Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: cop bait cars?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    cop bait cars?

    We all know that - in theory, at least - racial profiling is a law-enforcement no-no. But "automotive profiling" is, unfortunately, a going concern in every state across the land.

    It's not fair - but it is reality.

    At least in my experience. And I've got about 15 years of it, driving virtually every type of new car made during that time. I'm the same guy - but the reaction I get seems to depend to a great extent on what I happen to be driving at the time.

    Most speed traps involve a stationary patrol car and a radar gun. And radar - unlike laser detection - can't single out a particular car in a pack of fast-moving vehicles. It's up to the cop to choose which vehicle he's going to go after. And (trust me on this one) it isn't going to be the off-white minivan to your left or the pick-up on your right. It's gonna be you, amigo - if you happen to be driving a sunburst yellow Corvette, big-winged EVO or anything like 'em.

    You're not only more likely to be pulled over if you're driving a high-visibility car, you're also more likely to feel the full extent of the law as well. The family-looking guy doing 80 in his Taurus may - and often does - get off with just a warning. Or the cop at least cuts him some slack and drops the ticket down to 70-something, thereby nixing the automatic "reckless driving" beef that can come from being written up for doing more than 20-mph above the posted limit.

    But the guy in the winged, hood-scooped, big exhaust pipe "No Fear" stickered street racer machine? He'd better have a good lawyer and deep pockets because the chances are he'll be written up for every single MPH the cop can throw at him - with maybe a seatbelt violation tossed in for that extra measure of pain.

    So which cars (and features/add-ons) are most likely to raise the hackles of Officer Friendly? Here is the congealed wisdom of my decade-plus firsthand experience:

    * Anything with a big wing on the trunk - or an anftermarket body kit. Double points if it's primered. These things say "speeder" like a speedo says "guido."

    * Bright colors - especially reds and yellows and ultra-greens. It's an established fact that red-painted cars are more likely to be stopped for traffic violations than just about any other car, simply because they are more visible. Why? They're easier to notice when moving fast relative to surrounding traffic.

    * Coupes. Two-door cars say "I'm a fast driver" to a cop; they also tend to cost more to insure - because insurance companies assume (based on accident statistics) that people who drive sportier two-door cars tend to drive faster than people who own four-door cars. It may not be fair, but it's the way the world works.

    * Obvious equipment violations - no county sticker, no state inspection, no front license plate (in states where they are mandatory). Obnoxiously loud steroes don't help either. Like bright colors, they just call attention to you and your car and whatever you're doing. If it's not legal, odds are good, you'll get busted.

    The upside is that many of the things that work against the driver of the flashy car with the big wing on its trunk can work to the advantage of the fast driver in something more under the radar.

    For instance:

    * Stick with a navy blue, white, dark green or other "background" color that helps you fade into the woodwork. There is a reason why unmarked cop cars are typically painted one of those colors. It is called camouflage. If you don't get noticed - or don't get noticed first - the chances of getting tagged with a ticket drop significantly.

    * Skip the street racer-style wings and scoops. Often, you can "delete" these usually cosmetic add-ons from the options list. You're car may not look as aggressive - but that's the point. Concealment is an essential aspect of success in battle, says Sun Tzu - ancient Chinese sage of military strategy. And that's just as true of the cat-and-mouse game of avoiding speeding tickets. You're also a bit less likely to get the third degree if you do get pulled over - because your car says Family Guy, not Fast & Furious.

    * Avoid humungous chrome wheels. These also shout "notice me!" and "I like to drive fast!" You can get wide. light-alloy high-performance wheels in more inconspicuous finishes that will let you blend into the crowd.

    * Skip the "bling bling" clear plastic tail-lights and over-bright headlights/fog lights. See above. Stock rocks - because it helps lower your profile.

    * Get a sedan or wagon. You can still go just as fast, only more discretely and therefore with much less risk. Cops just don't pay as much attention to a bland-colored, nothing-special-looking four door - even if happens to be capable of nailing 60 mph in 4 seconds under 16 psi of boost and tops out at 160-plus. Added bonus: Most insurance companies will charge you less for a family-friendly four-door than a "reckless youth" coupe.

    You may feel older driving a car with less obvious attitude - but your driving record will be much cleaner.

    That's not a bad deal.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: cop bait cars?

    They rarely ever fool with mini-vans. You should drive one! :P

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    They rarely ever fool with mini-vans. You should drive one! :P
    Arghhhh... may that day never come!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: cop bait cars?

    >>Arghhhh... may that day never come! <<

    You just can't handle comfort and utility, can you!

  5. #5
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: cop bait cars?

    "That's not a bad deal."

    There's one more choice:

    Drive anything you wish but stay at or below the speed limit. ;D

    -Don-

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>Arghhhh... may that day never come! <<

    You just can't handle comfort and utility, can you!
    Not when it's packaged in ugliness and low performance!

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "That's not a bad deal."

    There's one more choice:

    Drive anything you wish but stay at or below the speed limit. ;D

    -Don-
    In which case, what's the point of owning anything capable of going much faster? We might as well all drive Tercels....

  8. #8
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,186

    Re: cop bait cars?




    "Arrest me Red" does draw attention. However, the best way to get a ticket is to drive in the left lane for extended periods. The one speeding ticket I've paid was when I was doping off in the left lane and a truck was passing me on the right. He bounced back like he was on a bungee chord. I wondered about that and then looked over to see a State Trooper looking right at me. He asked me what my speed was and I told him(65). He said he clocked me at 72. It was not a 60 mph zone but a 55. I went back later and checked and yes, it was a 55 zone. Generally, around here the radar is set to ping at 10 mph over the limit. My little buddy in the right lane would have gotten a ticket not me if I'd just followed my own rules about lane discipline.


    For a while, I drove my mothers car since she couldn't drive and didn't want to get rid of it. A red Cavalier just like all the little darlings drive at the university. On more than one occasion, I could see a police officer look really close. No doubt if I had been younger, I would have gotten more attention. That's one advantage to the grey gnomes sneaking in at night and sprinkling grey powder in my beard.

    I worked traffic but didn't write tickets. I was the guy after a big concert standing out in the rain and snow watching the idiots try to drive. It's amazing how people don't see police cars with flashing lights in the road.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch



    "Arrest me Red" does draw attention. However, the best way to get a ticket is to drive in the left lane for extended periods. The one speeding ticket I've paid was when I was doping off in the left lane and a truck was passing me on the right. He bounced back like he was on a bungee chord. I wondered about that and then looked over to see a State Trooper looking right at me. He asked me what my speed was and I told him(65). He said he clocked me at 72. It was not a 60 mph zone but a 55. I went back later and checked and yes, it was a 55 zone. Generally, around here the radar is set to ping at 10 mph over the limit. My little buddy in the right lane would have gotten a ticket not me if I'd just followed my own rules about lane discipline.


    For a while, I drove my mothers car since she couldn't drive and didn't want to get rid of it. A red Cavalier just like all the little darlings drive at the university. On more than one occasion, I could see a police officer look really close. No doubt if I had been younger, I would have gotten more attention. That's one advantage to the grey gnomes sneaking in at night and sprinkling grey powder in my beard.

    I worked traffic but didn't write tickets. I was the guy after a big concert standing out in the rain and snow watching the idiots try to drive. It's amazing how people don't see police cars with flashing lights in the road.
    Good point!

    I also tend to accept the idea that any type of "static driving" leads to inattentive driving; which is not just dangerous - but also increases your chances of getting radared and ticketed. I try to drive when I am driving - and that (so far) has mostly kept me out of trouble!

  10. #10
    DonTom
    Guest

    Re: cop bait cars?

    "In which case, what's the point of owning anything capable of going much faster? "

    I've wondered that too. If it can climb up a steep hill at 8,000 feet elevation at the freeway speed limit, that will be good enough for me. And my little 1.9 L Saturn can do such.

    BTW, I can remember when the muscle cars of the early 1970's could NOT do such. Neither can my 1971 BMW motorcycle.

    -Don-

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: cop bait cars?

    >>Not when it's packaged in ugliness and low performance! <<

    It performs as well as 90% of the vehicles out there and is not cop bait and gets decent gas mileage---
    Beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder--- I sit inside and can see all you uncomfortable drivers in those "pretty cars"--- I have trouble getting in & out of most any car-- don't want one-- SUV's get lousey gas mileage and can't haul as much. They ride like their truck counterparts and the crossovers are smaller -- maybe ride OK, but don't get any better gas mileage and can't haul as much.

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    "It performs as well as 90% of the vehicles out there ...l"

    Uh, I think not!

    No minivan even approaches the handling ability of a current year standard sedan; let alone a sport sedan. And almost all minivans are slow relative to anything except a bottom-feeder econo-compact. Check current year average 0-60 times if you doubt this. Most cars are in the 7-8 second range or quicker. Most minivans are considerably slower....

    .."and is not cop bait and gets decent gas mileage"

    True on the first; not so much the second. Many minivans (Toyota Sienna, Ford Freestar) are overweight and suck fuel almost as badly as a mid-sized SUV. Low 20s/high teens; maybe a few MPGs better - but not significantly better.

    "Beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder--- I sit inside and can see all you uncomfortable drivers in those "pretty cars""

    I'll buy that this is true - insofar as ease of use. But minivans are utilitarian pieces - and I don't think anyone in their right mind would describe them as beautiful!

    "SUV's get lousey gas mileage and can't haul as much. "

    First part, yes - but haul as much? Are you kidding? Can you name a minivan that can haul 7,000 lbs. of more? Only a handful can do 3,500 lbs. Most mid-large SUVs have twice the rated capability.

    "They ride like their truck counterparts.."

    That was true inthe past; not so much now. Most new SUVs handle and ride very much like cars, actually.

    "..and the crossovers are smaller -- maybe ride OK, but don't get any better gas mileage and can't haul as much."

    Yes, but a crossover is a car, not an SUV. It may look sort of like an SUV, but it is, in fact, a car.


  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC, USA
    Posts
    3,628

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Can you name a minivan that can haul 7,000 lbs. of more? Only a handful can do 3,500 lbs. Most mid-large SUVs have twice the rated capability.
    Make sure you separate towing capabilities from carrying capabilities. A lot of the SUVs out there have a max carry capacity (passengers + cargo/luggage) of less than 1,000 lbs.

    Part of which is due to the automakers legal paranoia (loading up a SUV to it's max load puts big stress on the tires, and none of the makers want another Explorer/Firestone mess), and part is due to the vehicles themselves getting porkier as 'info-tainment' & safety systems get added.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Can you name a minivan that can haul 7,000 lbs. of more? Only a handful can do 3,500 lbs. Most mid-large SUVs have twice the rated capability.
    Make sure you separate towing capabilities from carrying capabilities. A lot of the SUVs out there have a max carry capacity (passengers + cargo/luggage) of less than 1,000 lbs.

    Part of which is due to the automakers legal paranoia (loading up a SUV to it's max load puts big stress on the tires, and none of the makers want another Explorer/Firestone mess), and part is due to the vehicles themselves getting porkier as 'info-tainment' & safety systems get added.

    Chip H.
    Roger that; good points!

    As far as cargo capacity; minivans have lots of cubic feet of available space; but I don't think many can handle a lot of weight....

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC, USA
    Posts
    3,628

    Re: cop bait cars?

    When I did some contracting in Tennessee a few years ago, the bank had a Ford Aerostar Eddie Bauer Edition. We loaded that thing waaayy past it's safe limits with computers. The trailer hitch would drag the pavement when we pulled into the street.

    I'm glad we didn't have a blowout -- we couldn't have gotten to the spare without unloading $200k worth of hardware onto the side of the road.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    When I did some contracting in Tennessee a few years ago, the bank had a Ford Aerostar Eddie Bauer Edition. We loaded that thing waaayy past it's safe limits with computers. The trailer hitch would drag the pavement when we pulled into the street.

    I'm glad we didn't have a blowout -- we couldn't have gotten to the spare without unloading $200k worth of hardware onto the side of the road.

    Chip H.
    I can beat that!

    A buddy helped me truck my Trans-Am from the DC area to our country redoubt. We used a fully enclosed drive-in trailer; the kind you see NASCAR guys using. With a gooseneck, etc. And we used an H2 to drag it.... not an H1; the fake one - the Suburban-based "Hummer."

    Er, ah... not the smartest move...

    A state cop pulled up and eyed us for awhile, but then drove away. My guess is he had no clue what a (fake) Hummer could pull safely....

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: cop bait cars?

    >>True on the first; not so much the second. Many minivans (Toyota Sienna, Ford Freestar) are overweight and suck fuel almost as badly as a mid-sized SUV. Low 20s/high teens; maybe a few MPGs better - but not significantly better. <<

    My Sienna may be overweight, but it beats the gas mileage that my Windstar got and also betters my friend's Odyssey.

    Acceleration is very adequate for any driving I do. It isn't going to the drag strip and I sure as hell have no intentions of using it in any typy of racing.
    Wake up Eric--- I can haul 7 people with baggage in comfort. They don't need a step ladder to enter or exit either. Even the new SUV's get rotten gas mileage and can't approach what a mini-van gets. Crossovers are cars--basicly, and a good one might get the same gas mileage as my Mini--- but can't haul the bulk loads unless you get something the size of a Suburban at 12 grand more and 4 MPG less!


  18. #18
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    "Acceleration is very adequate for any driving I do. It isn't going to the drag strip and I sure as hell have no intentions of using it in any typy of racing. "

    Well, okay - but that's not what you said before!

    "Wake up Eric--- I can haul 7 people with baggage in comfort. They don't need a step ladder to enter or exit either."

    Ok, I get that - but I don't need to carry seven people or even three. I appreciate the utility aspects of a minivan - but for me these things are non-issues. I understand your priorities, etc. - but mine are different. Style, handling and acceleration are the things that make me happy!

    "Even the new SUV's get rotten gas mileage and can't approach what a mini-van gets."

    That's not quite true. Many mid-sized SUVs are capable of mid 20s on the highway - or within 3-5 mpg of the typical mid-sized minivan. As I wrote before, it's a relatively small difference... .

    I'm glad minivans are around for those who want - I just don't want one for me! ;D


  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: cop bait cars?

    >>I'm glad minivans are around for those who want - I just don't want one for me! <<

    OK-- I can buy that--- I'm glad that small cages are available for those who can handle folding themselves into a small ball also! I have a problem entering and exiting most cars!


  20. #20
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,915

    Re: cop bait cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>I'm glad minivans are around for those who want - I just don't want one for me! <<

    OK-- I can buy that--- I'm glad that small cages are available for those who can handle folding themselves into a small ball also! I have a problem entering and exiting most cars!
    A truce!

    PS - I do like RWD/V-8 vans.... remember the Love Machines of the '70s?


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-30-2010, 03:01 PM
  2. Are you Cop Bait?
    By Eric in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-23-2010, 07:18 PM
  3. Bait car Maggots
    By Eric in forum The Maggots...
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-24-2009, 07:55 PM
  4. Cop bait cars...
    By Eric in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 12-08-2006, 02:09 AM
  5. Small cars even micro cars
    By Kwozzie1 in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-03-2006, 12:07 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •