By on September 28, 2020

Image: bluefish-ds/shutterstockTen Porsche drivers with leaden feet were stopped for doubling the speed limit in Gilpin County, Colorado, and one may have been a press-fleet car.

Or at least, had manufacturer tags.

According to a police officer quoted in The Denver Post, one of the vehicles stopped was being used as a pace car.

The last vehicle in line appears to be shod with the license plates usually used by Porsche to denote that the car belongs to the manufacturer.

Just because the car has manufacturer tags it doesn’t mean a journalist was driving. Could’ve been a Porsche employee, of course, too. And neither “journalist gets a ticket” nor “OEM employee gets a citation” is much of a story. More like an occupational hazard. This, I know from experience.

Just this weekend a Chicago speed camera flashed me.

Even the 80 in a 40, while eye-popping, isn’t necessarily that big a deal – depending on the context. In a residential zone, yes, on a rural two-lane, not so much.

Really, this is only worth a story because the picture is kinda funny. I’m not downplaying the potential seriousness of the violations – again, context matters – but when was the last time you saw a trooper writing up 10 tickets at once? All for vehicles of the same make?

To be clear, if one looks only at the speed above the limit, the citations are no laughing matter, as Colorado law says that 25 mph or more over the limit is a Class B misdemeanor traffic offense. Fines can be as low as $15 or as high as $100.

Furthermore: “Misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado are separated into Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses and Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses.  Persons convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense are subject to a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail or a $300 fine, or both, and a maximum sentence of one year in jail or a $1,000 fine, or both.  Persons convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense are subject to a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail or a $150 fine, or both, and a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail or a $300 fine, or both.”

As repeatedly noted, though, context matters. The Twitter picture shows that the plethora of Porsches was stopped on a two-lane road with nothing around but grassland and rocky hills. While we’d never encourage driving recklessly or routinely driving at excessive speeds, common sense suggests that doing double the limit in this kind of area doesn’t carry the same risk as doubling it up near residences and business.

On the other hand, it’s possible the picture might not show residences and the like that are just out of frame, and the tweet does say “80+” in terms of mph. It could very well be that our scofflaws weren’t driving safely but in a spirited manner that just happens to be well above the limit, the way auto journalists sometimes do (and presumably, test drivers for the OEMs do, too). It could also be that while those speeds look low-risk on that road, they really aren’t.

Let’s hope our Porsche drivers drive more smartly and the cops showed leniency if appropriate. I’ll save my rant for how all speed limits aren’t created equal for another time.

H/t to reader Rudy!

[Image: bluefish_ds/Shutterstock.com]

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20 Comments on “Porsche Pack Pinched, Is One Press?...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The most I’ve ever done was 3x +8 mph (83 on the straight of an otherwise very curvy 25 zone), back ~1980 in a 74 smog-choked Ford – in the dark. It was exceptionally dangerous for many reasons, and surviving it doesn’t make it OK. No cops were involved – that time.

    In this Porsche case, I figure the cop pulled alongside the first scofflaw, then sequentially pulled the others over as he slowed. I imagine the excuses dwindled to zero as he got to the end of the line.

    The photo is funny, but recreating TFATF on public roads isn’t.

  • avatar
    volvo

    For the last 20 years I have felt, that in the US, there is no reason to have an auto that is other than a reliable, comfortable appliance. Where, other than the track, can you legally take advantage of a “performance” car?

    There are still wide open spaces in the western US. Highway 50 in Nevada east of the Sierras is an example where sight lines may be 10-15 miles. But numerous patrol cars with relatively high tech radar make the chance of an expensive ticket likely if you cruise more than 10% above the posted limit.

    This situation with speeds 2X the posted limit may have felt safe to the drivers but I imagine there was a good reason this section of rural highway was posted 40 mph rather than the more common 55 mph. Going 80 in a 40 zone leaves no room for excuses by the driver or discretion by the officer.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “other than the track”

      There’s you answer.

      I live relatively close to a quarter mile track so I can take advantage of the engine part of my car many times during nonCOVID years.
      With a handful of exceptions “performance” cars aren’t really uncomfortable to operate these days so unless someone just doesn’t have the self-control to be normal on public roads I don’t see the downside to getting one.

      • 0 avatar
        volvo

        The downside for me is the unnecessary expense of a “performance” car when all you need is to get from point A to point B in comfort without turning any heads.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I guess that would depend on if you’re stretching your budget to get into a performance car. And what you’re considering a performance car in the first place.

          I think even fully within the confines of traffic laws a $30K Mustang EB will give a better experience than a $30K Escape SE AWD. YMMV though.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        There are so many track driving driving options available today there’s no reason not to take advantage of one of them if you have the need for speed.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      High performance cars are way too capable to be much fun on the street; they’re just too fast, and incidents at speed often end tragically. Now, my stock-engined NA Miata with auto-x suspension and 200-treadwear tires… magic around town. It’s still way too capable to wring out in real twisties, though.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        “high performance”??? – most luxury SUVs can out run classic muscle cars these days.

        You can speed in anything, despite owning an Eclipse GS-T, a 350Z and a C7 my only speeding ticket (so far) was in my wife’s old Civic EX sedan. I blame the cars smoothness, it just didn’t feel like I was going that fast.

        Starting with the 350Z I became a track guy because it was very obvious that the street was no place to use the car as intended. The C7 is an extreme example of this, on the street that car is at maybe 15% of it potential. Its total overkill. Even on the track I can only get 80% of it because the pucker factor is so high.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Certainly a road course or drag strip. Still having power in reserve is a nice option. Especially with aggressive drivers that don’t want you to impinge on their ten car following distance – which may or may not be a South Eastern VA thing only. Driver’s will hang off your six right up until you cut the turn signal on and pull the ol’ passive aggressive maneuver where the close into blind spot and sit there.

      At the other end of the spectrum having great brakes and a well sorted suspension with sticky tires is good for avoid accidents. I still haven’t reset the accelerometer values in my car after a numbskull pulled a you turn in front of me while I was doing 45 mph in a 45 mph (shame on me I know the speed limit is just a suggestion and I should have been doing half that because you know “feel free to go slower” and I callously forgot that rule about yielding to U-turns because you know… they have the right of way…). In any event the car was at the limit of adhesion on that surface and registered 1.09 of deacceleration before I slowed enough to avoid plowing into the idiot.

      To add insult to injury the bastard pulled a wide U-turn then swung back into my lane and proceeded to cut me off and just up the road made another U-turn in an effort to get to a burger joint called “Cookout”. Now that I think about it the driver was probably drunk and I should have called the cops.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @volvo, why does it have to be balls to the wall, hit top speed, bang off the rev limiter, or not at all? Getting pinned to seat occasionally on an entrance ramp, even if there’s no 80 mph traffic around to blend into, 5 times a day doesn’t get old.

      Unless you are old and haven’t produced testosterone in 20+ years. Or have you been old your entire life?

      Or some decreasing-radius circle on-ramps where it’s safe, (like 5 open lanes of safety margin), to drift all 4 tires a little at full throttle while never coming close to the speed limit.

      Some cars are just fun to drive (like an old fogy) no matter what you’re doing, or how slow you’re doing it. Like the (mid engine) MR2, first gen, manual of course, but the automatic isn’t terrible. You still get the go kart effect, although that car is as serious as a heart attack when it comes to road handling.

      If “mid engine” means nothing to you, that’s cool, never mind, carry on.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    Double the speed limit on a public road is bad enough, but how much do you want to bet that not a single one of those irresponsible drivers was wearing his mandatory face diaper either?

  • avatar
    Dsemaj

    Speeding fines in the US are a joke. Here in South Australia, I’ve been fined $780 for 25km/h/15mph over the speed limit.

    I’d instantly loose my license and have a $2,000+ fine if I did what these guys did.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      It’s all about the revenue stream and not the enforcement. Besides the real killer is the effect on insurance down the road since the driver is considered “at risk”.

      The officer hanged a reckless on me and I considered getting a lawyer but ended up throwing myself on the mercy of the court. I get to court, the judge looks over my driving record and I had a previous infraction from nearly five years ago and he says; “Well you have a previous infraction on your record. If it was clean I would dismiss the ticket and you’d just have to pay court costs but I’m reducing it to speeding. Please exit to the right and pay the clerk and try not to show up again.”

      Speed traps are bad enough in the US insurance companies sometimes have a “forgiveness” clause in the policy. Your rates might not go down but as long as your not a repeat offender in the period the ticket stays on your license you don’t have to worry about sky rocketing rates ( DUI and actually getting hung on a reckless not withstanding ).

    • 0 avatar
      GS460

      I’d suggest that speeding fines and the draconian level of policing in the state of South Australia is the joke.

  • avatar

    I am surprised that drivers did not try to get away from police or at least attack police when being stopped considering anti-police sentiments in US.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Despite what you see on the news most people are smart and not far enough on the sociopathy spectrum to realize they have a lot to lose if they run from the cops then try to pummel them into a vegetative state. Plus the possibility of having the same fate visited on them including the possibility of a little lead poisoning is also a deterrent.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Their are approximately 328M people in the U.S.

      The 500 or so clowns (both the idiots burning things down & the idiots dressed up like Rambo) you see on the evening news do not speak for the remainder.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    It all depends .

    I’ve been on road rallies where the Porsche drivers were all tying to fill every negative stereotype there is, some crashed and damaged property and tried to run away or make excuses .

    They (Porsche drivers) were the direct cause of the end of the most excellent No Frills Iron Bottom Motoring Tour .

    Back roads are fun to haul ass on but one needs to constantly be aware others may be coming around the next bend or simply foolishly stopped in the middle of the road just past a blind curve….

    -Nate

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    This was a nothing burger event here in CO.

    The state patrol are nice folks, but their #1 job is to write traffic violations. It really has to be the most boring job in law enforcement in all reality, but they are good men and women doing their job. I am sure the officer got a few beers paid for by his brethren for nabbing 9 at once; Porsche owners to boot.

    I am fairly certain the section of road they were on was in the foothills and not a largely populated area so the likelihood of them taking out a mass people was low, but they were speeding and got caught. I would be shocked if among the Porsche drivers a group photo with the ticketing officer does not exist.

  • avatar
    AlfaRomasochist

    I’ve driven that stretch of road probably 1000 times – no joke. It’s a winding canyon road with tons of traffic and has more than its fair share of hazards. I’ve had to slow down with little warning due to deer, elk, bighorn sheep, giant rocks, unexpected traffic (it can be used as an alternate to I70), and the occasional unlucky soul who managed to park in the middle of Clear Creek.

    F these guys.

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