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Do you flash your lights to warn fellow motorists of a speed trap?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I learned of this tradition only about a year ago as a result of traveling the same rural road that happens to have a lot of speed traps.

The road is not residential (no kids around) is kept artificially low at 50 mph and no one travels at that speed so I think it's a good thing. I'd even call it heart warming, a form of mutual, altruistic civil disobedience.

BTW, what's the best signal to indicate you get the message from another motorist? I smile and wave.

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post #2 of 44
With all the road rage going on I would be afraid to do so here in Oregon. Flashing hedlights has many meanings and I am not going to assume that the other drivers onthe road are going to take the best meaning first, it just is not the case anymore.
NoahJ
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NoahJ
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post #3 of 44
I do, yes.

And I certainly appreciate it when others do it, since I like driving fast.
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post #4 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>With all the road rage going on I would be afraid to do so here in Oregon. Flashing hedlights has many meanings and I am not going to assume that the other drivers onthe road are going to take the best meaning first, it just is not the case anymore. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I hear ya brother. Usually here in Tree Hugger City, if you flash your lights, people think you want to pass their VW Bus and they intentially slow down, or flip you off or something. I'm not sure about that warning people thing. There was a huge speed trap a couple o' weeks ago (talking 10+ cops) on Hwy 26 which is the main highway going west of Portland (for those that don't know) and I was content to just go slow enough so I wouldn't get pulled over and everyone else would. I guess I'm not a nice person or something, but whatever.
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post #5 of 44
I do, but only if someone is not directly in front of me. Otherwise it's the responsibility of the front motorist to flash.
post #6 of 44
I've given that warning, but I don't make a point of doing it all the time. I don't believe the "urban legends" about some people trolling for trouble trying to make a "mark" of the first one to flash his/her headlights.

An amusing thing is people's behavior in the presence of a moving patrol car. Last week, on I-57, a sheriff created a traffic jam I got stuck in just by driving in the left lane at the speed limit. All the higher speed traffic caught up to his spot, and no one would go past him. As soon as he pulled through a turn around, the leaders of the pack took off. It was quite amusing.
post #7 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Gregg:
<strong>I've given that warning, but I don't make a point of doing it all the time. I don't believe the "urban legends" about some people trolling for trouble trying to make a "mark" of the first one to flash his/her headlights.

An amusing thing is people's behavior in the presence of a moving patrol car. Last week, on I-57, a sheriff created a traffic jam I got stuck in just by driving in the left lane at the speed limit. All the higher speed traffic caught up to his spot, and no one would go past him. As soon as he pulled through a turn around, the leaders of the pack took off. It was quite amusing.</strong><hr></blockquote>

It's funny when that happens. I can't help but laugh when I'm in that situation. It's a good tactic for the police to use though, it really enforces the law.
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post #8 of 44
I find it funny when people are going about 90mph and then they see a speed trap and hit the brakes like there was no tomorrow. Like the cop didn't already register his initial speed on his radar gun.
post #9 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>I do, yes.

And I certainly appreciate it when others do it, since I like driving fast. </strong><hr></blockquote>

And so do i, and thanks to the others drivers i never been caught in a speed trap (wish that my luck will continue for a while )
post #10 of 44
I always flash. Here in the DC area, the cops are completely out of hand. Not only do we have red light and speed cameras, but these pricks like to hide in a spot where the limit is ridiculously low and make their quota.

The new enemy is 'aggressive driving.' The gov't lumps most things into this category and uses it as an excuse to set endless speed traps. But most people don't know what 'aggressive' means.

As I sit behind the countless turds in oversized SUVs and minivans who cant remove the cell from their ear long enough to make a lane change, I see the real enemy. These people rarely signal and will usually 'drive' in the left lane, blocking traffic w/a self-righteous zeal.

Give me some turns to cut up or a stretch of open roads and I will drive my car like it was meant to be driven. But, I am a safe driver in traffic who signals, doesn't tail gait, or cut-off other cars. I do accelerate into a lane change, pass, and speed when I can. The turds mistake assertiveness for aggressiveness and usually get bent out of shape as I drive past them. Just the other day, some guy felt it necessary to hang out his window and scream at me when I passed him in the left lane...I had never come w/in 20' of his car.

Oh well, long answer to a short question. So, yes I do flash because I hope another DRIVER will return the favor.
post #11 of 44
Flashing headlights could mean different things depending on where you live. When I was in Hawaii, my an approaching car flashed his headlights to signal that he was going to yield to us as we made a left turn.

As for flashing headlights to indicate a speed trap...I hadn't heard of that until today.

And I always pass CHP cruisers here. They almost always go 5 MPH under the limit, and most people are just too chicken to challenge that pace.
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post #12 of 44
Here in Michigan the trucks flash lights to send a "clear" signal to each other. Like if a truck wants to pull infront of another the other truck would falsh his/her lights if the leading truck is clear and can pull in.
post #13 of 44
I flash my lights all the time, speed trap or no, just to slow down the speeding morons who cause so many accidents. I figure I'm doing my part to save lives.


I also drive the speed limit on one-lane roads and watch the road-ragers in their SUVs think they can tailgate me to make me go faster.
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post #14 of 44
Outsider is right about people's stupid knee-jerk reaction to seeing a cop on the side of the road (breaking hard). I'm always amazed that people can't figure out that

A)If the cop is standing outside the other vehicle, speaking to the driver, he's not going to know you're speeding when you pass by - much less jump into his car and pull you over.

B)If the patrol car is occupied but still sitting on the shoulder behind the last guy he pulled over, the cop is most likely not pointing his radar gun at anyone. More likely he's on his radio or finishing up with the ticket he just wrote.

C)If you pass a cop with your break lights are on and there's not someone immediately in front of you breaking, you're busted - whether they gunned you or not. Hence, breaking -- much more than speeding -- will get you a ticket when passing a stopped patrol car.

All that aside I usually give the oncoming traffic a flash if there's a cop hidden somewhere along the highway. Unless of course they're driving a Cadillac Escalade or a Toyota Sequoia or something equally retarded - then I let em get pulled over.

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

[ 07-10-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #15 of 44
greetings

there are places (i can think of a few in canada) where if you flash your lights to warn oncoming motorists of a speed trap YOU will be ticketed.

dunno if there's some whacked quota logic behind it... maybe the police figure they're entitled to bust folks and you're depriving them of their fun

but i have personally seen people get done for warning fellow drivers. no donut for that cop.

similarly, the police occassionally go after the radio stations that tip off commuters where the speed traps are (under the guise of comprimising a police investigation, IIRC). 'free' cell phone tip lines (specifically paid for by the radio stations) for drivers to advise where the radar van resides show interest in the 'service'

this in a region where, in the last two months, street racing by the maturity-challenged (is there any other kind) killed 3 innocent pedestrians and wiped out 2 entire families unfortunate enough to be in their own lane as some nitro-modified (but not for racing, really) nineteen year old tries to defy physics by T-boning their SUV at 100+.

death by some other idiot's driving is tragic
death by your own idiotic driving is darwin

p.s.
the only other comparable signal i've seen used to tip off traffic is to whirl your hand above the window as if it were a rotating light... not as obvious an attention-getter, but makes folks slow down while they try and guess what you meant or if you're just whoop whooping a la arsenio hall

might depend on the local sign language and habits
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post #16 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Nordstrodamus:
<strong>I learned of this tradition only about a year ago as a result of traveling the same rural road that happens to have a lot of speed traps.

The road is not residential (no kids around) is kept artificially low at 50 mph and no one travels at that speed so I think it's a good thing. I'd even call it heart warming, a form of mutual, altruistic civil disobedience.

BTW, what's the best signal to indicate you get the message from another motorist? I smile and wave.</strong><hr></blockquote>

No, I don't. Screw those who don't know how and where to get away with speeding.

 

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post #17 of 44
God, I hate pigs.

I'm not against the idea of police, but so many things cops do are completely against the law and are designed to screw over citizens so that the department can get revenue from fines. It's nice having friends in law school.

I do tend to flip my lights to warn of a speed trap. Since I have pop-ups, most people get a good idea that there's trouble ahead when I flip em.

As for the speed limit. Good grief. It should be advisory in this country, just like it is elsewhere. Hopefully the tracking computers designed for future cars will enable insurance companys to get speed information, thus eliminating the need for pointless speed limits.
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post #18 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Splinemodel:
<strong>God, I hate pigs.

I'm not against the idea of police, but so many things cops do are completely against the law and are designed to screw over citizens so that the department can get revenue from fines. It's nice having friends in law school.

I do tend to flip my lights to warn of a speed trap. Since I have pop-ups, most people get a good idea that there's trouble ahead when I flip em.

As for the speed limit. Good grief. It should be advisory in this country, just like it is elsewhere. Hopefully the tracking computers designed for future cars will enable insurance companys to get speed information, thus eliminating the need for pointless speed limits.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually speed limits in general are suggestions. They actually determine the speed limit of a street by finding an average speed at different times of the day. When the road is empty, of course people will go over it. That is expected and factored in. As long as you aren't going way of the limit and going the flow of traffic and not changing lanes to pass people, you won't get a ticket.

 

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post #19 of 44
[quote]Actually speed limits in general are suggestions.<hr></blockquote>

WTF!?

Ive been pulled for 10mph over...believe me, if common sense prevailed I would never received a ticket. But I was going over the posted speed. sp WHAM! Ive even been stopped(and searched) for going too slow (in a town house development!).

BRussell...I hope your joking. If not you are a serious dickhead. But, like I said, I dont tailgate. When Im stuck behind people like you, I just relax, wait for the right time, downshift, and watch you get smaller in my rear view.

Speed kills? Bullshit, bad drivers do.

<a href="http://www.speedtrap.com/" target="_blank">http://www.speedtrap.com/</a>
post #20 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Keda:
<strong>

WTF!?

Ive been pulled for 10mph over...believe me, if common sense prevailed I would never received a ticket. But I was going over the posted speed. sp WHAM! Ive even been stopped(and searched) for going too slow (in a town house development!).

BRussell...I hope your joking. If not you are a serious dickhead. But, like I said, I dont tailgate. When Im stuck behind people like you, I just relax, wait for the right time, downshift, and watch you get smaller in my rear view.

Speed kills? Bullshit, bad drivers do.

<a href="http://www.speedtrap.com/" target="_blank">http://www.speedtrap.com/</a></strong><hr></blockquote>

Btw I'm not BRussel. My BR stands for other things. I said in general. Either you were driving like an ass at 10 mph over or you got stuck with a jackass cop. However, 9 times out of 10 you will find that what I said does indeed apply.

 

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post #21 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Keda:
<strong>

WTF!?

Ive been pulled for 10mph over...believe me, if common sense prevailed I would never received a ticket. But I was going over the posted speed. sp WHAM! Ive even been stopped(and searched) for going too slow (in a town house development!).

BRussell...I hope your joking. If not you are a serious dickhead. But, like I said, I dont tailgate. When Im stuck behind people like you, I just relax, wait for the right time, downshift, and watch you get smaller in my rear view.

Speed kills? Bullshit, bad drivers do.

<a href="http://www.speedtrap.com/" target="_blank">http://www.speedtrap.com/</a></strong><hr></blockquote>

I'm not old enough to drive, but it is common in the DC area to flash headlights.

Keda, I agree with you. It is bad drivers, those who can't keep their phone out of their ear for more than one minute, that cause accidents.

BUT...there is one other cause of accidents that hasn't been addressed yet: absurdly slow drivers. Especially the elderly. They drive really slowly and cautiously, but they are just asking for an accident. I think that Smooth Operator should be extended to cover slow drivers too.
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post #22 of 44
Speed Limits? There's no speed limits on the autobahn. What are you talking about?

Oh, sorry. I forgot-- the States.

I started flashing my headlights years ago in the States, after I saw truckers doing it. I'm all for helping others out.

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post #23 of 44
BR I think Keda was referring to BRussels post about going the posted speed limits on one lane roads, and holding up speeders. Which, while satisfying, is not a very good idea. I've seen the-determined-to-speed take outrageous chances on dangerous roads like Mullholland Dr. because they felt the car in front of them wasn't going fast enough. If that car is me, I'd rather just pull over. The a$$hole may cream another motorist coming in the next lane. I don't need that baggage in my life, thanks.
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post #24 of 44
IIRC, Nevada(? and a few other US states) used to have a law making radar detectors illegal (maybe still do) and for a while in California police Radar itself was considered illegal - invasion of privacy or unconstitutional search, i think.

I recall a story from California during this period where a police officer decided to 'spook' motorists into thinking there was radar by pointing a hairdryer out his parked cruiser window. If memory serves he got suspended.

now slow down or i'll give you '80s hair!
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post #25 of 44
Do yourself a favor and buy a Valentine One.

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post #26 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Keda:
<strong>BRussell...I hope your joking. If not you are a serious dickhead. But, like I said, I dont tailgate. When Im stuck behind people like you, I just relax, wait for the right time, downshift, and watch you get smaller in my rear view.

Speed kills? Bullshit, bad drivers do.

<a href="http://www.speedtrap.com/" target="_blank">http://www.speedtrap.com/</a></strong><hr></blockquote>I think it's funny that people who drive too fast think THEY'RE the good drivers.

"Watch me, I can go so fast because I'm a GOOD driver! All you drivers who use blinkers when you change lanes and use your mirrors and stay a proper distance away from other cars and go the speed limit, you must be BAD drivers because you drive so defensively!"

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

Sorry, you're the people who cause accidents. Accidents are caused by morons who watch nascar and so think they're "good" enough to bend the rules.

I don't know about whether speed or "bad driving" kills. I thought there were pretty clear studies that showed more deaths associated with higher speeds. But I do think that some people define "bad driving" as people who follow the rules and drive defensively, and they hold themselves as superior and not needing the rules.

I was joking though about flipping my headlights. I've never seen a radar trap in Montana anyway.

But part of my ranting comes from the fact that I ride a bicycle to work, and you really get a better view of how dangerous bad drivers are when you're on a bike.

BTW, I live in the only state in the US that has had no numerical speed limit. It was declared unconstitutional a few years ago because it was too vague.
post #27 of 44
Just a different point of view. I used to flash my lights until I heard a radio guy say something eariee. He said "What if you flash your lights at someone and they are just commited some horrible crime (like killing someone or molesting some child) and because you flashed your lights they slowed down and just avoided a getting pulled over and potentially arrested. They could have been escaped prison convicts or other fugitives. You just never know who your helping". I'd rather not take the chance of having something else on my head. I have a little girl (3 years old) and I kind of feel like I'm doing my part in protecting her. I get ticketed as much as the next guy and hate it, but I think it's worth the small price in fines to keep villians in jail and the dangerous motorist off the road. Just imagine, it's a friday night, you pass a speed trap, you go over the next hill and flash the pickup truck heading toward you. The drunk driver at the wheel slows down and escapes the speed trap. Up ahead he runs a red light and hits a school bus full of kids coming home from a friday night football game. Too bad they couldn't escape the way he did. This COULD happen and DOES happen. So I say, better keep your lights to yourself and let the guilty pay the fine...not the innocent.
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post #28 of 44
I got you all beat on being pulled over.

My mother was pulled over 3 times in an hour.

First time was 72 in a 55.

Second was 67 in a 55

Last (and I'm not joking) was 56 in a 55 zone.
post #29 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by tmp:
<strong>BR I think Keda was referring to BRussels post about going the posted speed limits on one lane roads, and holding up speeders. Which, while satisfying, is not a very good idea. I've seen the-determined-to-speed take outrageous chances on dangerous roads like Mullholland Dr. because they felt the car in front of them wasn't going fast enough. If that car is me, I'd rather just pull over. The a$$hole may cream another motorist coming in the next lane. I don't need that baggage in my life, thanks.</strong><hr></blockquote>I know I'm not going to go 55 in a 35 just to make some soccer mom high on Starbucks in an Explorer happy. If I'm going 35, I won't speed up for her. She can slow down and tailgate me all she wants.

But you're probably right. Just pull over and let 'em go. You're a better man than me. I guess if someone seemed particularly deranged that's what I'd do too. But not as a rule.
post #30 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:
<strong>I got you all beat on being pulled over.

My mother was pulled over 3 times in an hour.

First time was 72 in a 55.

Second was 67 in a 55

Last (and I'm not joking) was 56 in a 55 zone.</strong><hr></blockquote>

That last one should have been thrown out. Even a cruise control could not guarantee perfect 55 all the time.
NoahJ
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post #31 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

That last one should have been thrown out. Even a cruise control could not guarantee perfect 55 all the time. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Hey man, just some friendly advice for you. The po-po (police) here in PDX ticket you for crap like that too, so watch out. One time my dad was in an exit only lane on HWY 217 and he didn't signal (because it was an exit only lane) and he got a $170 ticket (I was with him, not fun).
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post #32 of 44
I got back from Costa Rica, and this is a standard over there. At first, I thought I was doing something wrong, but then I noticed there were cops, and road hazards around the next turn. MOST AMERICANS DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE! :eek: If someone is driving slow in the fast lane in C.R, they honk, but they always wave when they pass by. Nobody is mean or angry. In Germany, you don'tdrive in the fast lane. In America, you own the road and drive like you want. (To hell with everyone else)

So yea, I alert others about cops, but I don't think they understand. (With all the honking and everything) <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />

I don't know if they have the same kind of speed traps where all of you live, but around here the traps are embedded into the road. They are 2 squarish sencer wires carved into the road on every major road, and one every mile on every freeway. There are also photo sensors at very popular intersections. Those really make me mad.

[ 07-11-2002: Message edited by: Ebby ]</p>
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post #33 of 44
[quote] Sorry, you're the people who cause accidents. Accidents are caused by morons who watch nascar and so think they're "good" enough to bend the rules.<hr></blockquote>

Bend them?...nah, break 'em. Seriously, I think speed limits were initially made in an attempt to save gas and lives. But, things have changed.

Now they have become a tool for the gov't to make $$ and pry into your life. Major highways (like 95 in the East) were designed to support cruising speeds of 85-90mph. This was in a time when car suspension was basically the same as that used on covered wagons. Today those same roads can easily and safely be driven at over 100mph. Of course, I don't advocate cruising along at 100, but I don't think it coincidence that the average speed on highways is @75. When large groups of people are cruising that fast, it is because hey have found the 'natural speed' of the road.

Also consider the fact that many roads have speed limits set much lower than the natural speed and the excessive enforcement of these limits by the cops. It is a revenue generating mechanism.

In recent years, laws have been changes to make it much easier for the police to search your car and person after a traffic stop. There was a time when I was searched at least once a month (I had long hair). Besides 'profiling,' there was NEVER any justification for the searches. In the incident I originally referred to (pulled for going too slow), I was handcuffed and made to stand at the back of the car while the cops called backup and searched my vehicle. I hadn't been a wise-ass or done anything 'suspicious.'

I think it is possible to drive assertively and defensively. But, add 'aggressive' to either of those words and you have a problem. The self-righteous types who take on the responsibility of enforcing speed limits by driving slow in the 'fast lane' only make the road more dangerous. Speed limits should be set with common sense in mind, not dollars.

BTW, I do consider myself a good driver. I have been professionally trained, auto-x, and semi-regularly get out on the track. You might be surprised what a good car is capable of. Also NASCAR sucks. Why watch a bunch a guys drive in a circle? Want to see a race, find a good road coarse w/real curves.

///M Power
post #34 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Keda:
<strong>///M Power </strong><hr></blockquote>



I... don't think I can add much to this topic.

I've many times proposed the idea that there should be 2 speed limits: one for SUVs that can barely handle going 80 and another for, oh, say, fastlittlegermansportscars. *cough*

Oh, Spline's in here. Japanese, too.

The problem is that, if you've got a lot of morons with poorly inflated tires, 80+ gets dangerous. Frankly, with the floaty feel of most suspensions, i wouldn't feel safe driving at over 80 mph, just because it doesn't feel *safe*.

I got pulled over by a cop for doing 56 in a 35, when i had just litereally pulled out onto the road less than 500 feet back. Absolutely impossible, save if I had done some wild drop-clutch starsky & hutch type start, for me to have been going that fast that quickly.

'Moving Radar' is the bane of my existence. Just yesterday I was on I-70 going into Baltimore, cruising in the left lane, going about 80ish. Police car came along on the other side of the road, sees the little pack of 3 cars that i'm in on the other side, turns on his lights and juices it to get to one of the turnarounds. Luckily, there's an exit *right* there so i floor it and roar off onto some back roads before he can see where I went.


So, in summary, **** tha police. ;D
post #35 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

That last one should have been thrown out. Even a cruise control could not guarantee perfect 55 all the time. </strong><hr></blockquote>

She got the second two tossed out. The cops that day were the local county cops and not the State cops. It was Maryland too. The cops there are assholes on the hiways.
post #36 of 44
Here in Ireland they've done away with radar guns and are now using laser speed tracking guns which are also connected to a video camera.
I can tell you that these babies have a much longer range than the old radar devices and are much more accurate.
Not only can they tell you exactly what speed you were doing but they have a still video clip as evidence!
yes, we still flash the other road users to warn them but these new things are so portable that a bike cop can stand out of sight and still catch you, so you may not even see the speed trap 'till your actually past it
post #37 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
I think it's funny that people who drive too fast think THEY'RE the good drivers.
...
<hr></blockquote>

In Germany there are many bad driver that go very fast. Maybe they think they're Michael Schumacher, but I've been blown away by cars going 120+mph in the rain.

Doing 150+mph is not uncommon, and yet there's no carnage on the highway. Grandmothers in Golfs do a pokey 90 mph on the freeway here.

Speed does not kill. Stupidity kills.
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post #38 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by Jonathan:

'Moving Radar' is the bane of my existence. Just yesterday I was on I-70 going into Baltimore, cruising in the left lane, going about 80ish. Police car came along on the other side of the road, sees the little pack of 3 cars that i'm in on the other side, turns on his lights and juices it to get to one of the turnarounds. Luckily, there's an exit *right* there so i floor it and roar off onto some back roads before he can see where I went.

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I'll swap my Honda with your M3, so you can be less conspicuous. They get bad gas mileage anyway.
Die Grüne Hölle - Gute Fahrt
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Die Grüne Hölle - Gute Fahrt
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post #39 of 44
Moogs, it amazes me that people can't figure out how to be sneaky. If you're speeding, set your cruise control. If you see a cop, stand on that "coast" button to slow yourself down. Stay off the brakes. sheesh! If you got shot before you saw the cop, you're dead meat anyway.
post #40 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by GardenOfEarthlyDelights:
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I'll swap my Honda with your M3, so you can be less conspicuous. They get bad gas mileage anyway.</strong><hr></blockquote>


M3's gone... insurance was a BITCH, and things started going wrong...

just a plane-jane 328 for now. still white, though
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