one reason to get a ticket should be, yes you guessed

    … tailgating!

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    You may be able to reduce the number of tailgaters behind you by simply putting an NRA bumper sticker on your car.

    It’s a two-edged sword though, because then your car will get more attention from the cops who might be behind you in rush hour traffic.

  • avatar
    IOtheworldaliving

    LEFT TURN YIELD ON (CIRCULAR) GREEN. These signs appear next to the 5-section left turn traffic lights that are everywhere in the part of Louisiana where I live. I hate sitting behind some bozo who parks behind the stop line and waits for the arrow when there’s no oncoming traffic. On the green ball, you pull out into the intersection a few feet so that you and the car behind you can at least get through on the yellow light. Half the time I use my horn around here is for some of these people.

    The left-lane “keepers of the speed” are a real pain.

    Where’s the “early merge/late merge” debate in this thread?

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I agree with the “keepers of the speed” comment, however, there’s one exception:

    If I am in the left lane, and I am passing the traffic on the right with reasonable urgency (ie, not driving in their blind spot or otherwise right next to them), and then promptly moving over into the lane to my right afterward, then I should NOT be subjected to a tailgater on my ass.

    To that guy or gal who isn’t happy unless he/she is doing 85 at all times: I know you want to pass; but if I’m already doing 65 in a 55 zone just so I can promptly pass the guy on our right, then you need to chill. Let me do my thing and I’ll get out of your way. THEN you can get back to your Indy 500 race.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I can only speak on Texas law, but pedestrians do not always have the right of way. The only place pedestrians have the right of way is in a crosswalk. Even then, if they don’t give the vehicle enough time to stop, the pedestrian can be cited.

    In Ontario, pedestrians always have the right of way at crosswalks and signed intersections unless there’s a sign that says otherwise. I’m aware of one such sign in Toronto.

    And don’t fly out of garages onto sidewalks without making sure there are noone approaching on them. And that includes kids on scooters and bikes (Adults should ride their bikes in the road).

    I’m a cyclist, and I’d love to see cyclists ticketed for this. Some bike couriers’ behaviours and attitudes give the rest of us a bad name

    2. Stop at all stop signs.
    3. Stop at crosswalks for pedestrians.
    4. Require all bicyclists to also obey numbers 2 and 3.

    #3 for sure. For #2, a rolling stop and a yield to traffic that made the sign first should be ok. If you’re a cyclist with foot clips, stopping at every intersection is troublesome.

    Not stopping at a sign is the only thing I’ve ever seen a cyclist ticketed for. I thought it was pretty silly, considering he did slow down dramatically and it’s really hard for a bike going 8km/h to cause harm.

    A bad one, though, is cyclists who cut through three- or four-way intersections at full speed. I’ve seen pedestrians hit (twice, once hard enough that the cyclist was thrown to the pavement, knocked out and relieved of some teeth and nasal structural integrity) and once where a left-turning car hit the cyclist

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Where’s the “early merge/late merge” debate in this thread?

    There’s nothing to debate. Late mergers are bastards.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Using, no I mean, even thinking of using, any kind of cel phone. And I get to watch the ticket getting paid.

  • avatar
    don1967

    1) Red-light running. Not only would I write tickets, I would teach people that “red means red” by positioning snipers at each intersection. Tough but fair.

    2) Tailgating. As I delivered the ticket, I would repeatedly whack the perpetrator in the back of the head with a Dodge Ram hood ornament, screaming “How do YOU like it?!! How do YOU like it?!!”

    3) Speeding on residential streets. Instead of a ticket, I would toss a bouncing ball in front of the speeding car and follow it up with a sidewinder missile inscribed with “This one’s for little Billy”.

  • avatar
    1169hp

    Sonic EJ and others:

    Here in Missouri,

    “RSMO 304.015—–4722505.0 (infraction) $83 fine, no points, and can be paid by mail.
    Charge: Failed to drive on right half of roadway, when roadway of sufficient width.” I wrote it all the time for the guy/gal hanging out in the left lane on the highway…for no paticuliar reason.

    “RSMO 304.015—-4722605.0 (Class-c Misd.) Fine unknown. Three points and can be paid by mail. Charge: Failed to drive on the right half of roadway, when roadway of sufficient width, causing an immediate threat of an accident.” This one was for the guy/gal hanging out in the left lane, with no clue I was coming up on them (lights/siren to an emergency) at an extremely high rate of fuel consumption (triple digits) (bouncing off the speed governor). Drove me *()&^(^! batty. Blood pressure through the roof, and I’m a healthy guy. My momentum is killed and I’m supposed to go around you!!!!! Thanks!!

    “RSMO 304.015—-4722705.0 (Class-A Misd.) One notch below a felony. *Cannot be paid by mail. Mandatory court date. Judge imposes points/fine etc…
    Charge: Failed to drive on right half of roadway, when roadway of sufficient width, resulting in an accident. I wrote this a few times, however there are better charges for accicents, such as careless and imprudent driving etc…

    My point in all this is, yes, I/we write the left lane drivers. Perhaps not often enough though. And yes, it’s annoying as heck, mostly because the driver should know better if nothing else.
    Happy motoring

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    1. Not signaling your intentions.
    2. Improper lane change.
    3. Failure to activate full lights in rain, snow or fog. Problem in Ontario is that cars have Daylight Running Lights (DRL). However, when DRL are activated only headlights are on, but no taillights.
    4. Ticket all cars with ‘broken mufflers’. I’m talking about 4-cylinder cars with a fart can exhaust (V8 cars are excluded).
    And I agree with other people pet peeves regarding STOP signs that are unnecessary and could be changed to YIELD and regarding car manufacturers refusing to put amber turn signals at the back of a vehicle. As I come across a vehicles with only one brake light working. And since most vehicles have their brake lights combined with turn signal lights how would I know about vehicle intentions if whole light is not working?

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Should their be higher penalties for officers driving while “celling” w/o a headset? I see far more of that than I wish I did. Both in urban and highway driving.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I’d go for tailgating. Nothing burns my arse more than looking in the rearview and there is hood without seeing headlights and you can see the passengers in the backseat clearly.

    +1 when there are cars in front of and along side of you that box you in. Anything goes wrong and a massive pileup will occur.

  • avatar
    1169hp

    Dgduris:
    “Should there be higher penalties for officers driving while “celling” w/o a headset? I see far more of that than I wish I did. Both in urban and highway driving.”

    Is talking on a cell phone while driving illegal in your area? If so, report em. I don’t think police are exempt from that law (not sure though). It’s dangerous and illegal and should be addressed.

  • avatar
    andyinsdca

    Besides the tailgating and non-secured cargo (thanks, had accidents due to both!), my choice is:

    People who don’t accelerate on an on-ramp, but accelerate once they’re on the freeway. Apparently, in Latin America, this is how they do freeways (limited access roads), so while all traffic is doing 60+, someone will merge doing 20 or maybe even 30 and then SLLLLOWWWWWLLLLYYYY accelerate to 60.

  • avatar
    Tommy231

    For me it would be using the center left turn lane to enter a busy road, This causes people that actually need the left turn lane to turn left to yield to an idiot or risk a head-on collision.

  • avatar

    Texting. When I see people texting, I get right next to them and lean on the horn. They are usually clearly embarrassed.

    I’d also love to nail people from driving slow in the left lane.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Has anyone else noticed this new tendency to swing left before making a sharp right or vise-a-versa lately? You know, like the driver is piloting an 18-wheeler? That one also drives me berserk!

    @1169hp, “Celling” while driving is legal here in RI. I don’t think it should be legal anywhere without a headset. Cell-phoning drivers have nearly hit me several times on my bicycle rides in the area. Usually they are coming out of an intersection and looking only to the side where the phone isn’t (so difficult to move the blasted thing from their line of sight for a heartbeat or two).

  • avatar
    1169hp

    Dgduris:

    10-4. I feel your pain.

  • avatar

    I would ticket Police Officers.

    Because of all the stupid, dangerous, flagrant offenses they pull in both their civilian and patrol cars! Popping on the lights to run a red light when they are not responding to a call, speeding, tailgating, marked lane violations, failure to signal, failure to yield, speeding, rolling stops, speeding, illegal u-turns, talking on cell phones (personal calls of course), etc.

    Plus, you hardly ever see cops get hauled into traffic court for any violations in their civilian lives, wow, they must all be PERFECT drivers! Oh, it must be because they drive around all day, well truckers drive around all day and they get a bunch of tickets from the greedy highway patrol and municipalities. Yes ticket for major items like “unsecured load,” but not 1mph over.

    I’m absolutely respectful of police officers, but not of tickets or driving hypocrisy, thanks.

  • avatar

    Dump-trucks that are either missing their tag or do not have the load covered properly and lose significant amounts of whatever they are transporting. A $5000 fine for every vehicle damaged by said debris plus insurance costs.

  • avatar

    cell phones

  • avatar
    tbsaunders

    okay, i’ve been following this site for…how long has it been around? three years? and this question prompted me to create an account to post…ps, the RS4 review (avalanche making love to a volcanoe) is far and away one of the most…ecovative? reviews i have ever read anywhere. reminds me of ezra dyer in automobile. but i digress.

    i HATE HATE HATE people who park in the fire/emergency vehicle lanes in front of large stores – wal-mart, home depot, etc. – and just sit there while their passenger “runs” inside. or even worse, they just park their car there and get out and leave it sitting there. if i was a cop i would spend my entire day roaming the city and giving these individuals massive, license-suspending, car-impounding tickets. i mean, why are they so much better than everyone else that they get to park their car right there when it CLEARLY says “no parking / emergency vehicles only”? i would even work overtime for no pay just to give them what they deserve…

    this is my all-time greatest personal pet peeve, entirely capable of raising my blood pressure. i always give these people the stink-eye and tell them they are number one as i roll by.

    number two worst offense imho is (as many of you have already stated) driving slow in the fast lane. get the heck out of the way already, right?


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