It was raining a lot today, but this at least meant it wasn’t freezing and so I decided to get out the new waterproofs and go to work on the bike. Do you know that feeling you get when you realize that the waterproofs are not exactly living up to their name, that first sensation of moistness in one area of your body that should not be moist, as long as you are toilet trained that is? Well, 10 minutes into my ride I got that, and it continued to spread. I was not a happy bunny and that grumpiness only got worse when I arrived at work. You see, I am a teacher and I had to stand in front of a class of 14 year olds with a wet crotch…they are not a forgiving crowd! Needless to say, they are being returned, especially because on the way home the zip broke.
Anyway, last time I talked about strange laws, this time how about I chat about what not to do and what to do when / if you get stopped?
Picture the scene, you are riding down the road going slightly too fast when from nowhere a policeman appears and pulls you over. What happens next is not really up to you, but what you do next does influence the outcome of this scenario.
As with all social interaction a little empathy goes a long way, and being stopped by the police is no different. Think about it, they are just doing a job and like in any job you are going to get great people and assholes. Sometimes, depending on your first impression, the asshole to one person, can be great to you, all it takes is a little understanding.
First things first, if you get off your bike screaming in fury and protesting your innocence then most likely they will throw the book at you. However if you calmly get off, take off your crash helmet and smile then things will be getting off to a good start. The policeman will relax and so will you and from there you can proceed. If it is a fair stop, and you are not going to contest it in court, then why not just admit that they got you fair and square. Don’t be cocky about it, and don’t be nervous, just pretend that you are down the pub and you are buying a beer to pay for a bet you lost. Stay polite, don’t start telling them how to do their job, “Shouldn’t you be out catching real criminals?” is never going to be a helpful thing to say.
You are probably going to get a ticket!
Most cops have a threshold for charging you, all are different because they are personal, but if you can get them to think that you are a decent person who isn’t a serial offender , then you have a better than average chance of getting off a minor offence. I know, I have just managed to do it today, and he didn’t ask me to take off my waterproofs thank god!
Sudden thought; these days it is also a very good idea not to do anything rash or sudden, cops are very aware that they could be targets and so it is understandable that they might be a little jumpy. Reaching inside your jacket and pulling out your kids water pistol really is not a good idea…really!