I'm not Trevor Philips from GTA V, but I've had my fair share of pullovers.
The worst one dates back to my senior year in college, when I decided I wanted to find out how fast my new Mustang could go.
Any kid put behind the wheel of a sports car is going to push the limits until it either feels unsafe, or they get caught. No amount of moral guidance can reign in the adrenaline rush of allowing a sports car to reach its full potential.
At least for me, I was smart (-ish) enough to run my test on the backroads of North Carolina.
Coming home on my 22nd birthday from the beach, we spent hours riding on the perfectly paved, straight, and two lane open roads of the countryside. With no side roads, intersections, or possibility of an animal jumping out in front, it seemed ideal for the time to see where the speedometer wants to give up.
With my girlfriend at the time in the passenger seat, my shirt off, and the Beach Boys on, I ramped my car up to 100mph.
I felt pretty comfortable, so I decided to take it to 110.
Photo by Shivam Kashiwala, with the DRAGG cops
"Holy shiiiiiiiiii-," I said, as my white knuckles gripped the steering wheel with the pressure to make diamonds.
The windows were down, the music was blasting, and my girl's blonde hair was flying all over the place. I had tunnel vision on the straightaway ahead.
Then, a small dot appeared on the horizon, coming in my direction. I was going so fast, there wasn't much time before it was a big dot.
Fortunately, I saw the front end of a Toyota Prius, and decided to keep the gas pressed down.
In a blur of shapes as the modest hybrid passed me, riding closely behind were the taillights of a dark police cruiser.
I looked in my rearview as I started to slow down. The cop tried to do a U-turn so fast, he almost flipped his car.
I was fucked.
I pulled over, not even trying to pretend I hadn't just hit a peak speed of 120mph.
The officer approached my car, "SIR," yeah, he was pissed, "DO YOU KNOW HOW FAST YOU WERE GOING?"
"Way over the speed limit, sir."
"It's a 55 zone. You hit over 85!"
Image from South Park
Well, I guess he only hit me with radar after I pumped the brakes.
"Yes sir, I am way out of line," I apologized, "I'll be honest, I wanted to see how fast this would go since it's new. But it was dangerous, and I'm well aware of both that speed, and the possible consequences."
Long story short, the cop let me off without even a warning.
The secret here was my immediate honesty in what I had done wrong. According to the book, "How To Win Friends & Influence People", by Dale Carnegie, admitting your mistakes early puts the other person in a position to forgive.
"Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes," Dale explains, "and most fools do - but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes."
Image from The LEGO Movie
Everyone wants to feel important. When a cop pulls you over, they gain importance by enforcing the law, and writing you a ticket. But if you take that step for them by admitting you're wrong, the only way they can feel important is to offer mercy.
DISCLAIMER: This is not legal advice. This is not 100% effective. Sometimes you face consequences for your actions.
However, 11/11 times this strategy has worked for me.
But I definitely am way overdue for a ticket.
If a police officer has you pulled over, you both know someone is wrong, and why you're wrong.
I'll be honest, one time I got pulled over at 5:00 am on the way to the gym for speeding, and I was so tired I legit didn't know that I was speeding. After I told the officer I didn't know why he pulled me, he got pretty upset. But I quickly still owned the fact that I was speeding and it wasn't a good example to set, and he let me go.
Image from Super Troopers
Keep in mind that this isn't a free pass to go act like a jack wagon on the freeway. But at least if you get pulled for something as simple as not coming to a complete stop, or maybe if it's as extreme as almost triple the speed limit, you have one line of defense between you and higher car insurance payments.
I'd also like to point out that cops are people too, and no one likes to be argued with when they're doing their job. I'm friends with quite a few of them, and they're all just out there to keep us safe. So if you get caught, they're really still just looking out for you.
Hats off to the boys in blue...from the Mustang in blue ;)