It’s going to happen. You will get pulled over by the police. No, you will, I promise, especially if you’re a fan of fast & loud and/or happen to be driving anything with a little juice under the pedal. Since our recent feature Top 5 Baddest Cop Cars of All Time was so wildly popular, and there’s no secret that Johnny Law has a need for speed like the rest of us do, we decided to go another round in pushing our luck. If you happen to find yourself being chased by the lead foot of the law, here are some things you really ought to avoid saying to a cop on the shoulder of the road.
I didn’t know that was illegal.
You already have a pretty good idea of what is and isn’t acceptable public behavior, but who are we to say that you shouldn’t test the legal limits. Besides, chances are if you’re driving a pretty rambunctious ride, you’re going to flirt with those boundaries regardless. Live and let live, right? But be warned, the last thing an already-aggravated cop needs to hear is someone saying they didn’t know they were breaking the law when they likely did. Burnouts, fish tails, brake stands, and whole shots are a bad idea—IF you get caught…
I let you catch me.
There’s a long running cop joke that goes something like this.
Cop: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
You: “Because I let you.”
Funny, yes. But no, you know exactly why you were pulled over. And since you didn’t opt for taking off fast enough before he could ask you the question, now you must face the wrath of a cop who didn’t have his morning donut. This is the point where you turn on the charm or, better yet, just shut up and take the ticket.
The throttle was stuck.
Car culture is huge and most cops are very well educated. Often times in the way of the wrench. Spirited driving is going to happen behind the wheel of a hopped up car or truck, but when the cop pulls you over, a blatant lie won’t help you. There’s a big difference between a jammed throttle and putting it to the floor. Especially if the cop is keen enough to notice you were lifting off between shifts. Just sayin’, cowboy…
DID YOU JUST SEE THAT?!
Not everyone is going to spend every waking second at the track, putting themselves to the ultimate test in a legal environment to see what their machine is capable of doing. That’s no excuse for reckless behavior, but we aren’t going to play the role of hypocrites either. If you happen to pull off a stunt that even surprised the crap out of you, then do yourself a favor and don’t go seeking confirmation from the police. They saw it, and that’s why they’re talking to you in the first place. That’s confirmation enough, don’t you think?
How’d you catch me?
As we covered in the Top 5 Baddest Cop Cars of All Time, modern cop cars are packing some serious heat under the hood. Even local police have their hands on a Hemi these days. They caught you with a keen eye and a lead foot, so getting into a verbal battle is only going to come off as cocky and worsen an already bad situation.
Wanna try that again?
If a cop is standing on the side of the road talking to you, do you really think they want to try it again? While Round 2 will definitely land you in some cuffs, they’d have to catch ya first!
I know my rights—that was legal.
Go on, tempt him to throw the book at you in charges. And if the PO-PO happen to be stretching the line with pulling you over, everything under that hood better be in tip-top order if you’re going to run your gums. It might be as simple as an emissions violation, or something like an outlawed engine; either way, that’s your business. But if you happen to be pulled over, don’t tempt your fate with such a silly statement.
Sometimes you win, and sometimes they do. Respect the line and play by the rules—if they got you, they got you. Keep your head low and if they’re a fellow gearhead with a sense of humor, let them make that apparent—not you. Share your best run-ins with us in the comments section below.