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Zaku's avatar

What kind of traffic officer would you be?

Asked by Zaku (26594points) September 16th, 2009

Imagine you were a police officer assigned to auto traffic (and/or parking) enforcement duty, and you were allowed to exercise a lot of personal discretion about how you did it (which laws you’d enforce, how you’d talk to people, whom you’d give a break and why). How would you be about it? How do you wish the police would be about it?

If you ARE a traffic officer, what’s it been like for you, and/or how do you wish it were?

(Evelyn’s Pet Zebra inspired this question with her reply to the question about whether as a traffic cop you’d give breaks on tickets to people with organ donor labels on their licenses.)

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19 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Never thought about it – I’d hate the job. I wouldn’t give too many breaks.

sandystrachan's avatar

It would cause alot of unwanted trouble and hassle , if you started to let some people off . There for i would be the pain in the ass and ticket everyone for everything ( within the law ) Respect my authoritah

markyy's avatar

One without a job. I wouldn’t give out to many tickets and as far as I know traffic officers that don’t hit their targets will be fired.

Judi's avatar

I’d be the one who would quit the first week. I don’t get much thrill in exerting power, and it seems like a pretty boreing job to me. Who wants to spend their life listening to excuses and having people be afraid of them. Yuck.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Judi ha, my mother would!

Darwin's avatar

Police work is generally incredibly boring, with a very few brief moments of stark terror. I would probably issue citations as I was supposed to until I found a different job.

A friend of mine switched to the Traffic division so he could be home for his kids after school because he was a single dad. He was shot to death by a man he stopped for speeding.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Darwin, that and the rampant alcoholism is the reason I never wanted to be a cop.

whatthefluther's avatar

To keep your job, your going to need to meet a quota. I wouldn’t be the type to loiter around an expiring meter to issue a citation, unless I found I needed to do so to meet my quota and keep my job. See ya….Gary/wtf

deni's avatar

I would not be on the job long because I would feel bad giving out tickets. I would only give them out to those who are putting other people in danger with erratic driving. I suppose pulling people over for speeding is supposed to discourage speeding and therefore prevent accidents, but I think most of the time if someone is doing 50 in a 35, MOST people are doing 50 in that 35, so you’re gonna have to sort of randomly pick one person out of the bunch, and that would suck.

Yesterday I almost saw a head on collision because a cop blew threw a red light with his lights on, then turned them off and turned into the nearest gas station. They do that all the time, and it pisses me off.

drClaw's avatar

I’d kill myself. Worst job ever IMO.

brinibear's avatar

I could never do that. I hate getting pulled over, and if I were just going to switch just for one day, I personally would find all the off duty cops that pulled me over, just to find some reason to ticket them. But other than that, I wouldn’t do it.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, there are plenty of people out there who do very hazardous things on the road, I would only ticket them. I would never pull someone over for going 5 mph over the speed limit (which just happened to my husband). And, lead by example. I hate when I see cops excessively speeding, not using signals before turns, not putting on their lights during the rain, all sorts of crap that make me think they never went to driving school.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@JLeslie what drives me crazy is seeing cops talking on their cell phones while driving. It pisses me off when I see truckers doing it, too, because they should know better.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Rigid enforcement and stiff fines for poor lane discipline.

Rigid enforcement and stiff fines for following to closely.

Rigid enforcement and stiff fines for improper lane change.

Rigid enforcement of new strict bumper height restrictions.

Flyer cars with oversize wheels with literature explaining the concept of unsprung weight.

Zen's avatar

I’d be really good as I’m very responsible and hate traffic violators. I want to team up with @Noel_S_Leitmotiv.

sccrowell's avatar

I wrote this for a very very good friend mine.

There once was a man,
Not so long ago.
Who loved his job,
And the roads he patroled.

The badge on his chest,
And the stripes down his side.
He had on his uniform,
And wore them with pride.

Then one cold morning,
While doing his job.
He came upon a truck,
That had crashed in the fog.

As his partner ran lighting
And setting the flares.
A truck that was speeding,
KILLED my friend Jer.

Their job is to protect us,
Yet, at no certain time.
While saving our lives,
They put theirs on the line.

REMEMBER this always,
Because on some certain day,
It may be YOUR own life,
In which they have to save…

His name
Gerald (Jerry) Dormier
He died while saving the other driver on Christmas Morning.

His partner Jerry Bean called me on route to the hospital.
I wrote this poem then.

whatthefluther's avatar

@sccrowell…..I love you, sweetheart….Gary/wtf

john65pennington's avatar

I was a traffic officer for seven years. i did not issue a traffic citation to each person i stopped. i would first hear their story for the violation they have just committed. i would then run a computer record check for outstanding warrants. if everything looked okay and the violator had a good attitude, i would make my determination at that time. my average is 80% issuing citations and negative 20%. no traffic ticket quota were ever ordered to me by my department. this may occur in smaller police departments, but not mine. our salary was good enough that we did not have to abuse the public, just to get a raise.

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