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Old 10-15-04, 07:00 AM   #1
hlweyl
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I thought it would be a good idea to cross post here. What do you think of this idea?

I think it will be ultimately safer to ride with one of these vests on.


I did speak to my local PD and it is Legal to wear one of these while riding. The idea is that most of the ignorant motorists will think twice before swerving or throwing objects at us. There's a selection here: http://www.chiefsupply.com/vests.phtml#spec or you could get a custom vest.
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Old 10-15-04, 07:04 AM   #2
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Hmmm... if you have a vest that said "POLICIA" (spanish for police) it would definitely not be illegal in the US....
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Old 10-15-04, 07:26 AM   #3
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A very dumb idea.

It may be legal, but not all cops would know that and some might arrest you just be on the safe side, you know, for "impersonating an officer". YMMV but getting arrested usually involves being "processed" in a hell-hole for 12-30 hours before you see the outside.

Besides, why do you need "more respect" from motorists?
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Old 10-15-04, 07:39 AM   #4
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Its not such a crazy idea- I bet people are a lot more careful not to cut up police on bicycles- suddenly the urgent desire to overtake at all costs to get to the next set of lights doesnt seem as urgent anymore when they might go to jail.
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Old 10-15-04, 07:41 AM   #5
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I'm really surprised this is legal

I gotta believe you'd get more room on the highways and byways by wearing it.

How about the standard issue 38 snub nose with matching holster
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Old 10-15-04, 08:08 AM   #6
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I'd have to check our local laws here, but, I can't imagine that wearing that wouldn't be considered impersonating a police officer.

I'd also be suprised if it did stop the majority of bozo behaviour.
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Old 10-15-04, 08:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H23
A very dumb idea.

It may be legal, but not all cops would know that and some might arrest you just be on the safe side, you know, for "impersonating an officer". YMMV but getting arrested usually involves being "processed" in a hell-hole for 12-30 hours before you see the outside.

Besides, why do you need "more respect" from motorists?
I already checked with my local police dept and it is LEGAL wear. And, no, you will not get arrested for simply wearing it. I don't see why you say it is a very dumb idea. You don't like it, don't wear it. To call my idea is dumb is a stretch. To think that wearing a garmet that says police on it will get you arrested is dumb IMO. How many shirts did the rock group "The Police" sell? Did all the sting fans get arrested?
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Old 10-15-04, 08:57 AM   #8
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In my city, wearing any article of clothing that indicates that you are a police officer is a crime, unless you actually are a police officer.

However, I do like the vests. I saw an officer wearing one this week at the train station that was covered with reflective tape. His was high quality material that could be adjusted for a good fit. It makes it far easier for drivers to notice you. I am looking for a good vest that does NOT say "police".

The bike police in my area ride mountain bikes with rear racks, rear lights, and front lights. They wear white helmets and dark shorts. I did NOT like riding downtown because it often seemed some drivers were deliberately trying to hit me (especially drivers of Suburbans and Navigators).

Now that there are large numbers of bike police downtown, it has become safer for all bike riders. On week-ends, when I ride downtown, I am on a mountain bike, with a rear rack, rear lights, front lights, wearing a white helmet and dark shorts. Drivers are VERY polite. No more honking. No more bumping me with their side mirrors. Maybe they think I am a cop. Maybe the bike cops have trained them to be more polite. Either way, biking downtown has become much more enjoyable.
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Old 10-15-04, 09:12 AM   #9
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Just a few thoughts:
1. While the police vest would make the majority of the God & Country crowd give you more respect than they otherwise would it would conversely make the 2% of the population that are rabid violent police hating thugs see you as a vulnerable and easy target without a policemans gun and radio. So, on this issue I believe you lower your odds of getting little harrassments and raise by an order of magnitude your chances of being the victum of a deliberate and likely serious asualt.

2. As people become familiar with you and you ride times and path they will figure out you are not a policeman and this may increase the grief you collect.

3. Unless you look like a cop - no offense to our finest - (haircut, build, attitude, moustache, age & income) you will be easy to spot as a fraud and this may increase the grief you collect.

4. You may be better off projecting a Veteran look than a police look. A trip to the army surplus store can give you this look cheaply. It works for the homeless. Plenty of them play on the "but for the grace of God go I" heartstrings to panhandle. If you are not a veteran don't try to bull**** real ones - it takes us about 30 seconds to discover a fraud. Come clean immediately if questioned and tell them you are just trying to survive on the mean streets. Most of us will respect that.

5. Good luck and let us know how things go.
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Old 10-15-04, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlweyl
I already checked with my local police dept and it is LEGAL wear. And, no, you will not get arrested for simply wearing it. I don't see why you say it is a very dumb idea. You don't like it, don't wear it. To call my idea is dumb is a stretch. To think that wearing a garmet that says police on it will get you arrested is dumb IMO. How many shirts did the rock group "The Police" sell? Did all the sting fans get arrested?

No, it really is dumb.

When your motorists realize that you are just some punk wearing a police vest, they are likely to be even more pissed than usual.

Also, how will you keep from looking like a total idiot if someone who really needs police calls you over? For example, at a traffic accident.
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Old 10-15-04, 09:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
However, I do like the vests. I saw an officer wearing one this week at the train station that was covered with reflective tape. His was high quality material that could be adjusted for a good fit. It makes it far easier for drivers to notice you. I am looking for a good vest that does NOT say "police".
Alan, how about one like this:



Joetown, I think you give good advice here. Maybe veteran would be better. Thx, I sure don't want to grow a moustache!
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Old 10-15-04, 09:47 AM   #12
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How about "Support Our Veterans" on the vest or "Support Our Troops"?
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Old 10-15-04, 10:22 AM   #13
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Just because the police say its legal doesnt mean it is.

Are you going to be carrying a sidearm when you ride? If not everyone will know you are not a cop because they tend to have there firearms when they are in uniform.

Remember you have to not only deal with city officers and laws but county, state, and federal. Im sure that at some level you would be breaking a law.
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Old 10-15-04, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlweyl
How about "Support Our Veterans" on the vest or "Support Our Troops"?
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. This might make me more at risk.
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Old 10-15-04, 11:05 AM   #15
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Personally I would NEVER wear anything that displayed POLICE on it. You might as well paint a bullseye on yourself for all the thugs and criminals to shoot at.

How stupid is this anyway. Maybe you live in a place where police are loved by all, but here in the real world most people despise the police. I don't have a terrific hatred for them myself, but the general population does not like them for the most part.

The other point brought up about being pulled over by someone thinking you are a cop is a very good one. Then what do you say ....uhhhhh duh I am not a cop I can't help you ahhhhh.

Gee you look real inteligent then.

To each his own, but I sure don't think it's a wise choice.
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Old 10-15-04, 12:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by midwestmntnbkr
Personally I would NEVER wear anything that displayed POLICE on it. You might as well paint a bullseye on yourself for all the thugs and criminals to shoot at.

How stupid is this anyway. Maybe you live in a place where police are loved by all, but here in the real world most people despise the police. I don't have a terrific hatred for them myself, but the general population does not like them for the most part.

The other point brought up about being pulled over by someone thinking you are a cop is a very good one. Then what do you say ....uhhhhh duh I am not a cop I can't help you ahhhhh.

Gee you look real inteligent then.

To each his own, but I sure don't think it's a wise choice.
The point of the post is that I think that the type of motorist inclined to swerve, throw, etc will be less likely to if they think there is a chance that the biker is a cop. That is my opinion, I could be wrong.

However the way you come across, calling me stupid and the uhhh duh I take as an attack. I don't know whether or not you meant it that way, but you should consider your language. Or you might be one of these tough guys only behind your keyboard.
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Old 10-15-04, 12:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlweyl
The point of the post is that I think that the type of motorist inclined to swerve, throw, etc will be less likely to if they think there is a chance that the biker is a cop. That is my opinion, I could be wrong.
...

Okay, 10 years of commuting in urban environments here. I have never been assaulted by a motorist. Yelled at? yes. But no one has ever swerved into me.

If assault happens to you on a regular basis you must be doing something wrong.

Its at best just kinda silly to pretend to be a cop just to avoid (what should be rare) incidents with drivers.
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Old 10-15-04, 12:38 PM   #18
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impersonation of a peace office for wearing a vest that says police...now that is funny...given the amount of dea, fbi, cia shirts i see on any given day...and i would really love to see someone pull over because someone is wearing a vest...or for that matter even read the word...they do not make you provide anytype of agency id to purchase items like raincoats, shirts....this is america afterall

i can remember trying to get someone in a car to pull over and i was in a full uniform with badge..gun...and a patrol car with lights...and they would keep going....

if you want to wear it, go ahead...but if you cut through 'da hood' on your way home, just turn it inside out, or you could use it that way like some runners i know of that do their sprints by going through neighborhoods that they know they are going to be chased by dogs
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Old 10-15-04, 01:09 PM   #19
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I've already been shot at riding through the wrong section of town - I don't need them thinking I'm five-O.
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Old 10-15-04, 01:30 PM   #20
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I used to train for a hiking trip in a subdivision that was just being built. I was hiking up and down the same hill (massively steep) for hours wearing a generic baseball cap. Got cat-calls, stares, and whistles every single lap. Very next day went out again wearing an FBI cap. Not a peep. For what it's worth, the residents in the neighborhood ignored me when I was 'generic', but when I was wearing the cap (since it worked, I wore it many more times!) many of the neighbors stopped to ask what I was doing, what I was training for.
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Old 10-15-04, 02:34 PM   #21
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Well, there seems to be some positive and negative comments. I will take all into consideration, I think JoeTown made a very good point. Maybe a slight spin on that being some type of support veterans/troops vest. I think that is the direction I will go.

Anything that will make for a safer ride, I'm all for! I do think we should collectively explore all options so that we can keep to a minumum threads about another biker being killed by a car! Stay safe everyone.
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Old 10-15-04, 02:54 PM   #22
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This is at the very least illegal. You cannot impersonate a police officer (i'm assuming you aren't on the bike unit for your local police).
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Old 10-15-04, 03:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeTL
On the other thread the word POLITE was suggested.

I think this solves all of the concerns!

How about SHARE THE ROAD!

or DRIVE FRIENDLY
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Old 10-15-04, 03:37 PM   #24
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This is at the very least illegal. You cannot impersonate a police officer (i'm assuming you aren't on the bike unit for your local police).
If you re-read my first post, I state that this is LEGAL as confirmed by my local police department. You can wear a shirt that says Police, a hat that says FBI, or CIA underwear. This isn't impersonating an officer.

edit: I see you are from Canada, so maybe the law differs there.
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Old 10-15-04, 04:16 PM   #25
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Hi,
someone mentioned wanting a really visible vest. It really can't get more visible than these guys. I have the first one. It's cheap and it works. I might get a cycling vest with Illuminite one of these days.
http://walking.about.com/gi/dynamic/...ww.glowdog.com
http://revelsports.com/shopdisplaypr...ctive+clothing
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/commo...409&TextMode=0
http://www.illuminite.com/Catalog/8130v_c.html

Last edited by late; 03-12-05 at 06:54 AM.
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