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Old 10-19-13, 09:52 AM   #1
webster.kevin1
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Aggressive Cop Thinks He Did Nothing Wrong

Went out for my typical road ride today, about 20 miles, just a morning outing from Chattanooga to Signal Mountain, and experienced an aggressive cop driver that could have killed me and thinks that "he can't believe I'm complaining." Read on.

To reach my climbing ascent, I have to pass through a 2-lane tunnel that passes through a ridge line. Traffic on either side of the tunnel is four lanes and narrows to two as you approach the tunnel. Due to the nature of the tunnel being at the crest of a hill (you can't see opposing traffic entering the tunnel) there is double-yellow line in the tunnel. Because it's super dangerous, cyclists have to press a button (much like a cross walk) that alerts traffic (see sign in photo) that there is a cyclist in the tunnel. Not only is there a double yellow line, but the blinking sign says "Bikes in Tunnel when flashing, Do not pass" Emphasis added.



I ride in the middle of the lane as I pass through the tunnel, so as not to entice motorists to pass me; by law, I am entitled to claim the lane.

Needless to say, as I am in the middle of the tunnel, none other than a fine Chattanooga police patrol car flies by me in the middle of the tunnel, actually accelerated in the tunnel to do so. I throw up my hand in disbelief. I'm dumbfounded. Never has anyone even attempted to pass me in the dozens and dozens of times that I've gone through it.

Only serendipity would have allowed me to catch up to him at the next stop light. I wave him down, he stops amazingly, and we have a chat in the parking lot. Him: "Hey there, I saw you in the tunnel, I barely saw you in there." He saw me enough to blow right by me. I inform him that not only did he pass me in a double-yellow, but there is a sign that specifically states that he cannot pass me in the tunnel. I explain to him that he put my life in danger--it's a blind crescent, and if he had hit a car in another lane I would be dead for sure. He looks surprised. I can tell a cyclists or any civilian for that matter has never called him out before. He immediately gets defensive, and says "I can't believe you're complaining about this. This is ridiculous," to which I remind him again of the violations he committed, tries to say the car behind me did the same (they didn't), and generally acts like a 12 year who knows they did everything wrong and is trying to grab at anything to absolve them of guilt. His whiny nature proved that he knew he was wrong. After some debate, he says, "What do you want from me"? I say, "An acknowledgement that you put my life in danger, violated the law, and an apology would be nice." He laughs at me. Laughs! I tel him that I have his patrol car number and I don't mind reporting him, thinking that this might move him to fess up. He says "Go right ahead." I say, "Ok, it's obvious you don't care or have any understanding or respect of traffic laws." Not surprisingly, he aggressively pulls away from me in the parking lot.

I reported his patrol car number to the police. I doubt anything will happen. I would love to speak to his superior and just have him get on a bike with me through that tunnel so he experiences what I feel. That's all I want.

What.the.hell is wrong with law enforcement? Do they really feel they are above the law? The immaturity of this cop astounds me.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:06 AM   #2
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It's not just law enforcement, there's a number of motorists in the US that just do not consider cyclists as legitimate traffic, and as vulnerable road users.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:09 AM   #3
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I'm dumbfounded... His whiny nature proved that he knew he was wrong. After some debate, he says, "What do you want from me"? I say, "An acknowledgement that you put my life in danger, violated the law, and an apology would be nice."
I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:14 AM   #4
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I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
Sometimes it's better to nip certain situations while it's in the bud, before it blossoms into something less desirable.
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Old 10-19-13, 11:00 AM   #5
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I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
This time. To you. You're a skilled rider. Not all riders are. The next time someone who violated the law around you but didn't affect you does the same thing it might get someone else killed. But it won't affect you.
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Old 10-19-13, 11:22 AM   #6
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I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
The difference being that it did affect me because it was close to me.

Maybe I should have re-framed my conclusion. Was this worth flagging down the cop to tell him of his wrongdoings? Or should I have just gone on my merry way?

I do not feel the need to flag down civilians who show aggression or break the law because I don't know who I'm dealing with. I could be harmed. Police officers on the other hand are advocates of the law and safety. Not only should they enforce it, but they should also model it, and engage one (productively) whose safety has been threatened and compromised. I can't change his attitude, but I can at least make him aware (or try to)
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Old 10-19-13, 11:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by webster.kevin1 View Post
Went out for my typical road ride today, about 20 miles, just a morning outing from Chattanooga to Signal Mountain, and experienced an aggressive cop driver that could have killed me and thinks that "he can't believe I'm complaining." Read on.

To reach my climbing ascent, I have to pass through a 2-lane tunnel that passes through a ridge line. Traffic on either side of the tunnel is four lanes and narrows to two as you approach the tunnel. Due to the nature of the tunnel being at the crest of a hill (you can't see opposing traffic entering the tunnel) there is double-yellow line in the tunnel. Because it's super dangerous, cyclists have to press a button (much like a cross walk) that alerts traffic (see sign in photo) that there is a cyclist in the tunnel. Not only is there a double yellow line, but the blinking sign says "Bikes in Tunnel when flashing, Do not pass" Emphasis added.



I ride in the middle of the lane as I pass through the tunnel, so as not to entice motorists to pass me; by law, I am entitled to claim the lane.

Needless to say, as I am in the middle of the tunnel, none other than a fine Chattanooga police patrol car flies by me in the middle of the tunnel, actually accelerated in the tunnel to do so. I throw up my hand in disbelief. I'm dumbfounded. Never has anyone even attempted to pass me in the dozens and dozens of times that I've gone through it.

Only serendipity would have allowed me to catch up to him at the next stop light. I wave him down, he stops amazingly, and we have a chat in the parking lot. Him: "Hey there, I saw you in the tunnel, I barely saw you in there." He saw me enough to blow right by me. I inform him that not only did he pass me in a double-yellow, but there is a sign that specifically states that he cannot pass me in the tunnel. I explain to him that he put my life in danger--it's a blind crescent, and if he had hit a car in another lane I would be dead for sure. He looks surprised. I can tell a cyclists or any civilian for that matter has never called him out before. He immediately gets defensive, and says "I can't believe you're complaining about this. This is ridiculous," to which I remind him again of the violations he committed, tries to say the car behind me did the same (they didn't), and generally acts like a 12 year who knows they did everything wrong and is trying to grab at anything to absolve them of guilt. His whiny nature proved that he knew he was wrong. After some debate, he says, "What do you want from me"? I say, "An acknowledgement that you put my life in danger, violated the law, and an apology would be nice." He laughs at me. Laughs! I tel him that I have his patrol car number and I don't mind reporting him, thinking that this might move him to fess up. He says "Go right ahead." I say, "Ok, it's obvious you don't care or have any understanding or respect of traffic laws." Not surprisingly, he aggressively pulls away from me in the parking lot.

I reported his patrol car number to the police. I doubt anything will happen. I would love to speak to his superior and just have him get on a bike with me through that tunnel so he experiences what I feel. That's all I want.

What.the.hell is wrong with law enforcement? Do they really feel they are above the law? The immaturity of this cop astounds me.
The Police simply refelct the community they serve: IE: If 20% of the folks in the community are ********.....20% of the police are ********.

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It's not just law enforcement, there's a number of motorists in the US that just do not consider cyclists as legitimate traffic, and as vulnerable road users.
Having this knowledge should help you and all other riders stay alive. Car vs bike: Car wins everytime.

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I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
There are MANY reasons a police car will proceed through a red light with no audible or visible warning device. One hopes they do it very carefully.
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Old 10-19-13, 11:28 AM   #8
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It's not just law enforcement, there's a number of motorists in the US that just do not consider cyclists as legitimate traffic, and as vulnerable road users.
Agreed. However, I believe that law enforcement officers should be held to higher standards with regards to respecting traffic laws and other people on the roads.
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Old 10-19-13, 11:51 AM   #9
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This one seems to me to be one of those people who feel like they are too important to be delayed for even a few seconds, and that they have a right to get by any slower obstruction right now - without regard to any safety concerns. I know its probably an unfounded opinion, and I have seen little to convince me otherwise in many years.
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Old 10-19-13, 01:08 PM   #10
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However, I believe that law enforcement officers should be held to higher standards with regards to respecting traffic laws and other people on the roads.
Not always the case, especially when our local LEOs are exempt from our state's hand held cellphone ban while driving.
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Old 10-19-13, 01:09 PM   #11
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Not always the case, especially when our local LEOs are exempt from our state's hand held cellphone ban while driving.
I know that's not always the case, and that's one of the problems we have.
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Old 10-19-13, 01:23 PM   #12
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Having this knowledge should help you and all other riders stay alive. Car vs bike: Car wins everytime.
I'm well aware of the laws of physics when it comes to car/bicycle collisions..... and your using worn out motorist adages doesn't help cyclists' safety either. What's needed is to have stricter consequences for motorists who's negligence endangers vulnerable road users. The LEO that the OP encountered is one such person, in that their actions needed to documented for the sake of other road users that this LEO will encounter in the future.
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Old 10-19-13, 01:24 PM   #13
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I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
Gee then your comment is totally irrelevant, unlike the situation the OP experienced in which they were passed by a vehicle with other vehicles around in which vehicles are warned not to pass.

You have nothing to say here, move on.
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Old 10-19-13, 04:39 PM   #14
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I once saw a police car proceed through a red light without its flashers. It didn't affect me in any way since it was not close to me and there was no other traffic. My hair did not catch on fire.
So, it was (for you) "don't sweat the small stuff"; how big will it need to get before you DO sweat it? I'd prefer you survive the answer to that question, irreverent wiseguy that you are...... You do provide a certain perspective.
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Old 10-19-13, 04:45 PM   #15
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Agreed. However, I believe that law enforcement officers should be held to higher standards with regards to respecting traffic laws and other people on the roads.
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Not always the case, especially when our local LEOs are exempt from our state's hand held cellphone ban while driving.
dyno, there's no way it COULD be the case, since daihard said "SHOULD be held..." I tend to agree with him -- but that's based on what we were taught in the military: before you correct someone else, YOU have to be correct. That was true for everything from having a squared-away uniform to handling skills with the M16. That said, it truly sucks that ANYONE thinks that cop training (all 3 months of it) gives cops some kind of "special awareness", so they would be able to do what precious few can accomplish -- multi-tasking while driving. Hell, they can't even keep TRAFFIC LAWS straight!
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Old 10-19-13, 05:20 PM   #16
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Gee then your comment is totally irrelevant, unlike the situation the OP experienced in which they were passed by a vehicle with other vehicles around in which vehicles are warned not to pass.

You have nothing to say here, move on.
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So, it was (for you) "don't sweat the small stuff"; how big will it need to get before you DO sweat it? I'd prefer you survive the answer to that question, irreverent wiseguy that you are...... You do provide a certain perspective.
Despite the smarmy response of the first responder, and because you express a desire to read a different perspective in addition to the usual group think, I will give you the straight up answer.

Perhaps you and others missed the OP's choice comments in the middle of his wall of words that I find significant:
"I ride in the middle of the lane as I pass through the tunnel, so as not to entice motorists to pass me; by law, I am entitled to claim the lane."

The OP appears more interested in claiming his "entitlement" and less interested in his own safety. With more situational awareness, which seems a reasonable expectation for a cyclist in the OP's situation in a tunnel (like, ya know, being aware of vehicles following as well as approaching) he would not be so dang insistent on enforcing the rules no matter what the situation.

If the police car (or any other motor vehicle) was the only other motor vehicle in that tunnel at that moment, there was no reason for the OP to "claim" the middle of the lane as the police car approached. Yes the police car should not have passed, but if the OP had not been making his "claim" there would have been no close pass. In fact how close the car was is not mentioned, since his outrage appears to be that he was passed no matter how safe the pass was. If a cyclist is going to get bent out of shape whenever motorists don't obey his law enforcement tactics, or finds a need for apologies whenever his feathers get ruffled he is in for a rude awakening.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-19-13 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 10-19-13, 05:43 PM   #17
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Sounds like you handled it perfectly. Assertive but respectful, with good communication of your concerns and expectations. All you can hope is that it sunk in a little. And given the fact the officer pretty much just blew you off, reporting it was the right thing to to do as well.
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Old 10-19-13, 06:08 PM   #18
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dyno, there's no way it COULD be the case, since daihard said "SHOULD be held..." I tend to agree with him -- but that's based on what we were taught in the military: before you correct someone else, YOU have to be correct. That was true for everything from having a squared-away uniform to handling skills with the M16. That said, it truly sucks that ANYONE thinks that cop training (all 3 months of it) gives cops some kind of "special awareness", so they would be able to do what precious few can accomplish -- multi-tasking while driving. Hell, they can't even keep TRAFFIC LAWS straight!
Thank you for the lecture and reprimand DX, carry on.
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Old 10-19-13, 07:02 PM   #19
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We need an emoticon for the classic "raspberry".
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Old 10-19-13, 10:37 PM   #20
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@ OP

If your description of what happened is the full and complete truth and you didn't leave out any details about how you said what you said to the cop ~ then you were far more respectful and nice to that cop then I would have been. Good for you for doing better then I would (and have) done.
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Old 10-19-13, 10:53 PM   #21
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His "superior" is the same guy he eats Arby's with four times a week. It's the same guy he went to community college part-time with for five years. It's the same guy who thinks that two years as a cook on a cutter in the Coast Guard means that he provided "Service to America." It's the same guy who masturbates multiple times a day to depraved videos of 19 year old girls. It's the same good ol' boy, Tennessee Baptist trash that goes to church every Sunday, has a Mother with diabetes, watches football for fourteen hours each weekend, and wakes up every morning thinking that he's an integral component to the safety of the people of Chattanooga.

He's the same guy who is going to kill you, me, or both of us while we're on our bikes.

And when some teenager kills him in a hit-and-run at 2:30am while he's giving someone a ticket for his quota, they'll play bagpipes at his funeral.

He isn't even Irish/Scottish. Duh. And you shouldn't waste your breath.

You did good, though. I don't even acknowledge the cops here. My interests certainly are not protected by any of them.
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Old 10-20-13, 07:28 AM   #22
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There are stupid people in the world. Some of them are cops.

Woah.
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Old 10-20-13, 08:16 AM   #23
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His "superior" is the same guy he eats Arby's with four times a week. It's the same guy he went to community college part-time with for five years. It's the same guy who thinks that two years as a cook on a cutter in the Coast Guard means that he provided "Service to America." It's the same guy who masturbates multiple times a day to depraved videos of 19 year old girls. It's the same good ol' boy, Tennessee Baptist trash that goes to church every Sunday, has a Mother with diabetes, watches football for fourteen hours each weekend, and wakes up every morning thinking that he's an integral component to the safety of the people of Chattanooga.

He's the same guy who is going to kill you, me, or both of us while we're on our bikes.

And when some teenager kills him in a hit-and-run at 2:30am while he's giving someone a ticket for his quota, they'll play bagpipes at his funeral.

He isn't even Irish/Scottish. Duh. And you shouldn't waste your breath.

You did good, though. I don't even acknowledge the cops here. My interests certainly are not protected by any of them.
It's amazing how you know this information. I'm afraid to ask how.

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There are stupid people in the world. Some of them are cops.

Woah.
A lot of them aren't. And because of some of the posts here (not yours, mconlonx), the thread has been derailed.
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