What’s Your Worst Traffic Stop Story?

(Adam Savage voice) “Well THERE’S your problem”
Photo: Barry Williams for NY Daily News (Getty Images)

Most of us have been there; you’re cruising along somewhere between Point A and Point B, maintaining a perfectly reasonable speed regardless of what little things like “speed limit signs” say, when your rear view mirror lights up red and blue. Shit. They got you.

Maybe this one will be easy, you think. A bit of back-and-forth, a stern warning, and you’ll be free to go. But when the cop arrives at your driver’s window, eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses and a stern expression painted across his face, you know this won’t be your best run-in. We’ve all had bad ones, but today we want to know your worst.

My worst run-in with police wasn’t even a particularly egregious ticket — it was just so, so dumb. Late one night, I was clocked at something like 15 mph over the limit on a flat, empty, open four-lane road. I was heading home from a finals review session at college, and was the only one out driving — except, apparently, one cop.

That dumb little ticket meant a court visit, an argument against the state prosecutor developed on the fly, and a Saturday sacrificed for what I called Good Boy Driving School — an ex-cop sitting backwards in a chair like a youth pastor, telling all us under-24s why fast driving is morally untenable. I of course paid rapt attention, and did not spend the entire time flirting in the back of the room. Not even a little.

That’s my worst cop run-in story. It’s not the worst due to violence or cost, but simply how dumb the whole thing was. Your story, though, may be something different. Tell us your worst cop run-in tale down in the comments, and we’ll look through our top fifteen later in the week. Bonus points for stories outside the statute of limitations.


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