Just Obey Traffic Laws and Don’t Speed!
If you stumbled on this post, I’d bet you’re probably not the type to do that. So, here are some tips to avoid tickets and other unwanted attention, all the way up to the moment when you realize you’ve done screwed up, and the 5-O is turning around a half mile back. Enjoy your tryst with speed-fueled adrenaline.
Knowing and Seeing
Being on a motorcycle inherently makes you focus more. Without a cellphone, radio, food or other items to mess with you tend to pay more attention. In fact, a side affect of wearing a full face helmet is laser focus. The helmet will have your focus tunneled onto the road ahead, enhancing your detection capabilities.
Be on the look out for, the shine off of MC cops’ helmets hidden off the road, cars barely edging out from behind signs or bushes. At night, watch for moonlight shining on police cars. Trust your gut above all.
If the route your taking is going to get regular use, then take the time to memorize where the cops are sitting. Cops are creatures of habit. They follow the money. If they have made money in one spot, then they will continue to revisit that spot. Good hiding spots are hard to come by.
I have become so accustomed to where the cops sit around me, that maybe only twice a year one actually surprises me with their presence.
Take Advantage of Other Riders
The riding community is pretty freaking cool and tends to take care of one another on the road. Have a break down along the highway and someone will probably help you push your bike. Run out of gas and someone will probably give or get you some. Cop ahead, watch for a fist knocking on top of other riders’ helmets. Knocking your helmet with your fist is the universal sign that a cop has been spotted ahead.
Shielding and Positioning
This is what you should be doing most of the time. I have previously worked on radar systems and know of radars’ short comings. To take advantage of these, try to make as small a signature as possible. Radars aren’t as accurate with small objects. I will try to tuck into my bike, which is easy considering I ride a sport bike. Cruisers aren’t much bigger, so it works with them too.
If you are unsure if you are getting picked up, try riding past those street speed checkers, changing position until it doesn’t read you. Boom, a ninja is born.
Positioning behind larger and faster cars is another technique I employ daily. When a larger faster vehicle passes you, such as that jacked-up pickup hauling 70 in a 45, get right in behind them and over a lane. This lets them shield you from radar and the view of the police. It also gives you room to navigate and stay clear of any blind spots. If a radar trap is seen, just drop back and let them take the hit. It will appear the truck is overtaking you if the cop does notice you. It is also a clear legal defense if a larger vehicle was preventing line-of-sight or radar to tag you. Even better, film the whole thing you’ll be able to show that the cop got the “wrong guy”.
Running, Preemptive, or in Chase
My rules are never run from a State Trooper or a motorcycle cop. Both are better drivers and will catch you. Then there are city cops. The ones in SUVs are the worst drivers and the easiest to see. I think the key to avoid being pulled over is to just act preemptively when necessary. If you are speeding and see a squad car, immediately go to put distance between you and them.
Taking preemptive action means you don’t run from a lit up car. You are just speeding away from police presence. It also means you get a head start if the cop was going to chase. The cop still has to call it in, queue up their computer, hit the lights, accelerate, etc. By that time, you should be long gone and the chase over before it started.
Running from the cops is illegal but if you decide to take evasive maneuvers remember you are not in a car. Go between homes, down alleys, down trails. If you are going to evade, then do it all the way. Your motorcycle is more than capable of going places a car or SUV simply can’t. Take advantage of your machine’s capabilities. If you are going to wait it out, then remember how small your bike is. You don’t need streets, driveways, or parking spots to park. Parking on the sidewalk tucked behind a stairwell or behind some small gate works. Just know that if you do get caught, you are going to be in a lot more trouble than a simple speeding ticket.
Good luck and stay safe.
A Web Developer by trade, future data scientist.
A motorcycle enthusiast at heart.
Most days I’d rather be in the woods anywhere.