Say a few bad words that make you feel better, pull over, switch the engine off and wait for the officer to walk over. But what you do after that is crucial. Don’t come off as impatient or rude. This will only make your session with the officer take longer than what it should be.
I have had a few encounters with the police that I’m not too proud of, and at some point, I might share more of them. But for today I encourage you to pay attention because I almost lost my licence for something I was 100% right about.
The mistake I made was how I went about it. In this guide, I have put together the information you need to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.
They pulled me over again
It was supposed to be an off weekend, at that time I got one weekend off every month where I didn’t have to work on a Saturday, but for some reason, I had to go in to work that morning.
This fact had already made me very annoyed, as I was planning to go visit some family and had to travel about 400km to reach them. After work, I got my stuff and started my little journey.
I was hasty to win time because I didn’t want to ride in the dark on a highway that was still under construction.
I had just left town when I saw the roadblock on the horizon. At that time I didn’t have a licence but I did have a learners licence. Where I live, you are allowed to ride with a learners licence if there aren’t any passengers riding along.
When I stopped at the roadblock, I said hi (I don’t know if they heard me because the bike was very loud) and showed the officer my licence (learners).
For some dumb reason, I don’t know why, this officer said: “You only have a learner’s, you can’t ride on your own”. So I explained that I’m not allowed to have a passenger on my bike and that is what the law says I should do.
So I thought that I would be able to go now, but the officer just stared at me blankly and said: “Pull over right there”.
That’s when I lost it. I grabbed my licence from the officer’s hand and opened the throttle completely leaving a solid line behind the bike up to where I was supposed to stop. This was a big mistake.
Yeah, they did not like that at all. After the officer had been telling me exactly what to do with my hands and feet and how fast I should do it, another officer came to check what all the fuss is about.
It really sucked, I was losing so much time. While the officers had a conversation a bit further away from me, I decided to go sit down on a little bench and started wondering who was going to bail me out and if the judge would be in on Monday.
I didn’t want to sit in jail for the whole weekend and I definitely couldn’t afford to miss work on Monday.
Soon the officer returned and told me they had made a mistake. Obviously, I said I was sorry. I also explained that I needed to get to my destination before it turns dark on the road.
The officer just said: “That’s fine but what about that line you pulled there on the road?” They didn’t make me clean it, but I think they would have if I didn’t tell them why I was in a hurry.
Some of the newer cops have this power lust where they like making you say “sorry” or do stuff for no reason, but this one was passed that stage already.
What I learned that day
- Switch your engine off while talking to an officer, it makes a huge difference. In the U.S you are required to do that anyway as far as I know.
- Giving them your time saves you time. Being in a hurry will cause you to lose even more time, take a break while you are there, you might have to do so anyway on a long trip.
- Make sure the officers hear you great them, they are more likely to let you slip if there is a problem.
- Have a Highway Code for Motorcyclists book with you, not like you would use it, but in case something happens where you need a second opinion. It’s so cheap it makes sense.
- Show some respect. Yes, they made the choice of becoming a cop, but still, it doesn’t hurt being polite. I think most motorcyclists would do this anyway.
What you shouldn’t do
- Don’t keep your helmet on if you have a full-face helmet. Take it off and show them you are a real person. I like introducing myself after I’ve just removed it. For some weird reason, this works well (most of the time).
- Don’t think about ditching the cops unless you have a good reason. Wait, what am I saying? You don’t have a good reason. See what happens to this motovlogger when the cop pulls him over.
- Don’t make skid marks on the road as you come to a stop, just stop slowly. Even if it wasn’t intentional, they might see it that way.
- Don’t irritate them. Nobody likes a person yapping all the time, and this includes cops. Just answer the questions and shut up.
- Don’t lie to the cops. Obviously, they might have dashcams or radar, plus it’s their word against yours. But if you are innocent, fight for it. But you’ll probably have to appeal in court.
Trust me, you don’t want to sit in a police station for hours until they decide what they want to do with you. Sometimes that is enough punishment on its own, just sitting there while wondering what’s going to happen to you.
Featured image by dobbsymoto on Instagram.
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