29 Aug

My daily commute to work is generally pretty easy.  Long, but easy.

Most of the time, in our race to get home, the cars move along at a pretty decent pace.  We have our speed-limit-ers in the right lane, our just-over-the-speed-limit-ers in the middle lane, our daring-the-cops-by-going-just-under-10-over-ers in the fast lane (that’s me), and your get-the-heck-outta-my-way-ers, who weave in and out of all lanes in order to get to the front of the pack.

Our normal race home looks like this – maybe a little pushy, but for the most part we just trek along at a similar pace.

The past few months the construction zone near the river has forced a slow start… but as soon as the work limit ends, we punch it, and head to our respective lanes.

This time, however, the leaders didn’t take off as expected.

I looked ahead to see what was keeping us from achieving our happy pace.

Crap. It was a cop, or as I like to think of it:  “The pace car”.

Oh how I hate the pace car.

Actually it’s not the pace car so much.  It’s the way people behave around the pace car.

No one dares go around.  Instead they pile up around him, pretending to be law abiding citizens.


Some even go below the limit it to avoid passing him, all in the effort to deceive.

Do they really think it’s better to tail him?  To inch along bumper to bumper, weaving in and out of lanes, impatiently waiting for him to exit thereby waving the green flag?

I’m sure the cop’s loving it.  I have no doubt he’s looking in his review mirror laughing at all of us piled up behind him. Waiting.

Just before he exits, I imagine him calling his cop friends 5 miles ahead, informing them to ready their radars.  He knows that as soon as he’s gone, we all will sling shot ourselves ahead.

If I hadn’t been stuck in the pile-up,  I’da passed him right away.

He knows we don’t do the speed limit.  He’s not going to stop us for going a few miles over it.   And it’s not illegal to pass someone. To me, it’s worse to fly up on him, then slam the breaks and act like you weren’t speeding.

I’d have avoided eye contact of course, and I would have waited until I was sure to be free of his radar (and the cop that could be waiting ahead’s radar,) before I went back to my just-under-10-over pace. That seems a little too daring to do in front of a cop – even for me.

So are you a pretender, a passer or *gasp* a real law abiding citizen?


Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Commute, Mustang


Tags: , , , ,

12 responses to “Yellow-Flagged

  1. towardshealthylife

    August 29, 2012 at 7:15 am

    loll, I think I am a real law abiding citizen and if I would not have to go over the limit I would passed the cop 😉

    • shadowrun300

      August 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      I guess it depends on the situation. To keep the flow of traffic going, sometimes you need to go around. To me, it’s more dangerous to hit the brakes on an interstate and pile up together.
      Off the interstate, or on a two lane road, I would never pass a cop. I’m daring, but not dumb. 🙂

  2. Rock Chef

    August 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

    As a cyclist I am a totally law abiding citizen – my life tends to rely on others at least trying!

    One problem that we have over here is that there are speed cameras dotted around the place – if you speed past ome of these it sends you a fine in the post. These cameras are flagged up by satnav systems, so as people approach them they suddenly slow down, often with predictable results…

    • shadowrun300

      August 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      My hubby often rides his bike along the back highways around here, and he comments on how scary it is, wondering if the drivers are paying attention.
      I feel the need to defend myself a little bit. When I am in town, in construction zones etc., I am all about abiding the law. But on the open interstate, I set my cruise for about 8 over the limit, and hang out in the middle lane. The cops tend to leave me alone – I think they are more concerned with the ones that do 15-20 miles over the limit.
      We’re getting more and more of the cameras in this area too. Especially in construction zones. I think it’s great – too many tragedies happen if people don’t slow down and remain cautious.

  3. Abby

    August 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I’m in Rock Chef’s camp. I prefer to ride the bicycle, so I *hope* I’m sharing the road with law abiders! Plus, since I’m all “traffic authority”, I feel I should behave.

    When I’m driving, I mostly abide because it’s better for the car and I’m all about seeing if I can get a gajillion miles out of the thing before it dies. If there is a “pace car”, I treat it like any other car on the road and just keep going at my law-abiding speed, even if that means I pass it. The husband slams on the brakes when he sees a trooper. It’s like some auto-response with him. I remind him that nothing says “I was speeding just now” to a trooper than brake lights suddenly a-flashing!

    • shadowrun300

      August 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Yeah – I guess that’s how I feel about all the drivers piled up behind him. Nothing makes you look more guilty than that. And I treat a pace car as I would another any other doing-exactly-the-speed-limit driver, I pass him. 🙂 Not recklessly, of course, but if I’m cruising a few mph over, I continue on my way. Luckily, we don’t see any bicyclists on the interstate. Or school crossings. And I’ve already mentioned I do the required 45mph or less in construction zones…
      You make a good point about getting a gajillion miles out of a car. It’s true that you get better tire mileage and gas mileage if you do 65, and anything more than that actually lowers it. And as many miles as I put on a day, I suppose I should take that into consideration. Especially with gas prices so high.
      I wonder how long it would take me to bike to work…..

  4. agg79

    September 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I’d probably be behind you waiting for the cop/pace car to clear. I “try” to be a good, law abiding citizen (key word is try), but I also will tend to flow with whatever the pack is doing to keep from being run over (or run over someone). I tend to drive defensively – assuming the other driver is crazy/wacko and I need to avoid them as much as possible. I’ve been stuck in traffic going 35 mph on the freeway, cut off by that egomaniac in the overpriced BMW, tailgated by Bubba in his F250, and almost sideswiped by Sally Sunshine while she was talking on her phone. I’m like you – I prefer the open road with the traffic BEHIND me. The key to avoiding those sudden personal encounters with your favorite law enforcement officer is to make sure you have someone (or two) going faster playing blocker in front of you.

    • shadowrun300

      September 2, 2012 at 2:30 am

      I’m with you… driving defensively is a must, and sometimes it’s safer to speed up a little to keep the flow going. Too many break lights is hazardous. And when a cop’s around, there’s too many break lights, and they’re driving too close together. It’s safer to speed up a little and go around.
      Sally Sunshines are the worst, aren’t they? I think I would rather have Bubba on my tail. At least I know he’s focused on driving…

  5. territerri

    September 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I have to be honest. I’m a pretender. During rush hour, rarely is there a driver who drives the speed limit. If you do, you’re putting yourself in danger. I try to “speed within reason” (no more than 7 miles over the posted limit) but sometimes you get caught in the flow.

    • shadowrun300

      September 4, 2012 at 1:51 am

      Me too! “Speed within reason” and “go with the flow”. My thought is, if I can go by a sitting cop or pass a driving cop without feeling guilty and hittin’ the breaks, then I’m abiding the law. 🙂

  6. Jules

    September 8, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I think I’m just cautious. I don’t really have a speed that I go, but I go with the medium over-the-speed-limit crowd so that I”m not the fast one but I’m still going over the speed limit maybe 5 or mph. I figure if a cop comes along I should be okay since I’m not the one setting the pace.

  7. shadowrun300

    September 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I think that’s the general consensus – go with the flow. I must admit, sometimes I’m the pacesetter though. I feel comfortable around 7 or 8 over. To pass a cop, I go about 2 over… just slow enough to get around him. 😉


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