Brian's Brief Encounters

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Silly Driver

Believe it or not I’m a trained investigator.

This doesn’t mean that I wear a deerstalker and carry a magnifying glass everywhere I go. In fact almost all of my investigations require no props at all. The simple question and answer system seems to work pretty well for me. Mixed with a healthy cynicism of peoples’ ability to tell the truth makes me nearly infallible.

Any fresh out of the box officer has a number of lessons to learn as quickly as possible. Rule number one is that everybody lies to us. Or doesn’t tell us the whole story, or suffers from selective amnesia. A simple traffic stop gives us the opportunity to test our investigative abilities.

“Do you know why I’ve stopped you?”


Now, this could be partially true as you’re not too sure how much I’ve seen. It could have been the excessive speed, it could be the near miss you had caused by the argument you were having on the phone or maybe it was the lack of seatbelt? It’s not like you’re going to give me a list of options to get my pen out for is it?

Let’s try another common first question:-

“Do you know how fast you were going?”


Outright lie. After seeing me behind you with my blue lights on, the first thing you did was to look at your speedo. You know exactly how fast you were going; you just don’t feel like sharing it with me. Just to help you out a bit here, Police cars have speedos too.

Having failed miserably at the first hurdle, I’m afraid we’re only going to go downhill from here. You see I’ve only asked questions that I already know the answer to up to this point and they haven’t been really difficult ones either. As I haven’t reached the dizzy heights of the Traffic Department, it’s unlikely that I’m going to get my pen out for what I know thus far. Unless, that is, you fail the attitude test.

No, all I now want to know is if you have a driving licence and insurance. Believe it or not there are laws that say you need these. I know they’re only silly little petty ones. But, some of us take them seriously and don’t really want an uninsured/unlicensed driver crashing into us. Some people are also fed up with paying high insurance premiums because you don’t pay any at all. Sorry for being picky.

If you’ve ‘only just bought the car’ then you may hold your hands up to the insurance. Obviously I’m going to believe you, even though the car is full of several months’ worth of your collected stuff. Of course I’ll let you off. Right after I’ve finished reporting you.

If you don’t try this one, new officers are very likely to ask a “Do you have….” question. That’s not going to get us very far is it? You’ve already demonstrated your propensity to tell your version of the truth and you’re hardly going to start telling my version now are you?

I’ll need to ask really clever questions.

You’re clearly going to be a tough nut to crack.

(…hang on while I think of some…)


At 23/10/05 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on ! I'm sure I've seen it somewhere in the Road Traffic Act as a statutory defence 'I've only just bought the motor', or is it the way it's repeated like a mantra supposed to hypnotise you into believing that you're the unreasonable ?

At 23/10/05 10:50 AM, Anonymous RichieB said...

I have an inherent loathing of people who drive without insurance.
Although this seething hatred is only eclipsed by my major spittle shooting loathing of the "Insurance Company".
Now they really are scum.

BTW Brian. Your blog is getting right big now, might be worth a shot at archiving some of your gems.



At 23/10/05 11:52 AM, Blogger Scully said...

he he they use the same excuses 'darn Souf' do they. I thought it might be an 'up t'North' thing! I always like the
Officer:'Why do you have your fog lamps's not foggy!'
Driver:(<-wow I'm polite on here)'Oh sorry officer...I didn't realise I had them on!'
Oh so you didn't notice that REALLY bright light that shines out on your dash to tell you, you have then?
You are right...people DO lie to us!

At 23/10/05 11:55 AM, Anonymous Alex Swanson said...

I was actually stopped once by police on the motorway without having the faintest notion why (and, yes, I did know my speed, and yes, it was legal).

They didn't actually mention any reason and I thought it politest not to ask. So I'm still ignorant.

At 23/10/05 2:05 PM, Anonymous Toby said...

To be entirely fair, out of the 11 11 times I've been pulled over in the last 18 months (approx) only about 3 times have I known the reason, the rest were simply spot checks (or so they said).

At 23/10/05 11:03 PM, Anonymous Gordonjcp said...

It seems in this part of the world, owning anything other than a brand-new 4x4 that clearly cannot be within your means, or a chavved-up Saxo *instantly* marks you out as suspicious. The most I've been stopped for "spot checks" was when I owned this - and I know there were only three in Scotland at the time.
The first time was almost amusing. After the usual look at the documents (I always carry them in a folder in my rucksack or briefcase, depending on how smart I'm attempting to look), the chap said, "We've stopped you because we wanted to check the car, because there's been a few of them stolen recently.
Smartarse mode on.
"Oh aye", I say, "Whose?"
"What do you mean, 'Whose?'"
"Well, there are three of these left in Scotland. I own two. This one that I'm driving, and another in bits in my workshop. The third belongs to a guy in Edinburgh, and if anything had happened to it I'd have heard. So - whose has been stolen?"
"Eh... Eh... Eh... Just - watch out for it, ok?"

By far my favourite was the big shiny traffic car that came belting up behind me, sat there for about 100 yards, then put on the blue flashies. Stopped, guy comes *leaping* out of the driver's side.

"F**kin' '*ll, it's a Citroën GSA! Ma da hud one when I wiz a wean! F**k! Ah've no seen one o' them fur yeerz! C-reg, that must be about the last one built, eh? Izzit fur sale?" (all in one breath in a broad Glasgow accent).

"Eh, maybe..."

At 24/10/05 12:43 AM, Anonymous Toby said...

Followed you a hundred yards? You got lucky, i had one follow me the 7 miles from the city centre back to my house, only once I had puled onto my drive did he decide to put his blue flashy lights on, where he thought I was going I don't know cause he pulled up behind my car blocking me in! He could have picked a better place/time baring in mind this was at about 3am!

At 24/10/05 11:37 AM, Anonymous Virgil said...

I once got stopped 'cos the Officer wanted a go on my Yamaha 900 Diversion. Seems he was thinking of buying one. I had a pleasant 15 minutes chat with his colleague whilst he took it for a spin. I wasn't in a hurry so was quite happy to be of service :-) I've been stopped because the Officers thought I was a dispatch rider (OK it was a Kawaski GT550 and I looked like a crusty at the time). They were a bit surprised when I proved I wasn't a dispatcher. That turned into another pleasant 15 minutes chat about Bikes. I think there's a large percentage of Officers who'd like to do the Judge Dredd bit... And then there was the female officer whom I used to see most days on her bike, dressed in her tight leathers. Great fun following behind... Despite my best efforts, I could never get her to stop me so I could get her telephone number .... *sigh* ...

At 24/10/05 6:08 PM, Anonymous claire said...

100 yards is pretty good going. I got followed for about 5 miles round Edinburgh at 4am having just finished work.

The only time pretty much I actually want to break the speed limit...

At 25/10/05 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

let me guess the question. How much is the insurance for this VW gti that you are driving? But you are 19 surely £400 is a remarkale bargain! Your mum deals with all those sort of things? Funny that!


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