Cop doing 35mph in fast lane

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,833
We were driving in the slow lane of I-20 heading towards Dallas today when we came upon a police car doing 35mph in the fast lane. He had no lights flashing and I commented that he appeared to be either daydreaming or sightseeing. The driver of the car in front of us clearly wasn't sure what to do and he slowed down to the same speed, staying a car length behind (but in the slow lane). After a while, the car proceeded to pass the cop on the inside - slowly. Shortly afterwards, my driver followed suit.

I still have no idea what was going on, but have no doubt that, if we were doing 35 mph in the fast lane, we'd have been ticketed for impeding traffic.

What would you do if you came across this situation?
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
I would check carefully for a hazard. Seeing none, I would proceed at or below the speed limit.

I have no way to know what he was doing, nor why.

Ray D
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,833
Hi Ray, I should have mentioned that we looked for a hazard before passing and didn't see any, nor did we see one afterwards. Had there been a hazard, I would have expected him to have his lights flashing to warn traffic coming up from behind.
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
The only thing I can think of is that he may have had a hazard reported to him, with an ambiguous location, and trying to locate it. Strikes me that he should have had his lights blinking, at 35, regardless of the reason. One problem with that is that with the light bar on, people won't pass, particularly on the right, and you jam up traffic. In that case, he could pull over and signal people to pass, until he clears the jam. Then, repeat.

He may have been daydreaming - ?

Ray D
 

Marc L

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Posts
2,368
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
With the exception of big exchanges in large cities, there is very few offramps on the left, so if he was looking for something, he would have been better off to the right to be able to catch the next exit if he needed to.

I don't know in US, but in Canada, it's illegal to pass a car on the right and it's also illegal to drive in the fast lane except for passing, hence all the signs that say:  Keep right except to pass.

From what I have seen from the city cops around here, they certainly don't teach by example.  Pretty much everytime I have followed a cop in the city for more than a minute, I see them do one or two moving violation.  Like changing lanes or turning without signaling, not doing a complete stop.  On a 4 lane boulevard, take both lanes when making a curve.  For example, one almost hit me the other day.  The road was making a left curve, I was in the left lane (inside of the curve) and he was in the right lane (outside of the curve).  I was going slightly faster than him, but still below the limit.  I started to pass him in the curve and he decided to cut the curve in the inside forcing me to hit the brakes and the horn.  When I finally passed him, he looked at me like I was doing something wrong.  I mean, keeping a car inside it's own lane should be something they mastered by now considering how much time they spend behind the wheel.

It's not because they are cops that they are better drivers.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,833
Marc,

I don't know about all states, but many allow passing on the right on a freeway. I can only guess he might have been looking for something on the median.
 

AlGriefer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Posts
300
Location
Las Vegas, NV (when not traveling)
Most states have laws requiring drivers traveling significantly under the speed limit to use their emergency flashers.  These and all other traffic laws apply to the police as well as civilians unless the police are using their "right of way" lights. Of course, who is going to give them a ticket?  ;D 

Al
 

Lowell

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Posts
2,221
Location
Tempe, AZ
A couple of years ago driving on I-10 in Phoenix, a cop ahead of me turned on his flashing lights and started to make big "S" turns through all six lanes of traffic.  All of us behind him slowed down to about 15 mph.  He did this for about 5 miles.  Suddenly he turned off his lights and took the next exit ramp.  I always wondered why he slowed us down. I suspect there was some police activity taking place on the highway somewhere ahead of us and when he was notified by radio that all was clear, he let us go our way.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,104
Location
Davison Michigan
Lowell said:
A couple of years ago driving on I-10 in Phoenix, a cop ahead of me turned on his flashing lights and started to make big "S" turns through all six lanes of traffic.  All of us behind him slowed down to about 15 mph.  He did this for about 5 miles.  Suddenly he turned off his lights and took the next exit ramp.  I always wondered why he slowed us down. I suspect there was some police activity taking place on the highway somewhere ahead of us and when he was notified by radio that all was clear, he let us go our way.

This is a fairly standard practice when they need to slow traffic so that, for example, a tow truck can hook up or an ambulance can Get away from an accident (with victim) without interference or if the Presidink is visiting and they want a clear freeway for his motorcade

As for Tom's officer doing 35 in the minimum 45 left lane:  He was violating the minimum speed law of course
 

2006F350

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Posts
393
Location
Memphis TN
Naw, he was probably driving slow because he couldn't read the speed limit sign fast.

That goes hand-in-hand when leaving Dallas via I35E South (If that don't confuse you, your one up on me), where there is road construction. You see signs posted that say 'Power Lines Overhead' .... well, hell, the damned lines are about 30' up, so just what exactly is the purpose? .... if it's to inform the day laborers working on the road, odds are that they can't read the signs anyway, so again, whats the purpose?

Gotta love Texas
 

blueblood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Posts
1,082
Running radar on approaching traffic is usual reason - don't want to cover too much distance too quickly and of course don't want flashers to alert. He expected to be past on inside.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

Site Team
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
2,985
Location
Camp Verde, AZ
2006F350 said:
.....That goes hand-in-hand when leaving Dallas via I35E South (If that don't confuse you, your one up on me), where there is road construction. You see signs posted that say 'Power Lines Overhead' .... well, hell, the damned lines are about 30' up, so just what exactly is the purpose? .... if it's to inform the day laborers working on the road, odds are that they can't read the signs anyway, so again, whats the purpose?

Humans by nature do not look up. Get up on the roof of your RV sometime and just watch people walking by. I bet not one in ten will ever know you're up there.

The signs are for safety! The signs are meant to jog the memory of heavy equipment operators that there are "Power Lines Overhead". Think of a semi dump trailer or crane. If the semi driver was dumping material along there with his bed up in the air, his attention would be on dumping the material, obstacles on the ground and other things. The signs are there to remind him that there are wires overhead in this area of the construction and that he needs to be carefull.
 

blueblood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Posts
1,082
Karl said:
Leo,I think that's a bit of a reach. Besides the lack of turnarounds to actually catch a speeder, he posed more of a traffic hazard than someone going over the speed limit.

Turnarounds in median on grass or whatever are very common; they don't look for a paved or graded turnaround.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,833
Karl said:
Just curious - was it local (Dallas PD), County (Sheriff), or State (Highway Patrol)?

TX state trooper.
 

Woody

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
917
Karl said:
Leo,I think that's a bit of a reach. Besides the lack of turnarounds to actually catch a speeder, he posed more of a traffic hazard than someone going over the speed limit.


Not as much as you think Karl. Unless there is a physical barrier in the median he can make his "flip" just about anywhere he wants. I used to teach the procedure at the Academy.

Woody
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,104
Location
Davison Michigan
2006F350 said:
Naw, he was probably driving slow because he couldn't read the speed limit sign fast.

That goes hand-in-hand when leaving Dallas via I35E South (If that don't confuse you, your one up on me), where there is road construction. You see signs posted that say 'Power Lines Overhead' .... well, hell, the damned lines are about 30' up, so just what exactly is the purpose? .... if it's to inform the day laborers working on the road, odds are that they can't read the signs anyway, so again, whats the purpose?

The real reason for those signs is so when some idiot crane operator slaps his boom into the line and electrocutes himself to a crisp the company can say "Well we put up warning signs, what more can we do" and not have to pay millions to the lawyers and a few thousand to his family.  That's the real reason for those signs.  Reading them is up to the worker.

Of course where I'm parked now I do not have to worry about wires when I put up my main ham antenna

And my next parking I'll have even less to worry about overhead wires

But the main no trees/baloon antenna does go up about somewhere between 30 and 40 feet
 
Top Bottom