Home » What Was The Dumbest Reason Why You’ve Been Pulled Over? Autopian Asks

What Was The Dumbest Reason Why You’ve Been Pulled Over? Autopian Asks

Policeman Stopping A Driver
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Getting pulled over by police is something that almost certainly happens to most drivers at least once in their lives. Sometimes, you have a dead brake light and don’t realize it. Or, perhaps you’re testing a brand new Chevy Camaro in Virginia and go just a bit too fast. Whatever the reason, traffic stops happen. What’s the dumbest reason you’ve gotten pulled over?

I’m somewhat surprised to say that despite my love for reaching the far end of tachometers, my driving record is largely clean. I like to keep my thrill-seeking vehicular shenanigans away from where others could get hurt, and I suppose that also keeps me out of the spotlight of the law.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Still, I’ve goofed up a couple of times. The weirdest time I got stopped happened to be when I was customizing a 1986 Honda Elite 150D for the Gambler 500. Oh yes, I took the pop-up headlight wonder off-road! I got the scooter for a few hundred bucks because it had a bent frame, no title, and rough panels. It was far enough past its prime that I didn’t feel guilty about beating it up.

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I quickly discovered a critical issue with the scooter and it was the fact that it didn’t have a working cooling fan. I fixed that with an oversized fan from a bigger scooter. Then, I added off-road light pods to complete the Mad Max theme I was going for. I left the wiring exposed for that rough look seen in that movie series’ universe. One more repair was to the scooter’s ignition, which jammed and broke the key. One quick detour to eBay later and I was back on the road!

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When I was finished ruining this poor scooter, I took it on a test ride. As I said before, the scooter didn’t have a title. The ol’ Vermont trick was still a thing back then, so that’s what I did. But I didn’t want to wait for the plate to come in to take it for a test ride. Instead, I slapped the plate from a Suzuki GS on the back and hopped on. I figured I was just going around the block, so it would have been fine.

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It wasn’t. Halfway through the short ride, I got pulled over. Now, I initially thought I got pulled over either because of the license plate or the janky modifications. It was neither. The officer said he pulled me over because I didn’t put my foot down at a stop sign. I knew that in Illinois, stopping a motorcycle technically doesn’t count until your foot is down, but I didn’t think anyone would enforce it. Stopped is stopped, right?

Well, this officer did try to enforce it, but he was amused by my little science project. He found nothing overtly illegal, but he did notice the plate belonged to a Suzuki rather than the Honda. Making matters worse, he stopped me in a dead zone, so my insurance app wasn’t working. The officer explained that a wrong plate, no provable insurance, and no ownership documents were more than enough grounds to send my crappy scoot to the impound.

Merc Scooter 2

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I explained myself and the officer was nice about everything. I got a warning and my instructions were to head home immediately and that the scooter better not show up again with the wrong plate. No problem! I learned a few valuable lessons that night. The officer informed me that at least in this state, it’s better to run no plates than plates from the wrong vehicle. It also helps to keep a local digital copy of your insurance plus a physical copy.

In second place was the time I was stopped for speeding in one of my Smarts. It perhaps should have been more than just a ticket, but the cop couldn’t stop laughing at witnessing a Smart going so fast. The laugh was apparently good enough to let me off with a warning.

So, those are the dumbest stops I’ve ever had. What about you?

Topshot: framestock/stock.adobe.com

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Harmon20
Harmon20
8 days ago

I was “bumping the centerline.”

Not crossing the centerline, mind you. That was acknowledged. At no time did I leave my lane, cross a line, or even drive on a line. Fully in my lane but close to center – e.g. “bumping” it. Statie was severely pissed off.

No ticket or warning, just got my info run, got griped at a little, then told to get lost I never want to see you again, yadda yadda yadda. I have no idea what his beef was, but I’m convinced it didn’t have anything to do with me, I just happened to be the next poor sap to cross his path.

Last edited 8 days ago by Harmon20
Tyler S
Tyler S
9 days ago

The week before I went back to college they installed a new stop sign a block from work, the day they installed it they had a cop sit in a driveway 20 ft from the new sign with his lights on. I was watching him, wondering if he was going to pull out. didn’t even see the sign. He ticketed me for running it. The next day I went through that intersection someone had clearly ran that sign over with a truck. Front page news the next week in the one day the sign was standing he ticketed 73 people for running it, several of whom were sueing. That was 6 years ago there’s still no sign there.

Tyler S
Tyler S
9 days ago
Reply to  Tyler S

The other time I got pulled over was the day after I bought my current project, the dealer had taped the paper temp tag in the back window. Got pulled over for no plate. When I pointed out where it was he chewed me out for 10 minutes about how it has to be installed on the rear of the vehicle. My cousin (highway patrol) pulled up right about then. They talked at the rear of my truck for a few minutes, then my cousin walked up made a joke about the truck, then said if I’d hand him temp tag, he’d tape it to the talegate and I’d be good to go.

Jeff Marquardt
Jeff Marquardt
9 days ago

In 2007 I had just bought my first new car, minding my own business on the beltway of Beijing a traffic officer beckoned me to pull over. With no preamble, he just wondered what kind of car I was driving… when I asked him if there was anything else, he just said, “nope” so I drove away. This happened overseas, so the traffic cops are a bit different from those in the US. And at that time I had an imported all blacked out Hyundai Tiburon, it looked totally different from all the VW Jettas, Santanas, Citroens and other bricks that were on the road at that time.

AC2DE
AC2DE
10 days ago

I earned this one…

Summer of 2016 or so, I’m riding my 2004 KLX-300 that I managed to register on-road (it’s a complicated chain of claiming ignorance to register it in Germany, then again when I moved to Texas). I’m leaving work on Lackland Air Force Base, and I stop when the gate guards shut down the outbound lanes. I wasn’t watching my mirrors, and the Security Forces airman who was trying to stop me had to radio ahead.

It turns out that even my underpowered trail bike can do zero-to-speeding-ticket in under 200 feet when it’s a 15 MPH zone and I had just changed to the smallest rear sprocket that I could find. The airman would have just warned me, but since he had to radio for the gate to close, he had to show paperwork. It wasn’t a fine, but I got to explain to the rest of my unit how I was such a dummy.

Unrelated:
And there was every time I drove a different vehicle when I was working night shift as a teenager. I got stopped EVERY TIME I started driving a different vehicle. They were looking for drunks.

Last edited 10 days ago by AC2DE
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