?

Log in

CHP just lost a few points with me... - The Desian Universe
Links Home / GitHub January 2017
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
 
 
 
 
deskitty
deskitty
Des
Sat, Feb. 24th, 2007 12:59 am
CHP just lost a few points with me...

Went out for sushi tonight with the cats. On the way home, I was passed by a CHP unit in the left lane going at minimum 90 MPH (and more likely closer to 100).

The officer driving the vehicle did not use his lights, did not use his siren, didn't give any warning whatsoever. I had no indication it was a CHP vehicle until it had already passed me and I caught a glimpse of the CHP logo on the side.

I know sometimes they need to break traffic laws, and that includes driving at excessive speeds. I'm fine with that.

But they need to fucking warn people when they do that. Because when they drive like that, they put themselves and everyone around them at greater risk. I don't care who or what they're going after; they have a responsibility to everyone with whom they share the road. The fact they are CHP only heightens that responsibility.

I expect the kind of behavior I saw this evening from dumbshit 16-year-olds on Prom night. I do not expect it from sworn officers whose job is to maintain highway safety. [OK, maybe that's not being entirely fair. But I had no idea it was a CHP car until it passed me.]

So ... question. I'm considering sending a note to the CHP discussing this, because it's not the first time something like this has happened, and I think the policy (such as it is) needs to be changed. What are your thoughts? (explodinglemur, I'm looking at you ;) )

Edit: Nick pointed out that people often don't know how to respond to red lights in their rearview mirror, and will do any number of stupid things. So not warning at all may be better than flashing police lights. But it still seems like there should be a way for them to say, "Hey, pay attention, I'm about to do something unconventional.".

>>>

On February 24th at roughly 12:30 AM, I was driving North on US 101 in the right lane between San Luis Obispo and Atascadero. I was passed by a CHP unit in the left lane travelling (at a conservative estimate) 90 MPH. The officer driving the vehicle gave no warning whatsoever -- he was not using his lights, or his siren. I had no indication it was a CHP vehicle until it had already passed me and I was able to catch a glimpse of the CHP logo on the side of the car.

I understand there are occasions on which it is necessary for CHP to violate traffic laws. But they need to warn people when they do that. When anyone--including the CHP--breaks the law, they put themselves and everyone around them at greater risk. Each driver has a responsibility to everyone with whom they share the road. CHP drivers, if anything, have even more responsibility because of their position.

In future, I would expect that when performing higher-risk operations such as speeding, CHP officers will have the courtesy to warn the drivers around them beforehand. It takes a split second to flip a switch and turn some lights on. By issuing such a warning, officers give the other drivers time to mentally (and physically) prepare themselves and their vehicles should something go wrong.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Your prompt response is appreciated.

-- Des

Tags: ,
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

10CommentReplyShare

netolu
netolu
Netolu Shadowlin
Sat, Feb. 24th, 2007 10:28 am (UTC)

I have only limited knowledge of CHP protocol, having applied but never actually entered the academy. However, what I remember of the seminar went over a few procedures and such. One of them is, if enroute under expedited circumstances (such as joining a pursuit in progress, or assisting another officer) they are not required to use lights. It's recommended, for the reasons you mentioned..but also as mentioned people tend to do stupid stuff when they see lights. It was past midnight, and hardly any cars on the road. With the way CHP interceptors move, having lights on probably would have been more hazard then running with them off. Pilots face similar decisions, so I can only guess that's what was going on. Yes, he startled me as well when he passed me at near triples, but I didn't notice him until he did. Had I seen lights, I may have been inclined to jam on my brakes, veer off the road and fishtail trying to get out of the way..like any modern asshole driver in this county would have done. Fucktards..they all need to go back to the city they came from.


ReplyThread
deskitty
deskitty
Des
Sat, Feb. 24th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)

Had I seen lights, I may have been inclined to jam on my brakes, veer off the road and fishtail trying to get out of the way..like any modern asshole driver in this county would have done.

Yup... explodinglemur raised that point as well, and you're both right. So maybe standard cop-lights aren't a good way of warning people. But I do still think they need to come up with some way to warn. Maybe they use yellow lights instead of blue and red. Who knows -- I'm not the expert.

Yes, people are stupid, but they're not totally stupid. If you throw information at them, generally they'll use it to their perceived advantage. Sometimes that means they end up doing something that's actually stupid. But I think in a lot of cases they'll do something approximating the Right Thing.

The only way to know for sure is to try it and see. Maybe it's a net win, maybe not.

In last night's case, I wouldn't have done anything different had the officer had his lights on. But I would have been better-prepared, and I would argue that had either of our vehicles failed, we both would have a better chance of survival.


ReplyThread Parent
moment_of_me
moment_of_me
moment_of_me
Sat, Feb. 24th, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)

A friend's Mother was killed by a police officer who was speeding without warning lights. He wasn't pursuing anyone but was driving to the intercept a drunk driver that had already reached his destination. That's right, the guy was home and he was still going in excess of 90 mph. The officer came around a curve into the straight stretch where they were, ran this lady off the road and into a tree. The daughter and granddaughter, who were in the car and survived, said that an officer had passed them moments before with the sirens on and they cleared the road, out of his way. But with the officer that ran them off the road there just wasn't any warning.

*shrugs* I think it's wise to warn. And I say it definitely warrants your letter!


ReplyThread
deskitty
deskitty
Des
Sat, Feb. 24th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)

Wow... that really sucks. :-/ I hope the officer involved was fired, at the least.

I will send it, although it probably needs editing. (I posted it above.) The more I think about it, the more sense it makes, even considering the intelligence level of the average CA driver. :p

I just hope CHP is responsive, and I don't have to go to my state representative. (I met him once, and I don't like him very much.)


ReplyThread Parent
moment_of_me
moment_of_me
moment_of_me
Sun, Feb. 25th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)

The officer WAS let go. But he got a job in the next county. And five years later was back at his old job. :-/ We were all disgusted by it.


ReplyThread Parent
queueball
queueball
Q
Tue, Mar. 6th, 2007 07:16 am (UTC)

On the controversy at hand, it's six of one, half-dozen of the other, as you and the commenters have observed.

My only addition to the conversation is that, for the brief week I experienced bad CA drivers -- who didn't seem toooo bad to me, so maybe I didn't experience them properly -- I didn't know how blessed I was there compared to the homicide-inducing experience of dealing with WA drivers.

When I got my new(er) car, I told dealers, "no automatics. I need something to do with my right hand other than flip people off in this goddamned state." They'd laugh and walk toward a nice automatic, and I'd say, "no, seriously..." and they'd sorta look at me nervously and we'd move along to the sticks.


ReplyThread
deskitty
deskitty
Des
Tue, Mar. 6th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC)

What most people don't get (and what most CAians never realize) is that the rules of the road are different in CA than they are anywhere else that I've heard of (or visited). There's even quite a bit of variation between different parts of CA.

Most people don't get the fact that if a driver passes you on the right in the bay area, he's not intending to be rude. He's just going around you. But flashing your highbeams in someone's rearview mirror is considered rude here, while I've heard anecdotally that the opposite is true in other states.

I want my next car to be a stick. And yes, I'm fully aware of just how gay that sounds. =P


ReplyThread Parent
queueball
queueball
Q
Tue, Mar. 6th, 2007 09:40 am (UTC)

I highly recommend it as an aid to dealing with bad bad bad bad drivers. Of course, being a novice, I had to deal with WA drivers, who thought it was a good idea to pull RIGHT up to my bumper on a STEEP GRADE in Cap Hill at NIGHT in the RAIN before I was semi-proficient at starting from a stop on a grade.

And already my plan had worked. I was too busy madly jamming at the clutch and tearing the shit out of the transmission to flip the bird at the asshole behind me. :-p


ReplyThread Parent
deskitty
deskitty
Des
Tue, Mar. 6th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)

heh. I think I'd just roll backward and bump the guy (which wouldn't leave any visible marks anyway, so how could they prove anything?), then continue on my way. :p

Although, if you don't want to be that much of an asshole, you can actually use the e-brake to keep the car in place until you've gotten it spun up enough to let out the clutch. (My dad taught me that one.)


ReplyThread Parent
queueball
queueball
Q
Tue, Mar. 6th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I learned about the hand brake later that night, when I looked on the intarwebs for pointers.


ReplyThread Parent