Des (deskitty) wrote,
Des
deskitty

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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: chp, government
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