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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:06 AM   #1
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Being tailgated dangerously close by a police cruiser

I just want to post a "strange" encounter I had with a Police cruiser two days ago.

At approx 9:00pm, I was traveling East bound on Granville St. in Richmond near No. 3 Road. As I approach Minoru road, I see a police cruiser on the left turn lane with his right signal light flashing. Assuming he changed his mind about turning left, I slowed down almost to a stop to let him "cut in front" of me. (There was no cars behind me at the time, and I simply did it out of courtesy, though I probably could have just driven past and left him merge into the lane after me.) After the officer "cut in front" of me, he proceeded to pull over on the very right side of the road (still on granville) right by the Minoru aquatic center, until I past him, then he proceeded to come back onto the road and merged into my lane and tailgated me, at an EXTREMELY close distance. I reached No. 2 road and merged into the left turn lane, as I needed to turn left on No. 2 Road. The police cruiser continued to follow me at an extremely lose distance during this time. (If I had to slam on my brakes for ANY reaon, he would have instantly rear ended me.) After I made the left turn on no.2 road, the cruiser continued to follow me at a very lose distance until I reached approx. Blundell Road, at which point he changed lanes and passed me and proceeded to make a right turn on Blundell Road.

I understand he was probably running my plates, but was it neccessary for him to follow me at such a close distance. His driving behavior was extremely unsafe in my opinon. So I'm just wondering if this kind of behavior is "protocol"? Or was the officer not suppose to follow at such a close distance?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:46 AM   #2
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They're following you close enough to read the plates just like you said. Officers were just following close enough so they can see clearly.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:25 AM   #3
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couldnt the officer just followed me at a safe distance until I reached a stop light where he can safely read my plates without having to tailgate me super close, which in it self is extremely unsafe/dangerous.

just want to hear from the officers on the board to see if this is something that they normally do themselves during their patrol, and if so, why?
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:30 AM   #4
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I don't buy "he was trying to read your plates" if he was following too close to actually see the plates...
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiiipi View Post
couldnt the officer just followed me at a safe distance until I reached a stop light where he can safely read my plates without having to tailgate me super close, which in it self is extremely unsafe/dangerous.

just want to hear from the officers on the board to see if this is something that they normally do themselves during their patrol, and if so, why?

There may have been a reason why you were followed that closely. My practice was to close up, get the plate and drop back while it was run thru the system, however, if they were looking for a vehicle like yours for some sort of high risk situation (guns, robbery, assault etc) then they may have stayed close so that they would not loose you if you nailed it and took off. From what you described, they wanted a really close look at your car. If they run into you, they will be held responsible. Police are entitled to not follow the MVA but they are held personally responsible for anything that happens while doing it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:45 AM   #6
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It takes 2 seconds to read a plate, theres no need to keep following at dangerous distance.

How awesome would it have been to lock up your wheels and have him rear end you. "there was a squirrel that darted in front of me, now can you explain why your police cruiser is mashed into my car? By the way, im suing, i need your insurance information"
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:45 AM   #7
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*screeeeech* *BANG* "Hey, why'd you brake-check me?!" "Sorry, officer, a cat ran into the street right in front of me."
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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*screeeeech* *BANG* "Hey, why'd you brake-check me?!" "Sorry, officer, a cat ran into the street right in front of me."
"Sir, you are being arrested for traffic infraction and driving without due care and attention."

An officer will do anything to get themself out of trouble... probably plant some shit in your car and arrest you for it lol.

... just finished watching the andrew meyers/john kerry don't tase me bro videos.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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"Sir, you are being arrested for traffic infraction and driving without due care and attention."

An officer will do anything to get themself out of trouble... probably plant some shit in your car and arrest you for it lol.

... just finished watching the andrew meyers/john kerry don't tase me bro videos.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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"Sir, you are being arrested for traffic infraction and driving without due care and attention."

An officer will do anything to get themself out of trouble... probably plant some shit in your car and arrest you for it lol.

... just finished watching the andrew meyers/john kerry don't tase me bro videos.
not 100% true.
a few weeks ago, i was at starbucks with some friends. we were outside talking and there was a cop slightly blocking cars from going into the gas station right beside it. he then backed up and got rear ended by an oncoming car, who honked a the cop to stop. the cop got out, apologized for what happened, called for an extra cruise and what looked like, gave the driver his information.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:57 PM   #11
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Same exact thing happened to me, turning left off 22nd onto rupert, cruiser turning right onto 22nd, saw me turn left, flicked his lights on, shot ahead of traffic, turned lights off when he got behind me, got REAL close for a bit, I saw his typing on his computer (running my plates), im clean, he eventually pulled off and turned right some place. Made me quite uncomfortable, he was VERY close.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #12
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Like everyone has said, he was probably just checking your plates or looking for a vehicle that may have matched your description. Dont worry.

As for the "Brake Check", not too smart to be pulling an inmature move like that. I would hate to see what would happen to you if somone actually followed through with that...
Just my 2 cents that is ;-)
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:06 AM   #13
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Aren't police officers supposed to pass eye examinations before becoming an officer or operating a police vehicle? Any normal person should see plates from a safe driving distance.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:38 AM   #14
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i would think that the officer suspected the op of something if he came to a crawl to let the police officer in. Then the cop probably tried to egg you on to get a reaction. Some cops are dicks like that. I don't think there's a need to post that video of the highway cop that tailgated that car on the left lane, right?

I guess drive properly next time and don't do suspicious stuff like almost completely stop to let a cop in. If traffic was as light as you make it out to be, 1 second for you to pass and him to get out of the left turn lane wouldn't really make a difference to the cop if he's just cruising/patrolling.

In this world, you get bagged on for being too nice, and being too much of an ass. Be in the middle and just try not to get noticed.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:45 PM   #15
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Unsafe driver behind you or not, you're a total idiot if you ever decide to slam on your brakes to cause an accident. It is absolutely not worth the risk to life or limb or even just the increased depreciation of your vehicle's value from being in a collision. Who cares if the other person is 100% at fault and has to pay for years of physio for you. Trust me, not having to pay for treatment is no substitute for not having a fucked up neck, back, or other injury in the first place.

Also, keep in mind that if you have the Olympic plates that they are considerably more difficult to read, particularly in inclement conditions. Sometimes getting quite close is necessary to read those, even if you are well practiced at quickly scanning and recalling numbers off plates.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:32 PM   #16
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And Mr Smith can you tell the court why you deliberately slammed your brakes on with a marked emergency vehicle following you that closely? At the very least that could be construed as dangerous driving under the criminal code.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:16 PM   #17
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Aren't police officers supposed to pass eye examinations before becoming an officer or operating a police vehicle? Any normal person should see plates from a safe driving distance.
I believe the VPD (not too sure about Richmond RCMP) has electronic devices on their police vehicles that scan through plates automatically?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:27 AM   #18
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they may have stayed close so that they would not loose you if you nailed it and took off
Would it really make a significant difference if the police was 3m behind the car versus the average 2-second rule if they were both travelling at around the speed limit?
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:55 AM   #19
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Aren't police officers supposed to pass eye examinations before becoming an officer or operating a police vehicle? Any normal person should see plates from a safe driving distance.

Yes medicals are required and eyesight is tested. You are assuming that the plate is not obstructed by anything, the lighting is good, there are no other distractions at all to the task, those sorts of things. It's unlikely that you would be writing the number down while doing this so you are likely relaying the number to your dispatch operator...and it could take time for them to respond to your request...so you stay close until they do.


With none of those factors in play it should be possible to close to reading distance, get the plate number and drop back in a few seconds.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:02 AM   #20
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Police tends to like tailgating people and cars they find suspicious...
i guess mainly because people with something (illegal) to hide tends to make mistakes or bail under pressure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiiipi View Post
I see a police cruiser on the left turn lane with his right signal light flashing. Assuming he changed his mind about turning left, I slowed down almost to a stop to let him "cut in front" of me. (There was no cars behind me at the time, and I simply did it out of courtesy, though I probably could have just driven past and left him merge into the lane after me.)
I bet this is the reason he found you suspicious....why would you stop in the middle of the road to let a car infront of you?
There is NO REASON to give a police vehicle any special privilege unless it has its siren on (we live in Canada, not an authoritarian police state)
It is feels awkward, create traffics hazards and in most cases, the police will feel uncomfortable as well.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:03 AM   #21
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please stop making tired excuses for cops that are clearly pricks on the road.

waiting for dispatch? you can't recall 3 letters and 3 numbers? why would you need to tailgate while waiting for dispatch? it's not like our plates are J39L4T5H

lighting? it's a reflective plate, designed to be easy to read. especially since you're behind it with your head lights shining on it.

distractions? if you're distracted wtf are you doing tailgating? it's not like tailgating is a legal thing to be doing in the first case.

there is no goddamn reason for anyone, let alone a cop to be tailgating a person for an extended amount of time. anything close to 3-5 seconds is bs. let alone an extended ride like OP.

classic stuff. even reading a license plate is the hardest thing to do. we're civilians, we don't understand how hard it is for the police. i mean, 3 letters and 3 numbers. whoa. that is hard stuff there. i know, i know, sometimes it's 3 numbers THEN 3 letters.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:48 AM   #22
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And Mr Smith can you tell the court why you deliberately slammed your brakes on with a marked emergency vehicle following you that closely? At the very least that could be construed as dangerous driving under the criminal code.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:52 AM   #23
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lighting? it's a reflective plate, designed to be easy to read. especially since you're behind it with your head lights shining on it.


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You are assuming that the plate is not obstructed by anything,
And as also mentioned, there are those stupid Olympic plates that are nearly impossible to read even in bright daylight if you're standing two feet from them.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:18 AM   #24
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The officers I know will admit to do this, especially to vehicles with tinted glass. They want to see how many people are in the car and and if anything suspicious is going on inside the car, which can require driving very close for awhile if you've blacked out your windows.

Yet some officers are just pricks, they follow closely to bait you into making a mistake. Thankfully most officers are not like this.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:55 AM   #25
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Any time you're being tailgated like that, signal right, slow down gradually and stop at the curb when safe.

Never a good idea to slam on the brakes, but you're responsible for diffusing what could quickly turn into a dangerous situation as quickly as possible.

Unlike Bosco up there, I have had a dog run in front of me. You don't want to allow tailgaters to remain tailgating for too long, regardless of who it is.
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