By on January 7, 2011

The phrase “super-citizen” has entered the lexicon in the past few years, and it’s typically used to refer to police who simply believe themselves to be well above the law. I’ve had the chance to meet dozens of police officers over the years in situations from downright friendly to frankly adversarial, and I think it’s fair to say that many officers of the law plainly reject the notion that they can do as they please.

The Ohio Highway Patrol officer passing me in this video is not one of them.

Here’s the story: This week I was driving down the road in a mid-sized sedan, doing almost exactly 55 in a 55, when I spotted a highway patrolman approaching in my rearview mirror at a high rate of closing speed. I tapped my brakes to obtain his attention and set my cruise control at 53 to avoid the 56-in-a-55 ticket which Ohio police are known to give. (Don’t laugh. I’ve been pulled over for exactly that, driving my Phaeton down Route 33 near West Virginia.)

Although I carefully avoided looking the officer in the eye via the rearview mirror, wanting to avoid the beating and Taser job so beloved of Ohio police, I could see the aggression in the way he (or she) operated his vehicle. Several times the Crown Vic “nosed up” towards me in an intimidation move. Save your effort, pal; I’ve raced in the Koni Challenge and I’ve been bumper-tapped by the best.

After approximately five minutes of weaving back and forth, the officer pulled out to pass. I initially estimated his speed using the method used by most cops when estimating traffic accident speed: I made a random guess as to the vehicle’s maximum potential then added five for it being downhill. Therefore, I can state with authority that the cop is going one hundred and thirty-five miles per hour.

Another way to estimate it would be to consider that the policeman covers a visual distance of about an eighth mile in twenty or so seconds. At that rate, it would take him about three minutes to cover a mile, so he is traveling at about 20mph more than I am. I’m doing 53 in the video, so he is likely doing 70-75 in a 55 for no other reason than the fact that he wants to. He also deliberately endangered me by making an unnecessary pass. In fewer than ten minutes, I reached my destination, so he put both our lives at risk for a time savings that could not be more than a minute or two over that distance.

We know that the officer’s actions were illegal; his lights and sirens are off. Were they morally justifiable? I would suggest that the officer has just as much right to speed as I do in my Town Car, and I will let you, the reader, determine how much that is.

Some of you will not even bother to read this far before posting about how I am the bad, dangerous driver for using my Droid camera to observe the cop breaking the law. Let’s use NHTSA data to determine who was taking a bigger risk.

The new child-exploiting distraction.gov site states that,

In 2008, almost 20 percent of all crashes in the year involved some type of distraction. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – NHTSA).

In the same year, NHTSA released this document which claims

In 2008, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and 11,674 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes.

There you have it, straight from the government. Assuming we were in vehicles of equal merit and have received equal training (which you all know to be false, right? I’ve spent hundreds of laps being trained by some of the biggest names in road racing, while most highway patrol officers get a day or two of skidpad exercises), the cop was risking our lives by over 50% more than I was by “distractedly” filming him. Touche!

Last but not least, I will mail a free gift (meaning some garbage USB drive or sticker from a press event) to the first person who can name the song playing on this Accord’s sound system.

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97 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Video: Holding Up A Super-Citizen...”


  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I grant you everything that you say, Jack.  But sometimes cops do run emergency without the sound and light show, for various legitimate reasons.  That said, the proper procedure under those circumstances would have been for the cop to have hit the emergency lights when he got behind you, signaling to you your obligation to pull over and let him pass . . . safely.  Doesn’t look like he/she did that in this instance.
    This guy seems more like a knucklehead . . . as you say.

  • avatar
    M 1

    He was probably trying to get out of range of the music.

  • avatar
    John R

    I just find it amazing these guys continue to behave this way in this age of internet capable cellphone cameras.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      There is always plan B, where they knock on Baruth’s door, seize his camera phone and computer equipment, lock him up overnight and charge him with violating the sanctity of the blue line. Remember the motorcyclist who filmed the deranged plain clothes cop?

  • avatar
    daga

    Part One – Pat Metheny Group.  You’re aware of Shazam, right?

    The ‘cop speeding’ thing happens all the time. I get annoyed sometime and write down the number of the car and think about making a complaint, but I think I’ve only made one in my life. I guess that they get shot at more in their jobs than me and still get paid less calms any rage I get.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Check again, if you make anywhere near the average salary, the police in your area make as much or more than you. That’s without adding in all the bennies and retirement at 50 or less. They are well compensated tax collectors in most areas of the country who face no more danger in their work day than you do.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Not fair, but as Dominic Toretto said, winning’s winning. Contact Ed and we will square you away.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Damn, beat me too it – I used SoundHound. I’ll check out shazam.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      I just match their speed and make sure that I am keeping a safe following distance +2.  What are they going to do, pull me over for speeding?
       
      In regards to the video, that looked very tame.

    • 0 avatar
      photog02

      @MikeAR- however the average cop lives about a decade after retiring at age 50. They have a life expectancy about as bad as truck drivers.
      Not that that excuses the all too common needlessly aggressive driving they seem to love.

    • 0 avatar
      PeregrineFalcon

      Plus, there’s that whole “beating and Taser job” thing. Nothing like getting two week’s vacation suspension with pay every time you give someone a Maglite Makeover.

    • 0 avatar
      PeregrineFalcon

      @MattPete: What are they going to do, pull me over for speeding?

      Did you miss the “beating and Taser job” article Jack linked in the article?

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      “Beating and Taser” — cripes, don’t be such a scaredy-cat.  The guy in the line at Sears could also start pummeling you, but that’s doesn’t stop me from shopping at Sears:
       
      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/crime-and-public-safety/suspect-in-va-beating-turns-hi.html

    • 0 avatar
      V572625694

      “however the average cop lives about a decade after retiring at age 50. They have a life expectancy about as bad as truck drivers.”
       
      And probably have the same high-cholesterol/high-alcohol/no-exercise lifestyle as truck drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      Highway27

      MattPete, the difference is that if random guy at Sears beats the heck out of you, the government does what it can to put that guy away.
       
      If Officer Not-So-Friendly decides to have a playdate with your face and Mr. Nightstick, the police will do all they can to make it your fault, and have the officer face no repercussions, maybe even get him a paid vacation.  You might even find yourself going to prison afterwards for things like ‘resisting arrest’ for, oh, covering your head to try to deflect the kicks and punches (frequently charged for people who aren’t charged for any other crime, and weren’t going to be arrested until they committed that unwritten crime: contempt of cop).

  • avatar
    DavidB

    Couldn’t make out the song (and I didn’t use Shazam) but I recognize the Lee’s Summit, MO native Pat Metheny anytime. No better road trip music.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Dang, I’m hopeless on the song, I know we don’t listen to the same sort of stuff at all.  Sigh… I really like automotive SWAG too.
     
    Back when I was a teenager growing up in the Northwester part of the state of Ohio, we had a cop rear-end someone at an insanely high rate of speed doing what that cop just did, driving fast with no lights or siren.
     
    The cop has just as much right so speed as you or I do Jack, which is why I have a radar detector.  I know you could drive circles around most of them, the sad thing is I could too and I’ve got no where near the race car driver skills that you do.

  • avatar
    202mph

    “Crazed Highway Patrolman Indulges In Face-Melting Danger Pass?”
    Ya don’t think there’s a bit of hyperbole there buckwheat?

    How about “Self-absorbed blogger in indulges in Face-Melting Exaggeration.”
    WOW.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Irony.

      You do not understand it.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      That sounds like the kind of blogging that Jalopnik engages in now that they’re in page views ++ journalistic integrity — mode.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I’m not impressed, 202mph. As someone who was once pulled over for 75 in a 65 on a freeway that was designed for a 75 mph limit back when cars had bias ply tires and drum brakes by a cop who acted as if he’d caught me drag racing with his baby on the roof of my car, I can tell you that over-reacting to arbitrarily legislated bad behavior is pure cop MO.

  • avatar
    tmkreutzer

    Is that Muzak?  What are you driving, an elevator?

    Anyhow, I get your point, but he’s better off in front of you than he is tailgating you.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i suspect with the proileferation of these cams, these sorts of shenanigans will not be as prevelant.  At least I hope so. And yes, i would file a complaint with the police themselves and who ever else will listen to you.

    I have a feeling that the cop in this little movie has shrunk a few inches after realizing that he was being photographed.  At least I hope so.

    and yea, the music is bad, no offense.

  • avatar
    John Fritz

    The new child-exploiting distraction.gov site…
     
    Well I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks that. Because apparently distracted driving is going to, you know, kill all the children now. I thought drunk driving was going to do that but I see I was incorrect.
     
    If I hear about the “Yeah” text one more time, I will turn off ‘I Heart Radio’ for the duration.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Dumb policeman. Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to tailgate someone in a ghost (unmarked) car when you are trying to make people break the speed limit so you can pull them over?

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    Seriously? Hasn’t anyone figured out that HE, the LEO, was trying to figure out how to use his Droid video camera on the new cell phone he just picked up the day before.

    How many of you switched to a Droid phone and can’t put the thing down until you master all it’s features?

    Now, how do I get this new widget to a different desktop? Ooops, i didn’t want to dial my dad again…..Uhhh, sorry I just picked up my new LG Droid phone yesterday.

    The song is something by Moody Blues or is it “Cry me a River”?  ;)

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Phone? A cellphone? What’s the point of one of those cash sucking things? I don’t need no flipping cellphone subscription… (I’m a Luddite in training who really doesn’t have a cellphone but is an engineer that manages all the technology at work…)

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    He’s racing ahead to tell the Delaware County cops to get you when you enter their jurisdiction!

  • avatar
    RGS920

    To bad you didn’t happen to see where he was going.  I had a cop fly by me on the highway, no lights, late at night.  He took the same exit I did and pulled into the same gas station I was going to get a late night caffeine fix.  I was sorely tempted to ask where the fire was when I saw him standing in line purchasing a coffee.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Since, I don’t have a GPS that shows coffee places that may be open, I use the “Super Citizen” to my advantage.
       
      Christmas night in Ft. Lauderdale, one makes a U-Turn at the railroad tracks and sure enough there is a swanky diner off the beaten path with four patrol cars.  The food was a bit greasy for my taste, but trust me not much else was open away from the Beach.
       
      3:30 AM New Years morning, two of New Orleans finest race past me in a 35 mph zone and sure enough they are there to join another squad car at what turns out to be a great little dive with grits just the way I like them and a slice of bone-in ham to go with my eggs.
       
      Your mileage may vary if you have guilty conscious or are carrying something illegal.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    It’s cases like this where I wish I had the balls to slam on my parking brake so the cop could rear end me and then I could sue.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I’ve found LEOS to be very much like construction workers in their behavior at the beginning and end of a shift.  You can tell the guys in the white fleet vehicle are heading out to the job site because they’re driving below the limit, but come the end of the shift, get out of the way. Probably was trying to get to his kid’s soccer game so he wouldn’t get nagged by his wife for the umpteenth time. 

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Jack Baruth,
    all your tirade was for nothing.
    The cop passed you legally, in the passing zone. The time he was behind you he probably spent on his computer checking your license plate. Once he determined that you’re not of his interest he just went on to find some other loser, who will write an article about a cop going 10-15 mph over the speed limit as if there were no regular drivers doing same thing.
    I am against cop law abuse but really, this one (on this video) didn’t do anything unusual or illegal.

    • 0 avatar
      PeregrineFalcon

      “lol u mad”

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “I am against cop law abuse but really, this one (on this video) didn’t do anything unusual or illegal”

      Unusual, no.

      Illegal, yes.

      The officer is clearly speeding by as much as 20 miles per hour. A 20-mpg speeding ticket, received twice over the course of a three-year period in the state of Ohio, is sufficent to result in license suspension.

      The officer is breaking the law. The fact that the law is commonly broken matters little, because the penalties are not evenly applied.

      Consider the reverse situation: A cop is “holding me up” so I pass him on a two-lane at 70mph. Hello arrest.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      You don’t know his assignment. Therefore you can’t say that his actions were illegal. As cop he is on the job and it would be unethical for him leisurely driving behind a slow car while someone needs him to be at some place escorting somebody. And if he didn’t have his disco lights on it only may be that he wanted to be a nice guy and not scare a lonely driver that he is going to stop him.
      Give this cop some credit. Cops in NJ driving 90mph on turnpike.

    • 0 avatar
      frizzlefry

      Where I live the cops have started using ghost cars to tailgate people into speeding. I heard a couple of stories about it but doubted it until it happened to me. White truck, on my ass on a deserted 4 lane road. Just me and him on the road and he is on me like a fat kid on a smarty. I had heard of the “tailgate traps” so I refused to speed up. He rode me for about 45 seconds then took an off ramp (which would allow him to re-enter the road about 5km back) and I looked over….sure enough I see a glowing computer terminal and police officer driving. Just after where the cop turned off there was a hidden cop running lidar.

      So the tractic of holding someone up so they pass you above the speed limit is a pretty tame tactic compared to what some cops are doing.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Jack, while I agree with you that police do think they are above the laws they swear to enforce (look up some recent examples here in Connecticut) I would buy into your argument if your video ended with the cop pulling into some place that he didn’t need to be in a rush to get to. Barring that nugget of information your video lacks context.

    • 0 avatar
      frizzlefry

      the passing bit is “meh” in my mind…too bad you did not get the “nosing up”…tailgating you without sirens or any intent to pull you over would be pretty bad. Especially if he could have passed you. Tailgating with no lights on while he could have just passed you would have certainly been an attempt to trap you into a speeding ticket.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      No police officer or operator of any other emergency vehicle can legally violate any traffic law without displaying their emergency lights and running their siren. It is the law as supposedly traffic laws are made because not operating a vehicle as prescribed would create unreasonable dangers.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      After thinking about this string of comments for about 10 seconds, I’d say the cop just thought you were his “highway buddy”!

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Well, there’s nothing “legal” about exceeding the speed limit, even when you’re passing someone (unless you’re an emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights).  Try it in front of one Ohio’s finest and find out for yourself.
      It does seem likely that this guy might have been trying to goad ol’ JB into a little bit of hoonery (maybe he’s a TTAC lurker!).
      I recall some time ago when I was driving a rented (!) Corvette in Marin County on highway 1 (great fun!) and one of Marin’s finest dropped in behind me.  Since I always make it my business to know who’s behind me, I saw him immediately.  I set the cruise control at 15 mph under the limit (there’s no minimum speed on a two-lane) and toodled on my way.  He got tired of that shit pretty quickly and passed me
      After a decent interval, I went back to having my fun.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      CJinSD, On what law are you basing your assertion and in what jurisdiction? Traffic laws for the most part are determined at the state level. While it makes sense at first blush that emergency vehicles can only violate traffic laws when running their lights and sirens I can think of any number of scenarios where an emergency vehicle, particularly a marked or unmarked police car, may need to respond to an emergency without drawing attention to the fact it is doing so.
       
      Ambulances and fire trucks? Not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It was certainly the law in Viriginia when I knew a few police officers, not that they were any better at obeying it than I was at obeying the drinking age. In California it is California Vehicle Code Section 21055.

      http://www.ocinjuryattorney.com/blog/category/emergency-vehicle-accidents-2/

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Here is a police forum thread on the subject Jimal: http://forums.officer.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-76354.html

      Most of them said laws apply to them unless they are responding to a defined emergency and using lights and sirens. An exception is Vermont, but Vermont is hardly a real part of the USA.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Looks perfectly innocent to me. In fact, a civilian would have passed you sooner and would have gone faster.
     
    Clearly marked passing zone, too.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Officers are just people. It’s absurd to think that every officer will follow every law all the time. Every job comes with it’s own set of perks. Congressmen get free (luxury) cars, Starbucks employees get a discount on coffee, your local LEO gets to speed… and the world continues to spin.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      My thoughts exactly… And the last time that I drove 20 mph over the limit was about 30 minutes ago.  The next time I will do it will be on my commute home this evening. 

      Mole-hill, meet mountain.

  • avatar
    TR4

    God Damned F$cking Pigs!

    Back in my younger and slightly more foolish days I would sometimes increase my speed and keep up with them for a while.

    One time he turned on his lights (while still ahead of me), I backed off, end of.

    Another time he slowed down to the limit.  I did likewise and moved back to the RH lane.  He then slowed way down, got behind, turned on his lights and pulled me over.  He asked me why I was following him at 80 mph (I figure it was more like 90).  I lied that my speedometer did not work and so I did not know my speed.  Given that I was driving a 33 year old car this seemed quite believable to him and he let me off with a warning and a suggestion to get the speedometer fixed.  He explained that he was enroute to an emergency and was therefore speeding.  What he did NOT explain was a) why he did not have his lights/siren on when he first passed me and b) why he needed to spend time pulling me over if he was on an emergency run.

    IMHO LEOs should strictly obey the laws that they enforce and thus serve as a good example.  Obviously they don’t because they can get away with it (professional courtesy, you know) and I’m sure they enjoy lording it over the ordinary citizens.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    What was the point of the post, Jack? We all know cops do what was recorded in your movie. So?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Help me understand your point. As I’m reading it, it is: as long as “we all know” of a situation, no action should be taken, nor should attention be drawn to that situation.

      Does that about cover it?

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      We all know, but it’s nice to see some evidence on film.  I wish I’d filmed the Chicago cop that almost t-boned me when he ran a stop sign at night a few weeks ago.  Though I probably could just stand on the corner and watch them run the traffic light.  Or photograph the cars parked at the edge of intersections marked no parking when they all decide to get dinner.
       
      This is some outrage I can agree with.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      It’s a blog. It’s what bloggers do.

  • avatar
    AMDBMan

    One of the happiest moments of my teenage years was when I got to flash my high beams at a cop who was driving around at 2am without his headlights on.

  • avatar
    thebanana

    Looks to me like he has his roof lights on. What’s the issue?

    • 0 avatar
      frizzlefry

      Thats what initially thought too but after review it seems that its the camera (its a cheap little phone camera) that is picking up sunlight bouncing off the cop cars lights. Pretty sure they are not on.

  • avatar
    slance66

    In MA I have one and only one experience with the State Police, which repeats over and over.  While doing 75-80 in the left lane, in a 65 zone (along with everyone else), the State Police will quickly close from behind and tailgate until I move over.  Then they repeat with the car in front of me.  We all pull back over and resume our 80 in a 65 commute.
    We do not complain.  It could be PA, OH or MD.  This is the arrangement.  They go as fast as they want and we don’t get tickets.  I used to get nervous seeing the cop behind me.  Now I just anticipate as best I can and move smoothly to the middle lane.  It’s a win-win.
     

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      When I was living in Massachusetts they changed the speeding fines from a flat rate of $50, where my attitude was well shoot if its $50 then I’m driving 75 to 80 MPH instead of 60 to 65 MPH (this was back in the 55 MPH days) because I’m going to get my moneys worth.

      Then they changed it to $10 per MPH – YIKES!  I got stopped for 79 in a 55 zone and was adding up the carnage in my broke college student head.  Trooper came back to car and said, “I’m not a tax collector for the state of Massachusetts, so I wrote you up for 60 in a 55 zone.”

      I overall have good opinions of the Massachusetts state police; the only bummer is Massachusetts has a very dense population for its size, so the state highways are crawling with troopers.

      Maine on the other hand – they can kiss my ass.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I have said it before: Ohio is a cop-ridden hell hole.
     
    As for Ohio cops obeying the law. Remember the duo who were going 150 mph on their crotch rockets?

  • avatar
    michal1980

    I’m confused by the point of this piece? Aren’t you the on road d-bag that passes people on the right, drives on shoulders, run aways from cops , and writes articles about how to do it?

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/maximum-street-speed-explained-part-ii/

    So why do you have a problem with a cop doing almost exactly what you advocate? Welcome to the world of hypocrisy.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’m not a police officer.

      I do not derive any of my income from the enforcement of the law.

      I am not an agent of the state.

      I have never issued a speeding ticket.

      What’s “hypocritical” about this article?

    • 0 avatar
      Dukeboy01

      Depends on what definition of “hypocrite” one uses. From dictionary.com:

      hypocryte
      [hip- uh- krit]
      -noun
      1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

      2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements

      The cop, if/ when he pulls over another motorist and issues them a ticket for speeding while they were accelerating to pass a slower moving vehicle on a two lane road, would fall under definition one.

      Mr. Baruth falls under definition two.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Years back when I used to tow part time we had a State Patrol contract. There was a younger guy we referred to as “Scar Face”. Meaner than snot and I still remeber that f*$#er pulling me over for doing 55 in a 55. Guess he didn’t like the fact that I crawled past his squad. No ticket was issued he just needed someone to hassle. And then one Sunday when I was working I went tow a stalled car off the highway. The poor girl crawled into my tow truck in tears. You guessed it, good old “Scar Face” on the seen. Probably read her the riot act for breaking down in the wrong spot..LOL 

    The truth is that most of the law offciers I have dealt with have been fair and decent guys. They deal with a lot crummy people every day so we don’t have to. Is it any wonder that some of them get attitudes? 

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Jack, if you were dressed and looked like your avatar, I would have pulled you over, because I wouldn’t have believed it! The cop probably just wanted to get a good look!

  • avatar
    geozinger

    “set my cruise control at 53 to avoid the 56-in-a-55 ticket which Ohio police are known to give. (Don’t laugh. I’ve been pulled over for exactly that, driving my Phaeton down Route 33 near West Virginia.)”
     
    Last week when the staff asked about our best speeding ticket stories, I posted about one that I received for a 62 in a 55 zone. Ohio law enforcement seems to really enjoy (for lack of a better term) the ‘jousting’ that goes on between them and with the regular civilians trying to get down the road. I’m not really dumping on the police, but there’s a certain relationship of speeding tickets and Ohio cops that I’ve not experienced anywhere else I’ve lived.
     
    I live in Michigan now, which I refer to as the land that speed enforcement forgot. The speed limit on the interstate here is 70 MPH, most folks routinely drive 80 or so. Unless you’re in Detroit/Ann Arbor, then all bets are off. I have driven past Michigan State Troopers sitting in the median at 80 MPH or under and have never felt the need to worry about being pulled over, something I could never do in my home state of Ohio.
     
    Oh, yes, Pat Metheny FTW, especially on long drives. I can’t stand what passes for terrestrial radio these days.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      I certainly won’t say this state is a place where speed enforcement is forgotten but I’m always amazed when I drive from LA to Palm Springs how the speed limit is utterly, completely, and totally ignored.  When there is moderate traffic that is flowing insanely fast it is a dream to drive, as the CHP doesn’t seem all that interested in picking and choosing which car going 90 MPH to yank out of the herd to ticket; they seem more interested in rightly so looking after those who are weaving or passing dangerously – I wish our highways were more like that stretch of road.

      I was told when I lived in South Dakota, but could never validate if this is true, that at any given moment there is no more than 5 or 6 South Dakota trooopers on patrol down the entire length of Interstate 90.  I drove that stretch of desolation from Sioux Falls to Rapid City many times and very, very, rarely ever saw a police vehicle and now that I think about it, I can’t say that I can ever remember seeing anyone pulled over.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      MA can be like that too, at least on I-95. You get that “just enough but not too much” traffic where everyone feels safety in numbers and the fast lane is flowing at 90+. Never see any cops on I-95 in MA either. They all seem to hang out in the boonies on I-90. But slow it down when you get to NH, and then slow down some more when you get to ME. 10 over is usually OK in Maine, as long as you are in some amount of traffic.

      I too had the joy of a 62 in a 55 ticket back in the 55mph days in ME though. And be very wary of Mustangs with DARK tinted windows in Maine. Dark tint is an automatic inspection fail in Maine, unless you are a State Cop…. They have a ton of them, all sorts of colors.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    About 15 years ago, I nearly got t-boned by a local cop. I’m driving along a local road near my house, not even speeding, when a police car runs a stop sign and nearly t-bones me.  Only the fact that I saw him coming out of the corner of my eye and slammed the brakes saved us both from a bad crash (which I probably would have been charged for).

    I came to a complete stop. He looks at me, proceeds to turn on his emergency lights and rockets off. I followed to the next stop sign (200 yards), and he runs that, lights on, turns right and flies off down the road.  I turned the other way and looked in my rearview mirror.  A few hundred yards down the road, off go his lights. No emergency, just an idiot.

  • avatar

    Roof lights are on, Jack.
    That doesn’t explain his allegedly being on your bumper for an extended period before passing.
    Maybe they don’t see elevators on the road in Ohio all that often (yes, another joke about the music).

  • avatar
    210delray

    This from TTAC Hooner-in-Chief Baruth?  Pot meet kettle much?

    Still, I’d have been pretty mad if a cop came up on my rear end and tried to bump me, but that part isn’t shown in the video.  What is shown looks okay to me — a clean pass in a legal zone with no oncoming traffic, AND his lightbar is on (or at least I thought so).

    I believe cops should travel above the speed limit on freeways and other rural roads, but only by 5-10 mph, when not in emergency mode.  If they were to go at exactly the speed limit, then drivers coming up from behind tend to brake and slow down BELOW the limit, bunching up traffic annoyingly.  But they should follow all of the other rules of the road, such as signaling and not tailgating.

    I find it hard to believe a cop, even the infamous Ohio Highway Patrol, would issue at ticket for 56 mph in a 55 mph zone.  Then again, my mother was pulled over for going 60 in the first year (1974) of the 55-mph speed limit on I-70 in Ohio.  (I was in the passenger seat and witnessed the whole thing.)  She got off with only a warning however.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      Sweet, I didn’t realize “hooning” now conveyed the responsibility and authority to cite or arrest members of the public, and a regular salary for execution of said responsibilities.

  • avatar
    roamer

    I think you’re venting here just a little because of a dislike of the OSP, it’s policies, and the way it executes it’s sacred trust.

    Which I’m totally understanding of. I’ve dealt with State Police in a few (cough) states, and they’re more professional and more polite that the city and county police everywhere. Except Ohio.

    Arrogant, unprofessional, tactless, amoral (lying in a sworn statement to the court – not me but someone I trust) – I’ve never heard the term before but Ohio state cops qualify as super-citizens if anyone does.

    Having said all that, you might have labeled this as a rant up front. (And where are the rest of the articles on track technique you were going to write?)

  • avatar
    itsgotvtakyo

    Badge sniffers unite! This clown should hang out with the ding dong that killed a couple of kids here in CT while doing 90mph down route 1 for no reason.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Just as a note, because a few people have wondered… at no point in this interaction does the trooper turn his lights on. When the OSP turns on their LED lights, you have no question about it, night or day.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    You are always going to get a certain percentage of any group that is going to be a problem. I am neither for cops, or against them, but I know quite a few on a personal basis. From speaking with them, it appears that the blue wall of silence is breaking down. This is not due to any moral revelation mind you, but is due to the simple fact that cameras are everywhere, and they are not going to stick their neck out and lie for their buddy, only to be dragged down with him. BTW, I strongly suggest fitting your car with a small discrete camera connected to a solid state 4 channel mobile DVR. Eliminates those he said, she said scenarios, and the response is very interesting when the evidence is sprung on liars. Very affordable nowadays. Visit supercircuits.commmmm for examples.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Just put on the headphones so I could “hear” this music.

    OMG – what the Hell was that.  I could just imagine a voice talking over that music, “your call is very important to us and we thank you for continuing to hold.  Our next available agent will be glad to assist you, please have your account number so we can serve you better.  Your hold time should be less than — FIVE MINUTES — thank you.”

  • avatar

    “I tapped my brakes to obtain his attention and set my cruise control at 53 to avoid the 56-in-a-55 ticket which Ohio police are known to give. (Don’t laugh. I’ve been pulled over for exactly that, driving my Phaeton down Route 33 near West Virginia.)”
     
    I can’t help but think of this ESPN commercial:

  • avatar

    I’m surprised most people seem to be picking this apart and calling you a hypocrite, Jack. It would make me tear my (equally long) hair out in aggravation. Police officers should follow every law, all day, every day. To those who say “how could a cop be expected to follow the law all the time?”, I say IT’S THEIR DAMN JOB. Cops should not be able to bust people for breaking laws that they themselves are violating daily. If they want to break those laws then they should consider another career path.
     
    I have the car dock for my Droid and I will frequently record my commutes in and out of Boston just so when somebody does something stupid (not just a cop) I will have video proof of it. I’ve already got several near-collisions on tape with license plates in clear view. Nobody can see a fucking Miata for their life.

    Also your music sounds like it came straight out of the Gran Turismo main menu.

  • avatar
    pista

    Where I live you’re fined for filming at the wheel. Perhaps the two offences cancel each other out.

    • 0 avatar
      zeus01

      Filming at the wheel. Interesting way of putting it. I could understand the logic in fining someone for operating a camera with their hands while driving, being that this is a distraction.
      But cops (for very good reason) have dash-mounted cameras for filming those they pull over or pursue. If it’s legal for them to do this (and IMO it should be) it damn well better be legal for us to discretely mount hidden cameras in our cars that point a) forward through the windshield (to film potential accidents where the at-fault may be disputed), b) aft (also to film at-fault disputed accidents— and tail-gaiters, even- especially? – if they happen to be cops), c) out the drivers’ side window from the dash and slightly upward in order to capture the face of a car-jacker— or the face and badge # of the occasional cop who used to be the high-school bully and never grew out of it and d) another camera, also pointing out the drivers’ side window but downward toward the ground— just in case that same excuse-for-a-cop decides to pull a Rodney King on you.
      Said cameras could be rigged to send their info to a central processing unit. They could potentially be designed to shut off 1/2 hour AFTER you’ve shut the engine off (this in order to capture any conflicts after an accident, or night-sticking for the “crime” of questioning the abuser’s lack of professionalism).
      Should you ever need such evidence in court (and I hope you never do) you’d be best advised to post the evidence on Youtube BEFORE suing, thus depriving the authorities the opportunity to suppress the evidence or issuing a gag order. (“Sorry your honor, it’s too late to comply with that order. I released the evidence the day of the incident.”)

  • avatar
    George B

    The cop should definitely be using lights and siren for those speeds.  In the Great Plains states that would be a 65mph speed limit road, but no civilian would get away with 20mph over the posted limit.
     
    Jack, are you driving an Accord in the area where it is built?  Looks like rural roads between Marysville and Delaware.

    More interesting background music.
    http://members.shaw.ca/kevinmacza/Kevin Macza – Chiming.mp3
    from http://members.shaw.ca/kevinmacza/music.htm

  • avatar
    raincoconuts

    Ohio stinks, u need some serious music to navigate ugly terrain and uglier cops.
     

  • avatar

    Aren’t we being a little bit over sensitive here? I see nothing wrong with the pass. Dry road, clear conditions, dotted centre line, didn’t cut back in aggressively (as civilians often do, just to let you know they’re upset with you). I would agree that if anything HAD gone wrong, the gendarme wouldn’t have had a clue what to do about it or how to take remedial action. Otherwise, this may be considered a storm in teacup?

  • avatar
    dougjp

    If everyone moved out of Ohio, and refused to drive in Ohio, would cop behaviors change? And what is worse, Ohio or England with its speed and other cameras every mile or less, tax upon tax etc. I’d say if we had a vote amongst people who have experienced both, it would be close.

  • avatar
    Matthew Sullivan

    Thank you for taking a break from reading while driving in order to shoot a video of someone driving dangerously.

  • avatar
    tuckerdawg

    The cop tailgating maneuver got me once and only once. I was 16 it was nighttime and because it was at night I couldn’t tell it was a cop and I thought it was a friend who wanted to race me. I decided to floor it, I guess he got the desired reaction out of me lol. I think he let me go because I still had my drama makeup on and I was crying because I was still in my “probation” period of my license. Must have looked like a mess.

  • avatar

    I wasn’t speeding officer.
    But, I passed someone who was!

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