Most of us have, at some stage, had a run-in with the law. We might have accidentally crept over the speed limit or ran a dangerously small numberplate. These days, the most minor misdemeanour could land you in serious hot water, if you don’t know how to play the game. So next time you’re pulled over by the police, if you remember these top tips, you might just save yourself some heartache. Or you might not…
Try not to break the law
Being a model citizen doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get pulled over by the police. Some coppers will pull you just because they don’t like the look of you. And whilst it’s a real nuisance and, arguably an infringement of your civil liberties, it’ll be made a lot worse when they spot your bald tyre or your ‘not-for-highway-use’ exhaust pipe. Some would absolutely love to nick you for something, and if they can, they usually will.
So don’t give them the satisfaction. If you’re riding safely within the speed limit, on a fully legal bike that’s taxed, insured and MOTed, they won’t have a leg to stand on. At which point, they can put themselves back in their jam sandwich, and do one.
Don’t try and outrun a helicopter
If you’re running some parts on your bike that you ought not to, or you know they’ve probably clocked you getting a move on, it’s still best to stop. Making a run for it probably isn’t going to make it any better. Particularly if they scramble air support. Some will even tell you they’ve successfully evaded capture and prosecution thanks to the heli’ not having the minerals to keep up with them. This is of course complete bollocks.
Yes, it’s true that a police chopper is going to struggle to do much more than 150mph. Even that’ll be pushing it. So a superbike might have the legs on it in a dead straight line, but it’s not going to be long before you encounter some curves or some traffic; things the chopper doesn’t have to contend with. You’re not going to get away, and when they catch you, they’ll throw the book at you.
Be polite and courteous
Once you’ve made the sensible decision to pull over in a safe, legal and convenient location, don’t let your emotions get the better of you. You’ll probably want to hurl a torrent of profanities to the member of the constabulary that pulled you over, but it won’t do you any good. In fact the opposite is true. If you call them all the four letter words you can think of, it’ll only get their dander up.
No, kill them with kindness. “Yes officer, no officer, three bags full, officer,” that kind of thing. Definitely don’t refer to them as ‘the filth’. Make them feel like a big man (or woman). Make them feel like they’re in charge; because they sort of are. Your fate is in their hands. If you say the right things to them, and rub them up just the right way, they might just let you off for that traffic infringement, or illegal numberplate. Swallowing your pride might save you some money or points. Or both.
Watch what you say
Remember, anything you do say may be given in evidence. So if you think you’re about to get in trouble, don’t say too much. You might not know exactly what they’re trying to nick you for, so don’t open your mouth and put your foot in it.
It would be foolish to give them any more information than they ask for, so don’t. It’s none of their business anyway. If you know you are about to get in serious trouble for something, it really is best to get some legal representation before you say anything. Most of them will tell you to say nothing until they are in the room with you, and they know what they’re talking about. Well, most of them do, anyway.
Do as your told
Whether you get let off or not, do as your told. If the police officer tells you to follow him to the station, it’s best to do it. If he tells you to go straight home, or to go and get your brake light fixed, you really ought to.
Because if he has let you off once, he’s probably not going to let you off a second time. And they can be sneaky buggers. If they tell you to go home, chances are, they’ll follow you, to make sure you do. And they’ll definitely get eggy with you if they catch you at the pub after you’ve promised them you’d go straight home.
So remember, always behave yourself. And if you can’t behave yourself, be polite.