We’ve all been there. Parked up at the side of the road with blue flashing lights filling the car as a uniformed officer strolls towards you. It’s an occupational hazard for a petrolhead, so we thought we’d ask you guys to tell us your own tales of run-ins with the law.
While participating in the Mongol Rally last year, I earned my fair share of police stories. From the friendly cops who weren’t too impressed with our attempts to navigate roadworks on the wrong side of the road at 1am in Slovakia, to the Ukrainian cops who simply saw British plates and politely requested financial compensation for the privilege of not arresting us. Then there were the wonderful cops of Kazakhstan; one chased us down like a man possessed, then forced a truck driver to turn around and buy us a watermelon (seriously), while another was shocked we’d never eaten horse and immediately drove us to his favourite restaurant to try some.
After reading your stories, I discovered that not all hilarious and interesting police-related stories come from eastern Europe, so here is a compilation of your cop story highlights…
“Ok well it involves a high school police officer if that counts. This was roughly four years ago.
“I got into school early driving my friend in my 1988 Trans Am and because no one was in the parking lot yet I decided it would be a great idea to do donuts. After enough donuts to the point I couldn’t see through the wall of smoke I stopped and let it clear. Looking straight forward I saw our school police officer and dean of students. I parked my car and they tried to have it towed, wanted to ticket me and wanted to take my space I had paid for. Unfortunately for them, when you buy your space you’re required to sign a rule book saying you understand the rules of the parking lot. I had been in the hospital so I hadn’t had a chance to sign it. They could do nothing but let me go.”
“Empty six-lane road in my local town at 1am. Was doing 120mph, turned off the road, headed home, then saw a car coming up on me pretty fast. Turns out to be a cop. Pulls me over, was cool from the very beginning. Complimented my STi, understood why I was speeding and continued to tell me about him street racing when he was young in his muscle car. Lectured me about speeding and told me he could impound my car and so forth, but ultimately just let me go. That day I had way more respect for cops. They aren’t all douches.
By Zack Frew.
“Got a ticket for a loud exhaust on my STi. Went to court a year later, saw the cop there, paid the ticket. The same cop pulled me over for my loud exhaust while I was leaving court.”
“I had just picked my wife up in her Miata in the late evening. We get some food to take home and hit the freeway. We get a couple of people wanting to race (a Honda and a Subaru) so I push to fourth gear, dump the clutch and run it to about 110mph. The Honda leaves and shortly thereafter the Subaru gets bored so we keep driving.
“I see a car pull up beside me and it’s a Ford Taurus. I’m only going 70mph (Arizona) but he honks three times so we go for it - 110, 115, 120mph - then the guy gets right behind me. So I think to myself he’s probably mad he just got beaten by a Miata; I should try to ditch him. So I get back up to 130mph but I see cars ahead, and I see a gap just big enough and I take it; the Ford was just too big.
“I keep at 130mph for two more miles until finally letting up a mile from my turn. I’m on the off ramp when I see the headlights coming up quick and tell my wife I’m about to get into a fight. The Ford throws on his lights so we pull over and all I can think is I’m about to lose my license. The cop gets my information and reads it, stares me down, takes it to his car, comes back and says “I understand what it’s like to be young but next time someone is trying to pass you just let them by. Here is your written warning.”
“Only by the grace of the car gods do I still have a license.”
“I drove onto an old military base with my friend one time during the night. Technically we were trespassing. After a while of driving on dark roads I saw a dirt path and I drove onto it. We came out onto this large concrete area. Turned out we were on the airstrip. Once we realised this, lights from a cop SUV shone on us. I lean out the window and ask, “Where’s the Denny’s?”
By Hawke Allen.
“So I’m French and living in France (yes that’s important for the story). Last year I bought a Miata N/A in the UK and brought it back home. (The car is right-hand drive when we have left-hand drive cars in France). When this happened I still had the UK plates on as the homologation process took longer than I thought, mainly because of me being lazy!
“So it was a Friday night, it was raining and I was coming home from a night out in a pub with friends. On my way home there are a few roundabouts I like to slide around in the wet so I did a few laps around them.
“After exiting the third one on my way home, I see police lights following me in the mirror. I thought to myself ‘that’s it I’m screwed, he’s going to impound the car, give me a few tickets and I’ll have to walk home.’ So the cops (there were three in the car) get out of their car and the first one goes to the left door (passenger side) and realises it’s a RHD car. So he asks his colleagues if anyone speaks English and they all say ‘no.’ He then walks around the car and comes to my door, and says in a terrible French accent: “Hello.”
“That’s when I answered in the best English accent I could pull off: “Good evening officer, how are you?” He just looked at me not knowing what to say for a few seconds and then just said “Go” and waved me to get going…
“I had a huge smile on my face for the rest of the drive home. Only later I realised that if that cop spoke English I would have been in even worse trouble!”
“Pulled over once for using tinted windows (forbidden in Bolivia). Didn’t have money for the fine and exchanged his silence for a haircut coupon… Have a nice day officer”
“I’d not long bought my RX8; on the way home from karate training I decided to turn the traction control off and demonstrate to myself what an awesome drifter I am.
“On the first roundabout I came to I spun, and had to pull into the nearest exit from the wrong direction to turn it around. As I pulled in, a pair of lights came towards me down that sliproad. Sod’s law, it was a police Discovery just heading out on patrol.
“We had a 30 second standoff while I waited for them to go past and they waited for me to finish turning around so they could pull me over.
“They pulled up alongside me and I rolled down the window and said with completely shrivelled bollocks “Where do you want me?” This was greeted with roaring laughter and followed by a number of the usual questions, including “is this your first RWD car?” I answered ‘yes,’ and there was more roaring laughter.
“Having had a good giggle at my expense they let me go on my way… for about 100 yards, then they pulled alongside me and gestured me to roll down my window. They told me to get the car to a garage because it’s running too rich. Needless to say, I didn’t try to explain to them that’s just how rotaries are. Drove home dead on the speed limit with my tail between my legs.”
“I was driving a friend home from dinner, I hadn’t seen her in a long time. We were in my 1993 Miata which I had had for a couple of months. When it came time to overtake a semitruck that was going 20mph under the speed limit, I downshifted to 3rd and started to overtake. Then, SNAP! It’s my timing belt.
“I had enough momentum to get to the side of the freeway and put my hazards on. Then it starts to rain; I’m in Los Angeles, and what is rain!? A few minutes later, a California Highway patrol car pulls up behind me and asks what happened. I told him that my timing belt snapped and I’m waiting for a tow truck. The officer told me and my friend to put on our seatbelts just in case a car crashes into us. So we did, the officer walked back to his car, then came back. He said “why don’t we push your car with our cop car over the hill? We can give you enough momentum to exit the freeway and park at a gas station.”
“So they pushed my car over the hill, they lit up their lights and blared their sirens. They blocked a couple of intersections so I could pass and didn’t have to stop. Eventually came to a stop at a 76 station. I thanked them and they went on their way. I didn’t get home till 4am, went to sleep and went to work in another car at 7am.
“Thats my feel good cop story!”
“No matter your story, its not as good as Jay Leno getting caught going 60-over in a Mclaren F1 with two supposed gang members who are actually undercover cops that keep him from getting arrested for it.”
By John Dominy.