Monday 18 December 2017

15 Things That Practically Force a Cop to Pull You Over

If there’s one thing drivers dread, it’s getting pulled over by a cop. Even when you didn’t do anything serious and know your rights, these interactions can be nerve-wracking. After all, getting an expensive ticket can ruin your night and make you look bad in front of your friends or significant other. In some cases, encounters have actually turned deadly.
Before you start worrying too much about police on the road, remember how much you control the situation. Just as there are certain things you should never say to a cop who pulled you over, there are ways you can avoid the situation in the first place. Here are 15 things that practically force a cop to pull you over on the road.

15. Driving with your lights off 

With the introduction of automatic headlights, we’d say this one happened more often in the past. People expect their car to turn its lights on automatically. However, when someone else gets in your car and changes the settings back to manual, you’re in trouble. You’ll find flashing their lights at you in hopes you’ll get the message. If you don’t get that warning and a cop sees you first, chances are you’ll get pulled over. 

14. A roaring exhaust 

When they rounded up the list of America’s most ticketed cars a few years back, Subaru WRX ranked first. Two things identify this car, especially in the STI trim: speed and a loud exhaust. Roaring past a cop with a modified WRX will often end with you pulling over after you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. In New Jersey, a cop can cite you for “excessive noise,” which gives officers a lot of leeway. 

13. Illegal window tints 

Among illegal car modifications, window tints might be the most obvious target for a cop patrolling the area. The overwhelming majority of states ban or limit the amount of tinting someone can put on a window. Cops don’t have to make judgment calls, either. Many carry devices that measure the level of tint on a window and ticket drivers based on the findings. 

12. Driving too slowly 

Given the choice between pulling over a car going 95 miles per hour and another going 40, cops will probably stop the speeder first. However, slow drivers present their own type of danger. First, they get people agitated and force them to try and pass. (California cops pulled over a driverless car in 2015 for this reason.) But slow cars mostly appear suspicious because drunk or stoned drivers often proceed carefully to avoid accidents. 

11. Illegal U-turns 

Cops often have to make judgment calls when patrolling a beat. Drivers who don’t use their turn signals (something many cops don’t do, either) tend to get away with this minor offense. On the other hand, someone executing a sudden, illegal u-turn would grab most police officers’ attention. It’s practically forcing them to pull you over and ask about the hurry. 

10. Blocking your license plate 

Unless you plan on robbing a bank or engaging in some other illegal activity, you won’t have much reason to use a license plate blocker. However, companies sell this banned modification and drivers sometimes install one on their car. If you get caught, there is a very high chance you’ll get pulled over. In some states, the fine for this violation exceeds $1,100. 

9. Cutting off another driver 

Dangerous lane changes lead to road rage in many cases and cause a fair share of accidents, too. When cops see someone pull this move, they act quickly to pull over the driver. Ranking right below an intentional cut-off would be a lane change when the driver obliviously moves over without noticing the other cars. Cops see this happen often with senior drivers. 

8. Walking out of a bar and into your car 

Let’s say a cop is working a downtown area on a nightly beat. While sitting in a squad car, the cop sees a young man leave a bar with friends before sharing a loud, drunken goodbye with them. Immediately afterward, the young man hops into his car and drives away. By trying this move, he’s begging for the cop to pull him over at the first sign of a violation. If he consumed more than the legal limit, the penalties for a DUI offense can be harsh. 

7. Blocking the box 

No one likes traffic, and people who create traffic jams make themselves a target for road rage and other unpleasant interactions with fellow drivers. That’s exactly what happens when someone “blocks the box” at an intersection. Drivers who do it say to everyone that they don’t care what happens, they won’t wait at stoplights like every other decent person. If there’s a cop nearby, chances are these box blockers will get pulled over. 

6. Damage on your car 

Any type of damage will encourage cops to pull you over and cite you, and safety concerns motivate the officers who do. For example, someone with a broken taillight or brake light presents a danger to drivers behind them. More extreme cases, such as a bumper falling off, increase the chances a car part will land on the road and cause an accident. It’s a recipe for a traffic stop. 

5. Tailgating 

If you took a poll and asked people what they hate the most about other drivers, many would mention tailgating. Following a car too closely causes stress for people and aggravates any driver who is a victim of it. From a cop’s perspective, it’s a major safety hazard. When someone stops suddenly with another driver right behind them, accidents usually happen. 

4. Texting or otherwise using a smartphone 

People are glued to smartphones more than ever, and unfortunately, this behavior continues while they drive. One Santa Monica traffic cop told Edmunds that people texting and otherwise using smartphones cause accidents every day there. As a result, cops are always on the lookout for people staring down at their lap, and they’ll pull over anyone caught using a phone.

3. Littering

You might say littering is a double-edged sword. On the one side, you have the general offense of throwing garbage onto a public road rather than placing it inside a receptacle like a normal person. The other side is even worse: Littering creates hazards on the road that cause accidents. Cops will be quick to turn on the lights and pull you over if you toss your trash out the window.

2. Swerving

How do you spot a drunk driver? According to lawyers writing for the Ohio Bar Association, cops look for various activities on the road. Among them are motorists moving back and forth between lanes and swerving to the leftof the yellow lines. People with high levels of alcohol in their system drive this way, and cops act swiftly to stop them from doing harm.

1. Speeding

Looking at the stats for crash deaths in America, you can see how speed kills. Just under 30% of road fatalities were speed-related in 2015, and about half of those came on highways with speed limits over 55. Considering the risks to pedestrians, other motorists, and the speeders themselves, cops will move fast to get high-flying cars off the road. It’s begging for a ticket and a conversation with someone wearing blue.

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