Don’t Tailgate!

I’ve talked about how riding a bike has changed my driving habits.  One aspect is that I drive slower.  This has caused me some grief, as too many people are impatient.  Today, one driver got what he deserved.

I was driving up Highway 62 at 50 MPH – 5 MPH under the speed limit – and I was being tailgated by a pickup truck.  Traffic was light, it’s a 4-lane highway, and this guy couldn’t figure out to go around.

I ignored him, as I usually do.  He didn’t do anything aggressive, but didn’t back off either.  He continued for almost two miles.  At that point there was a police officer turning around in the road.  The officer started to pass us, then slowed and pulled behind the truck, and pulled him over.

It’s possible the guy had no license plate, or a light out, but odds are that he was pulled over for tailgating.  If so, that is the first time I’ve seen that happen, and I hope it continues.

I would have loved to stick around and listen to the conversation…

driver: “…but he wasn’t going the speed limit”

officer: “It’s an upper limit, not a lower limit.”

7 thoughts on “Don’t Tailgate!”

  1. What a riot, the same thing happened to me while driving to Michigan! Also a pick-up truck, but he was threatening — coming right up to my bumper. There was a lot of traffic, and I asume he was not happy because I was leaving too much room between my car and a loaded dump truck in front of me. He got pulled over! It was soooo satisfying to see. This was last year, but I still get gleeful when I think of it. I hate tailgaters!!!!

  2. I’ve felt for many years that folks who ride for utility are also better drivers. They (we?) tend to be more alert (something about awareness of one’s frailties, perhaps?), give larger margins for error, and even more polite when behind the wheels of cars.

    For this reason, I once fantasized on the concept of requiring a thousand miles of bicycle travel per year to maintain a driver’s license. There would be allowances for physical disabilities, and to be sure some abuses of such a system, but it would still be a neat concept.

  3. Braking for tailgaters is dangerous. I used to do that when I was young and stupid.

    But yeah, riding a bike has made me more aware while driving. The funny thing is, I’m pretty frail in my car too (Kia Rio). 🙂

  4. Oh, I’m well aware of the dangers. I had a special third brake light in one car I used to own, set up specifically for tailgaters. It was a high-power driving light with red lens repair tape over it, rigged with a relay that was switched so that if I had a tailgater, I could turn on the switch, and the light would come on with the brake lights. It worked for folks who had their headlights on bright setting, too.

    I’m not such a hot-head these days, but I’ve been known to tap my brakes (just enough to get the brake lights to flash) several times to get the guy behind me to wake up. Sometimes it even works.

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