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Old 09-14-2013, 08:38 AM   #29
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In truth, it'd make my job easier. We do "assisted parking," and a few of them I simply park myself at the owner's request. Folks think that it's a service we provide. Well, it is, but a great deal of it is also enlightened self interest: It ain't cheap/fun to repair or replace infrastructure damaged by a poor backer.

But back to law enforcement. Reading through this thread, it reminds me again why we avoid interstates and cities like the plague while towing.


Originally Posted by panheaddale View Post
Not just airstream but any trailer. It kills me to go to the lake and sit there and watch someone take 15 min to back down a 50ft boat ramp. But hey if you can drive forward you need to be able to back up as well. It really is not that hard people.Still think it should be a requirement.

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Old 09-14-2013, 11:15 AM   #30
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I commute regularly on a motorcycle in SF Bay area traffic, and that's quite a contrast to driving our F250 pulling the Airstream, but with both there's a method to the madness.

Driving in heavy traffic is a dance.. and I would much rather drive in heavy commute traffic than heavy weekend traffic; there are far too many people on the weekends who don't understand how to drive in traffic.

In the Airstream, I maintain as constant a speed as possible, accelerate and brake if possible at a moderate rate, and in general serve as a slow moving road obstruction. Other drivers will flit around me; that's ok.
I will maintain larger following distances than most drivers like - but I know that while they might be able to stop in 120 feet from 60 mph with their sport tires, our truck and Airstream will definitely need more room.

We're all trying to get where we're going - no one wants an accident, and no one is trying to piss you off. Yes, some people need less space between them and you than you might like, but so long as everyone is paying attention, things will work out ok.

Wrt law enforcement, I used to wonder why they didn't patrol more heavily... and then I see the effect of even a single traffic stop on the backup. So the police wisely refrain from policing heavily during commute times here - and traffic flows more smoothly as a result. Yes, sometimes people drive 75 mph in 55 mph sections.... but there are no accidents, so most people are happy.

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Old 09-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #31
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The Colorado State Troopers only do traffic law enforcement and accident investigations. They used to be called the Highway Patrol, but they got the legislature to change the name some years ago because Trooper sounds cool and trooper hats are even cooler (I'm not making this up).

When we lived on the Front Range, they were on the expressways and they were known for speed traps and nothing else. When the legislature refused to increase their budget, they started helping people who had car trouble (the original reason for a highway patrol) and they ran fewer speed traps. If you are in an accident, they have to do the investigation; the locals can't. In a rural areas you may wait a few hours for a state Trooper to get to you. I see more state cops in Colorado than any state around here, but generally not outside of urban areas and a few major highways—interstates and major ones like US 50.

I think traffic enforcement behaviors are affected by lots of factors—
1. As Pro' said, they want to keep traffic moving in urban areas.
2. Perception—a cop in a rural area stands out, in urban areas they are hard to see in a sea of cars.
3. They are busy with accidents and, especially with recent budget cuts, there are not many of them.
4. Giving speeding tickets is easy. Easy to do, easy to prove in court, backed up by a machine that says what the speed is (same with DUI—also a machine with a number). Other violations are more a matter of judgment and harder to prove.

We've all seen crazy drivers and it amazes me how they seem not to get caught, but maybe we don't see when they are caught.


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Old 09-15-2013, 10:34 AM   #32
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Here's the real deal. I am retired California Highway Patrol, worked in both metro LA and rural California. I would typically make on average 20 to 25 traffic stops per shift along with the assorted accident reports and criminal arrests thrown into the mix. California is a huge state and we averaged about 8000 officers statewide, probably 6500 were on patrol the rest were in the office or special assignment. A typical field office will have, depending on size and density, from 4 to 10 units per shift, each officer assigned to a specific "beat". Some of those beats will be a square mile or tens of square miles, covering hundreds of miles of roadway. A person driving in a vehicle along the highway will only see an officer that is stopped at an accident or performing a traffic stop only when they pass. You never see the patrol cars while patroling unless you are next to them or god forbid it is in your rearview. Officers have a lot of area to cover and rest assured they are out there doing what they can do to make what little impact they can. There are alot of crazy and inexperienced drivers out there and pulling a trailer you get to experience all of them. My advice would be avoid metro areas if at all possible and practice safe driving and maintain distance between your vehicle and others all of the time and please, DON'T TEXT or use a cell phone while driving. Pass the word.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:05 AM   #33
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I have a lot of admiration for Highway Patrol Officers. When I worked as a State Park Ranger at the beach parks north (west really) of Santa Barbara I got to know a few. They would come into the park to relax a little bit, which they really needed to do. Even in those days their job was filled with tension ad stress. Horrible accidents, anticipation at every stop.

I really felt for them. I was actually a peace officer also, but I would spend my time telling people to leash their dogs on the beach and leading nature walks. Not too many rowdies in the parks in those days.

I'm an Airstream newbie. My plan is to go slow, pay attention - and try to not let the idiots bother me too much.

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Old 09-15-2013, 11:08 AM   #34
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I am a retired Police Officer. Been retired 9 years now and am loving it. The slogan for my department was " More with Less". Less money, fewer officers means more work load that all need to suck it up and do. So that's what we're seeing pretty much everywhere these past years. I guess we need to just get used to it cause it's not gonna change any time soon. Regarding driving with my AS in tow ( or anything else for that matter ) I had seen a bumper sticker a long time ago saying, " I may be slow but I'm ahead of you ": That's how I tow and if someone doesn't like it, too bad. I'm no slow poke but I make my own way however I feel is best for the conditions.
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
I had seen a bumper sticker a long time ago saying, " I may be slow but I'm ahead of you ":
I have no problem with someone towing slow. When I tow my toad, I'm limited by the toad's owner's manual to 65mph or less, lest I risk transmission damage that would cost a whole lot more than I'm willing to pay for an extra few mph of speed.

But the bumper sticker is symptomatic of the problem. "I may be slow but I'm ahead of you." If only people would learn, the interstate highway system is not NASCAR. We all want to get where we're going. Doesn't matter who's ahead, who's behind, or who gets there first. There's no checkered flag at the end of the trip.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #36
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I've worked with cops, defended clients from them, met quite a few others. Some are good, some are not. Especially suspect are small town and small county cops. They don't get paid much and don't stay because they are looking for a better job all the time. Training can be spotty and oversight is not always good. Some get swelled heads with the power they have. Some are righteous and condescending. The younger, poorly paid ones are not all that mature and have little guidance from more mature officers. A lot don't stay in law enforcement because the pay is bad and better jobs are scarce.

These are the guys you never want to run into, especially literally. These are the ones who treat traffic cases as major felonies, threaten people, pull their guns on people without good cause and get nasty. This is a tough job requiring intelligence and calmness.

Things have changed, mostly since the 1960's. I see law enforcement getting tougher and tougher with people and more and more things criminalized. It may have started with the late '60's uproar over Vietnam and cultural issues. I remember cops being a lot different before then. Now they appear defensive and that creates a barrier between everyone else and them, thus worsening things.

I haven't been stopped for anything since the 55 speed limit was scrapped. I looked at that as a special tax on driving. My wife was stopped about 10 years ago and there was no safe place to pull over. She hadn't being speeding or doing anything, but he saw her go past as he finished with someone else, didn't have a radar reading (he wasn't in his car and the radar was off). He was nasty about her not pulling over soon enough—she was trying to be safe. It was Texas hill country with short line of sight on the road and little berm. She didn't get a ticket because he didn't have anything. What was that about? Was it because we were from another state? It used to be you got out of your car, now if you do, the officer acts like you are about to strangle him according to what I have read. I see cops being unnecessarily nasty to people when they are trying to enforce some sort of limit at a fire or accident scene or make contact with people over a minor situation. And I watch how cops drive (especially in Denver in my experience)—more than a few don't seem to have turn signals, don't seem to know how to drive any better than a teenager with his first car, and speed without cause. If that is the example they set, how can we expect young people to do any better?

A lot of things have changed over my lifetime. As I said, there are good people working as cops, but there has been a major attitude shift oner the last generation plus too many poorly paid and trained cops. I don't know why anyone would want to be a cop. I have to ask if the profession is attracting the wrong people nowadays? I have seen a lot of lousy and dangerous drivers—that has always been true (they are always in some state we don't live in it seems), but courteous law enforcement by calm cops who drive within the law is part of the thing.

Perhaps I will now get flamed.


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Old 09-15-2013, 08:15 PM   #37
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Relax. All the bad drivers are moving to Texas... At least those with enough talent to find their way out of your town. As for those left behind, good luck.

I liked Gallagher's approach.

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