Freeze Up

With it being Easter weekend, I’ve been running a lot of traffic on the major highways in my county. With pulling people over, comes the lights, sirens, etc. Well,  I noticed some things at first, thought they were just a one off, but thats not ringing true.

About 75% of the time, any time I get behind a car whether I’m pulling them over or trying to get them out of the way, they go into freeze mode. Whatever they were doing when I got behind them, they generally continue to do it for about 10-15 seconds, be it braking, coasting, etc. The funniest are the people who turn on their turn signal then never change lanes.

Then, about half of those drivers go into a denial type phase: “He’s not pulling ME over”. Usually I can tell when they hit this phase because they will change lanes and slow down, like they’ve done nothing wrong.

When I do eventually get them over on the side of the road, some get so nervous they freeze up again. They think they know what questions I’m going to ask, so they try to say everything at once while fumbling for their driver’s license. I can’t tell you how many people get nervous and try to hand me a credit card/debit card, business card, or something other than their DL. If they realize what they are doing, they’ll catch themselves and hand me their DL. Insurance cards are another beast. It’s amazing how many people flip past their insurance card when they are looking for it. I can almost hear their thoughts when they are looking for it: “I hope I have it, I know I put it in here!”

Something else I’ve noticed, is generally the older generations get more nervous on traffic stops than the younger generations (except for 16 year olds, but thats a different topic).  The younger generations are also really good about stating what they are going to do. “My insurance is in my center console, I’m going to get it, is that okay?” I’ve had people of the older generations simply start digging through anything and everything unannounced to try and find it, and let me tell you, that makes me real nervous especially when it’s a man and wife both digging through separate areas.

I’ve got more observations I’ve picked up about drivers, but I’m off to hit the dusty trail!


3 Responses to “Freeze Up”

  1. Jay,

    That change lane and slow down maneuver isn’t a frozen stage – it is a “praying for grace and mercy” stage.

    I should know, I’ve had plenty of practice.

    When I was pulled over in January, I did it.

    I was speeding. I knew I was speeding. I knew the cop knew I was speeding as he headed in the opposite direction.

    I slowed down and moved over a lane.

    “Please, Please, Please, let him see me slowing down and that be enough”

    Imagine that about 60 times in 20 seconds.

    Alas, it was not to be.

    As far as the insurance and license; I’ve solved that by having a wallet with a flip holder for the license. Insurance and CHL goes right behind the license.

    Makes it real easy to find when asked.

    I should know, I’ve had plenty of practice.

  2. I’ve had just a little experience in getting pulled over..(an interest in restoring old cars and a led foot will get you in trouble).

    The funniest experience I had was getting pulled over in my sisters car. The state trooper walks up, lets me know I was doing 72 or so in a 65 zone. Then as I look for an insurance card, he lets me know inspection and registration are out. About that time, I’ve managed to find an insurance card…that is expired. Great.

    I apologized to the officer, told him it was my sisters car and I’d tell her to get it all fixed when I got home. Being a friendly type, he asks me what I normally drive.

    “Oh, I’ve got an old Chevy Nova my dad and I have been working on”

    “Is it blue?”

    Gulp. “um, yeah. That’s my car.”

    “Oh, I’ve heard of that car. Its nice.”

    “um, thank you?”

    After finding out the the local state troopers “knew” about my car, I made an effort to keep it under the legal limit.

    Regarding proper behavior after being pulled over, I was always told a few simple things. 1)If its night, turn on your dome lights. 2)window down, radio off 3)hands on the wheel until they come to the window 4)inform them where your DL and insurance are before you reach for them

    Anything you’d add as proper stop behavior?

  3. […] As Stephen pointed out here, there are a few basic things to do on a traffic stop when you get pulled over: […]

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