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Thread: MSP Traffic stop; smooth, uneventful, cordial.

  1. #1
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    My wife, dog and I were visiting Michigan last week. We were on the Upper Peninsula - I think we were coming into Seney - on one of the MI routes and I was passing the much slower movingtraffic on one of the LOOOOONG straightaways. During one of these passes I noticed a "50 mph reduced speed ahead" sign, so I got back right and let off the gas after I cleared the truck. Way off in the distance I could see a car, but could not make out that it was MSP - easily over a mile... As I came into town at the limit, I was only mildly concerned about being stopped, but he hit the lights coming the other way, so I hastily made for the shoulder.

    As he approached, our golden retriever, Jessie loudly announces that this is her car, and he couldn't have it. I quieted her...

    He asked"Can I see your lic., registration, and insurance proof?" I suppressed the "I'm sure you CAN commentary" and said "sure, I'll get that for you".

    MSP: "You can roll those windows down if you want soyour dog doesn't get hot".

    I coughed over the stuff, plus my permit - I had to dig for the insurance beforeMrs Y. says - "Oh, I've got the insurance card in my purse".

    So while we're waiting for the very well organized Mrs. Y to fish this out, I said

    I've given you my Virginia CHP, and want you to know I have ahandgun on my person.

    MSP: "Ok, where at?"
    Me: "My 9 o'clock"...
    MSP:"Ok, do you know why I stopped you"
    Me:"Not specifically, I was going to ask"
    MSP: "Were you paying much attention to your speed?
    Me: "Not enough..."
    MSP:"I clocked you going 71 in the 55 zone back there"
    (At this point I'm thinking whoa... God *really likes me* )
    Me: "Would you give me a warning - I'm pretty sure you won't find any wants or warrants on me"
    MSP: "Sure, I can do that, no problem" ( things never go this smoothly for Mr. Y )

    A very brief check and within 3 minutes tops, here he comes back to the window

    "Man, how old is this (D/L) picture?"
    Me: "About 5 years I think.. But I'm me! " I realized I was wearing sunglasses so I took them off briefly.

    MSP: "So I noticed your Veteran plates, are you still in?"
    Me:"No, I 'm long out"
    MSP: "Hey,how do you guys permits workin VA, 'cause when I ran it, nothing came back"
    Me:"Really, that's very interesting because VSP insists on a 24x7 permit check DB. Want to check one of my other permits?"

    MSP: "No, there's no problem. Here's your lic., reg. & permit (he only briefly checked the insurance card). You know that Michigan recognizes everyone's permits and we require that you notify law enforcement. Did you study up on the laws?"

    Me: "Actually yes, but I couldn't remember for certain if there was a mandatory disclosure - mostly I familiarized with off limits places. Not that I have occaision to often but I disclosed the permitmore as courtesy and just to be on the safe side.

    MSP: "Well, I appreciate that you let me know up front."

    Me: "Thanks, I appreciate the warning" (as opposed to the citation)
    MSP: "Yeah, if you keep it to 9 over and less, we won't bother you Mr. Y." (no kidding, he really said that)


    Now this went really well as far as traffic stops go. Putting aside the whole traffic enforcement arguments for a minute, it went quickly, amicably and easily. Something kept me from a fairly lofty insurance premium adjustment...

    Maybe he was ending his shift and had already decided to issue a warning.

    Maybe it was the permit; a reason why I made the "no wants or warrants" comment... and that he knew up front he was dealing with a good guy, not going to give him any trouble.

    Maybe he likes dogs.

    Maybe he likes to give Vets a break.

    Or a combination of things. At any rate, it went very well.

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    Most MSP officers when treated as a human will respond in kind, they are well trained and usually courteous, but then every one has a occasional bad day.

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    Great story Y, and nicely handled.

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    Excellent exchange. Good show.

    I especially like the proactive request for a warning. That was cool. Especially since you knew you were speeding...

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    All the ticket books (how to avoid them) say to ask for a warning. What's the worst that can happen??? You get a ticket anyway.

    I thought WV had a lot of dirt roads... BAH. I rode out to Crisp Point Light. H*ly S***. over 18 miles of winding dirt roads topped with a mixture of hard packed dirt, loose gravel and sand. Now here is whereI was seriously making some time ( AWD turbo ). But MSP won this battle fair and square. Overall, I got the impression their LE handles traffic quite a bit differently than the mid-atlantic / east coast states. They have a 70mph limit and traffic seems to stay within 70-80 on the interstates, and between 55-60 on the state roads, but you have miles and miles and miles of visibility on some of them. He seriously seemed more concerned with making the stop to say he did it, and being done with it.

    There's a lot of back and forth about "whether to disclose" a permit / gun in states where it isn't mandatory. Having been on guard duty at a post on a few occaisions, I can relate to the "wanting to know up front".

    MSP lost the "other" battle on this trip however.

    Whilst toodling along MI 2 east bound I found a great blockerin a large SUV. 2 is similar in that it has miles of straightaway, but a few more towns, and turns as it's a coastal route.He was obviously burdened but was flogging the beast pretty hard, soI stuck to his bumper until the pass and would poke out first then nail it to catch up (easily). One one such pass, the oncoming car was --- you guessed it, MSP.

    He didn't hit his lights, so I maintained the pace while watching attentively to the mirrors. I put a few more cars down, and I believe he did turn around after we left his line of sight. This is a common stalking tactic to lure you into a false sense of security. I believe he found somoene more interesting because I saw him WAAAAY back light up some othermotorist. They must have been seriously screwing up because if he was running any kind of radar ( remember my V1 didn't pick up the 1st MSP ) he had both of us at 75+ easily.

    Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.

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    I grew up in Michigan (with a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am as my first car), then lived in Florida, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona.

    Based on my numerous encounters with law enforcement (all traffic-related, and mostly in the Trans Am) in all of those states, I can tell you that the MSP is hands down one of the most professional law enforcement agencies I've run across.

    They have always been courteous, always let me off with either a warning or a GREATLY reduced speed, and generally seemed more concerned with the safety of traffic on the road than with revenue generation or being jerks.

    I have a great deal of respect for them, and would have been disappointed if you had posted any other result from your encounter.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Mr. Y wrote:
    They must have been seriously screwing up because if he was running any kind of radar ( remember my V1 didn't pick up the 1st MSP ) he had both of us at 75+ easily.

    Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.
    I wonder what the MSP # 1 was running if Mr.V1 did not pick it up. He should have gotten some read.




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    My V1 is a 90's vintage, and it has never been updated .

    Additionally, the mount position isn't optimum, I've gotsome sun shading material in close proximity. MSP#1 played a good game, and franklyI made it too easy on him. If I had to guess, I'd bet he probably saw me execute the pass at long distance ( daggone Subaru has daytime running lights, which draw more attention of the ... undesired kind ). He may not have been able to get a read on me fast enough to get my highest attained speed, but "knew" it was higher than the readout and decided to execute the stop then...

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    Mr. Y wrote:
    My V1 is a 90's vintage, and it has never been updated .
    Ah, so you're out there in high risk mode....


    Mr. Y wrote:
    ...and franklyI made it too easy on him.
    Oh, yes. Where are the rabbits when you need one...?





    Mr. Y wrote:
    ( daggone Subaru has daytime running lights, which draw more attention of the ... undesired kind ).
    You can disable those things, usually without too much trouble.

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    Once it got close toIndependence day, the presence was higher andit remained at a higher level throughout the weekend. Even so, it wasn't anything like you see in PA, NJ, MD, VA etc.

    It's really strange that you can have an encounter like this with some LE, totally unconcerned (seemingly, obviously that's a gross exaggeration) with the citizen exercisingtheir rights, in fact, I'm willing to bet it helped the overall outcome...

    and yet have ones like in Alexandria, VA and others.

    At least it was mutual, we were nice to the MSP guy too. So while we're on OCDO he's probably remarking to his fellow MSP about how those guys from VA were 'good guys'.





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    HankT wrote:
    Mr. Y wrote:
    ( daggone Subaru has daytime running lights, which draw more attention of the ... undesired kind ).*****
    It's one relay behind the glove compartment which has two-three screws. I've done it to every one of my friends' WRX and I did it to my STI all in about 2 minutes each. scoobymods.com has the info & pictures. Besides the fact that I hate running lights for aesthetics, if you have HID lights, you're burning our your ballasts every time you drive instead of only at night.
    -Unrequited

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    Mr. Y wrote:
    MSP: "Yeah, if you keep it to 9 over and less, we won't bother you Mr. Y."
    Pretty much universal practice on highways. I used to review driving records of around 200 company drivers annually (including MI) and never saw a citation for less than 10 over. That's the reason I calibrate my speedometers with a GPS--I know one analog speedometeris right on and the other digital speedometer shows 2 over actual at highwayspeeds.

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    My point was in showing that part of the conversationthat he actually admitted it. It's pretty rare to get the 'we won't ticket you for....'.



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    In addition to being one of the least corrupt police agencies anywhere, MSP officers can be pretty cool. I even know a guy who they caught doing 160 on the freeway, which he freely admited to having been doing for 40 miles. This was at 4am. The Trooper told him words to the extent of "Theres no way I'm gonna give you a ticket, because if I did, you'd lose your license. And plus, that's some very admirable skill you've got. That's just plain good driving. But try not to do that anymore okay?"
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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    I got pulled over once by an MSP who spotted me from the Exit 33 on-ramp on I-94 coming into Michigan from Chicago. He didn't pull me over until around the 55 mile mark, and when he did he said, "I've been following you for 20 miles, and the only thing that's been slowing you down is traffic." He let me off with a warning, and advised me to keep it at a safe speed.

    Got pulled over by a second MSP later that day, about 400 miles further north in Michigan, for doing 88 in a 65. He was very pleasant, and wrote me up for 70 in a 65, because "88 is just too darn fast."

    I have nothing bad to say about the Michigan State Police. (Can't say the same for Illinois, Virginia, Arizona, or New Mexico.....)

    In fact, my brother's timing belt broke on his car one time about a mile from his exit off the freeway in the middle of the night. Not long after, an MSP stopped to check on him beside the road. When my brother explained that he was almost to his exit, and only lived about four blocks up the street off the exit, the officer used the push bumper on his cruiser to push my brother that last mile and four blocks right into his driveway, saving him the cost of a tow. Very cool.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    MZ, I'm curious, what is so bad about the new mexico state police? That's Bart Skelton's Department.

    I can't say I have much experience with New Mexico, but I did visit there once, and I went by a state officer with a radar gun doing 95 in a 70 and didn't even get pulled over.

    By the way, for the absolute worst state troopers, a lot of people say New Jersey takes the cake.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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    I've only had one interaction with the New Mexico State Police. It might as well have been a robot: "License and registration, please. I pulled you over for driving 93 in a (whatever the limit was - 70? 75?)." Went to his car, came back a short time later, handed me the papers, and "Sign here."

    No, "Welcome to New Mexico, where you going in such a hurry, slow down, make our roads safer, have a nice trip, nothing." Just one ticket for every mph he could squeeze in there, and no conversation.

    MSP have always been courteous and professional, and always seem more like they're interested in safety on the roads than revenue generation. I've never received that impression in any of the other states where I've been cited.

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    Michigander wrote:
    By the way, for the absolute worst state troopers, a lot of people say New Jersey takes the cake.
    Friends with a couple Troopers back in the Jers... some are okay. I will say as often as I drive the Turnpike, I've never seen a 20-mile strip of highway which wasn't staked out by a car, or had a car pulled over already.

    Also, as recent as two years ago, apparently they had a strict no-chase policy on major highways such as 80. If the chase went over 5 miles, they were told to call it off for safety. No clue what the policy is now because I haven't talked to those guys in a bit.
    -Unrequited

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    The MSP is indeed a classy outfit. But, there are some officers that write a ton of tickets. One guy up in mid michigan holds a record. In some rural areas they are very much hated. But, you are very right, courtesy and frienliness are mandatory by agency policy.

    Their mission is to "Protect public safety while respecting the rights and dignity of all persons"

    And they actually live up to that!
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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    mzbk2l wrote:
    I've only had one interaction with the New Mexico State Police. It might as well have been a robot: "License and registration, please. I pulled you over for driving 93 in a (whatever the limit was - 70? 75?)." Went to his car, came back a short time later, handed me the papers, and "Sign here."

    No, "Welcome to New Mexico, where you going in such a hurry, slow down, make our roads safer, have a nice trip, nothing." Just one ticket for every mph he could squeeze in there, and no conversation.

    MSP have always been courteous and professional, and always seem more like they're interested in safety on the roads than revenue generation. I've never received that impression in any of the other states where I've been cited.
    Hmm. You state that you were doing either 18 or 23 mph over the limit, and imply that the officer wasn't courteous/obsequious enough and was more interested in revenue than safety? What were the conditions? Were you on I-40 on a Sunday afternoon with 5 miles of visibility in any direction and no other traffic? Or on atwo-lanesuburban road during rush hour? Either way,it seemsthat you were blatantlydriving illegally, and areunhappy that you didn't get away with it.As you have described the situation, I don't think the officer had any obligation to express his joy at meeting new people... although he really should have stated "(Please) slow down, make our roads safer". Just playingBeelzebub's Advocate here.


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