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Meanwhile, Back at the
While sitting in the Tavern, I heard an
interesting story related by a rider. It
made me pause and think about some similar and
related incidents in my life. It seems this
rider was heading on down a local road, Ill
not mention the jurisdiction in case Johnny Law
reads the Pony, when a police car that had been
sitting off in the bushes swung out to give
With a big smirk on his face, the rider said
that all he had done was goose the throttle and,
after a brief while, lost the guy in the hills.
Two years ago, while I was still living in New
York City, I had a number of friends on the NYPD.
They always used to tell me that if I got into
trouble on my bike, I should have the
citing or arresting officer give them a call and
theyd sort it all out, nudge, nudge, know
what I mean? One buddy even gave me a
mini-shield which saved my bacon on more than one
Once, when I told my friend that the mini tin
had saved me a bundle, he asked me why Id
even bothered to stop when the cop tried to pull
me over. You see, he had had a GSX-R750
Limited Edition that hed had worked on by
some high performance shop out in Jersey. This
thing was FAST.
Although he was a police officer, hed
never stop if someone tried to pull him
over! He couldnt believe that I just
didnt crank that wick right on over and
skip a few zip codes.
I read in the newspaper that in some states,
the police have been sued repeatedly by people
(including perpetrators) who were injured due to
high-speed police pursuits. In a number of
these states the law enforcement agencies have
decided that if any motorist fails to stop for
the pursuing unit, they are to break off pursuit
within a certain predetermined distance.
Hopefully this will keep the perp from driving
his vehicle at 100 mph into a crowded school
I wonder if New York State has such an
enactment. If so, I havent heard
about it. It reminds me of the time I was
blissfully speeding on the Bronx River Parkway, a
little four lane divided highway that was built
to be scenic and twisty rather than for speed.
I had picked up a cop somewhere in North White
Plains and hadnt seen him in my rear view
elbow checkers until just north of the city line.
He was a bit peeved to say the least -- until
he saw my mini tin, then we were old buddies and
got to chatting. I told him I honestly
hadnt seen him in hot pursuit behind me.
Forget hearing that siren, my old Bieffe B-9 was
as quiet as a Deep Purple concert.
I dont know what finally attracted my
attention to the fact that there was someone who
desperately wanted to talk with me following
along, but I guess he hadnt heard about
this pursuit break-off idea.
Maybe three or four months ago, I was passing
through a particular town in my car. I
wasnt in any particular rush, but I
wasnt monitoring my speed either. Of
course I picked up Officer Killjoy as I was doing
45 mph in a 40! The law must be pretty
bored around there.
Anyway, he didnt give me a speeding
ticket, just an equipment violation (made up so
as not to incur points.) I was glad to
eschew the points, but it did tick me off quite a
bit, the brazenness of their revenue collection!
So, just the other day, Im heading down
this same stretch of road on my bike. No
particular hurry, minding my own business. Around
the corner comes Johnny Law heading in from the
opposite direction. As he passes, I look
down at my gages. Fifty!!!. I look in
my rear view elbow checkers and see his brake
lights blaze. Fortunately for me, there was
a line of cars behind me and no shoulder for him
to swing around on.
I thought about the cop with the GSX-R750 on
the job down in Manhattan. I thought about
my five mile over the limit write-up. I
thought about the laws in other states regarding
high-speed pursuit. I thought about that
guy at the VT and his story at the bar. I
thought about all the times Ive had to put
up with others attitude about bikers in
Hasta la vista, baby! Welcome to the
next zip code.
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2003 Harry G. Pellegrin
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