Absolute Power Corrupts… Awesomely
Don’t click the video if you are at work, are sensitive to multiple abuses of the English language, or are prone to motion sickness. The rest of you… go right ahead, and see how awesome it is to be a cop. Every sixteen-year-old driver in the world dreams of doing things like this, right?
Of course, the killjoys among us might point out that the police officer endangered multiple lives while clearing the lane so he could speed with impunity. He frightened a driver who was not breaking the law, he increased the likelihood that one of the cars around him would react in a manner which could injure someone (like slamming on the brakes without warning) and he starts off the video by tailgating the Civic ahead to a level rarely seen outside of Spec Miata racing. Oh well. If we want this omelet of consequence-free reckless highway operation by “trained” cops, we’ll have to break a few eggs.
Those of you with Panthers (including, ahem, the Town Car) can get some of that same left-lane clearance by purchasing wig-wag headlight flashers. Just zip up behind Joe Citizen, hit the button, and move his ass out the way, yo! As long as your target dawdler isn’t an off-duty cop, it works fine.
What strikes me from all the commentary (both pro and con, general and specific to this video) is the universal presumption that the other vehicle being passed is passive and uninvolved. Where I live, most of the freeways are 3-5 lanes. I stay out of the right lane because people here believe that merging is done in bumper to bumper packs at 45-50 mph into 65+ mph traffic. I stay out of the left lane because I'm usually driving at or slightly below the posted limit. So. I'm driving along at 62, and I'm closing on the car in front of me. When I get close I move left to pass, while maintaining my speed. And about the time I'm pulling alongside the car I'm passing, I find that the closing rate has fallen to 0. The slower car has speeded up to match me. This is not a theoretical or outlier event. This happens to me -constantly-. Now what? If I disengage the CC and fall in behind them and reset my speed, they usually slow down again and I'm right back where I started. If I speed up and pull in front, and then reset my speed, they'll often pass the truck that is now "blocking" them, pull in front... and then slow down again. And it's not uncommon for me to end up with a tailgater in the left lane while the person blockiing me to the right wanders around in a daze. My other favorite trick is the ones who pull up about even with my back bumper in the lane to my right, and then sit there. They generally seemed mystified when I cut them off when I get close to my offramp and need to move over.
I also blame New Jersey's DMV. I taught both of my sons to drive and went with them to their driver exams. The entire exam is done in a parking lot, on a course outlined with cones. The examiner never grades them on their highway driving or lane discipline or even observes how a new driver behaves when there are other cars on the road. This is a huge problem. When I took MY drivers exam, I had to merge onto the Long Island Expressway, drive at highway speed for a few miles, and come off at a exit ramp cleanly. Thank god this wasn't at rush hour!
"It isn’t the autobahn and you’re under no obligation to move over if someone is speeding. A police car could run the lights and sirens and then you’d be obligated to move, and that ok. What’s not, and what is an abuse, is tailgating (which the officer did, and which normal people could be charged for), and feigning a stop (which is just, frankly, power-tripping)." That´s just retarded behavior. You don´t move over if it´s someone other than the police? A couple of years ago, my mother had a bad asthma attack. I drove her to the hospital and if you had tried to slow me down, i would have killed you, sir.
As an Nj driver, the cop did a great job, except he should have given the left lane hog a ticket. As way of background, the reason he didn't turn his lights on, is because a few years ago, troopers were escorting Governor Corzine to a very important meeting to mediate a pow-wow between Don Imus, who said some inappropriate comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team and said team, "caused" an accident because they "forced" a driver to pull over, which somehow caused the governors Suburban to crash and landed the governor in the hospital for a few months when they hit a divider and crashed (gov of course not wearing a seat belt in the front seat). That being said, if a cop has his lights on, speed up, break the speed limit if you have to, and let them pass! (or for that matter, even if they are not a cop, get the F out of the way).What is so difficult to understand? No, they will not give you a ticket, and it is not a trap. NJ LAW - KEEP RIGHT, PASS LEFT! This must be such a difficult concept to grasp, that there is now a brightly light LED sign on the Garden State Parkway, to remind the self-righteous left lane hogs of the obvious. If you get a ticket on the an NJ interstate for speeding, you must be doing something really agregious, such as racing on the highway, or tailgating at 90 mph. I've been driving in NJ for 35 years and have never gotten a speeding ticket. The defacto speed limit in NJ in the 55 mph zone is 75 or higher. In the 65, it is 80 mph. Just don't be reckless.