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Old 06-27-2012, 01:24 PM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,563,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Fair point--though hopefully you have your turn signal on.
I always use my signals... even when there is no one else around (it's just habit).

To be fair, the people behind me aren't mean honking horns or anything, I just kind of feel bad for holding them up.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:29 PM
 
815 posts, read 1,110,446 times
Reputation: 1767
This discussion and the issues it brings up allows me to write about something I've observed of late that I find more than a bit bizarre. Namely, who on the road is being targeted by Fairfax County police, MWAA police, and Virginia State police.

Let me state up front that I'm all for law enforcement going after poeple doing 80 or 85+ on highways, driving aggressively (e.g. tailgating), blatantly speeding on secondary roads or in special zones (e.g. school zones), and the like. That's especially true given that law enforcement has only a finite number of resources to deploy to keep the roads safe. But the following examples, most of which I've seen in the last month, make me wonder what the priorities are -- keeping the roads safe or hauling in revenue. In all five cases, it was daytime, sunny/dry weather, and light traffic.

#1) On the southbound Dulles Greenway, just before the main toll plaza by the airport: I don't recall what the speed limit is there, but I was about 5 mph above it. About 300 yards in front of me a police car is pacing the car in front of it. To judge by our relative distances, we're all going the same speed. All of a sudden the police car pulls over the car it was pacing, I'm guessing for a speeding ticket.

#2) On the eastbound Dulles Toll Road: as I get onto it from Rt. 28, an MWAA police car enters in front of me and gets into the far right-hand lane. I'm travelling the next lane over at the speed limit (55 mph there?) when the police car flicks on its lights and pulls over the driver in front of him, who could not have been going more than 60 mph (again, to judge by our relative distances).

#3) On the southbound Fairfax County Parkway, near Rt. 123: a Fairfax County police car perched on a small hill overlooking the Parkway suddenly pulls out just after I pass it. I was probably 3 to 5 mph over the speed limit, but I'm still thinking I'm toast. Fortunately for me, he's after a car in the far left lane which was probably 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit.

#4 & #5) On the southbound stretch of Soapstone Drive in Reston between Glade and Lawyers, the posted speed is 25 mph. Twice in the last 10 days there has been a Fairfax County police officer with a radar gun 100 yards from Lawyers ticketing motorists just after they've come down a steep downhill stretch where you have to ride your brake the entire time to stay under 25 mph. Except for two small cul-de-sacs near the Glade end of the road, there is open space on both sides with one marked pedestrian crossing on a nature trail. I was on foot when I saw the first motorist being ticketed, so I don't know his speed, but I was in front of the second when he was ticketed, and he could not have been going more than 30 mph.

Is this the new normal? Go even 5 mph over the speed limit, even when it's perfectly safe to do so, and risk a ticket? Yes, technically that's breaking the law, but I can't help but feel there are a lot bigger issues related to speeding and/or dangerous drivers with which law enforcement around here should concern itself.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,098,301 times
Reputation: 6826
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
ITechnically, you aren't supposed to change lanes in an intersection, so that third lane should have been clear for me to turn into.
That wasn't illegal in CA. Is it in VA?
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,589 posts, read 10,900,305 times
Reputation: 5608
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolio69 View Post
I'm going at the limit or maybe slightly above it (to keep up with traffic around me) in center lane. I change lanes b/c my exit is coming up. Some guy is barrelling down the right hand lane (going 20-30 above the limit) so fast that I can barely register him in my mirrors and honks at me for cutting him off. Come on, man!
I know you don't want to hear this but you were also partially at fault based on your explanation. Although speeding, especially excessive speeding, can negate your automatic right of way it still doesn't change the fact that you have an obligation as well with changing lanes.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:49 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 9,718,976 times
Reputation: 14028
Quote:
Originally Posted by ICS67 View Post
This discussion and the issues it brings up allows me to write about something I've observed of late that I find more than a bit bizarre. Namely, who on the road is being targeted by Fairfax County police, MWAA police, and Virginia State police.

Let me state up front that I'm all for law enforcement going after poeple doing 80 or 85+ on highways, driving aggressively (e.g. tailgating), blatantly speeding on secondary roads or in special zones (e.g. school zones), and the like. That's especially true given that law enforcement has only a finite number of resources to deploy to keep the roads safe. But the following examples, most of which I've seen in the last month, make me wonder what the priorities are -- keeping the roads safe or hauling in revenue. In all five cases, it was daytime, sunny/dry weather, and light traffic.

#1) On the southbound Dulles Greenway, just before the main toll plaza by the airport: I don't recall what the speed limit is there, but I was about 5 mph above it. About 300 yards in front of me a police car is pacing the car in front of it. To judge by our relative distances, we're all going the same speed. All of a sudden the police car pulls over the car it was pacing, I'm guessing for a speeding ticket.

#2) On the eastbound Dulles Toll Road: as I get onto it from Rt. 28, an MWAA police car enters in front of me and gets into the far right-hand lane. I'm travelling the next lane over at the speed limit (55 mph there?) when the police car flicks on its lights and pulls over the driver in front of him, who could not have been going more than 60 mph (again, to judge by our relative distances).

#3) On the southbound Fairfax County Parkway, near Rt. 123: a Fairfax County police car perched on a small hill overlooking the Parkway suddenly pulls out just after I pass it. I was probably 3 to 5 mph over the speed limit, but I'm still thinking I'm toast. Fortunately for me, he's after a car in the far left lane which was probably 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit.

#4 & #5) On the southbound stretch of Soapstone Drive in Reston between Glade and Lawyers, the posted speed is 25 mph. Twice in the last 10 days there has been a Fairfax County police officer with a radar gun 100 yards from Lawyers ticketing motorists just after they've come down a steep downhill stretch where you have to ride your brake the entire time to stay under 25 mph. Except for two small cul-de-sacs near the Glade end of the road, there is open space on both sides with one marked pedestrian crossing on a nature trail. I was on foot when I saw the first motorist being ticketed, so I don't know his speed, but I was in front of the second when he was ticketed, and he could not have been going more than 30 mph.

Is this the new normal? Go even 5 mph over the speed limit, even when it's perfectly safe to do so, and risk a ticket? Yes, technically that's breaking the law, but I can't help but feel there are a lot bigger issues related to speeding and/or dangerous drivers with which law enforcement around here should concern itself.
I'm not so sure your conclusions as to why they were pulled over are accurate. Just this evening, I passed a police officer on westbound DTR going 66 (66 being my "slow down" speed, as he was sitting right past a curve, so I had very little time to slow down) pointing a radar gun right at me. He neither pulled me, nor anyone else, over.

Maybe you have underestimated the speed those people were going? Also, it's very possible that those people were pulled over for other infractions that you were not aware of.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:36 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,978,728 times
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Just about two hours ago, I was driving home from work, northbound on the GW Parkway. I'm in the left lane (trying to do my usual, steady 60 in the 45, which is about what most people do). Somewhere near Ft. Hunt, I come around the curve to find this SUV is right there in the left lane, lumbering along at maybe 50 or 55. I slow down and give them a chance to move right. They don't. So yeah, I tailgate a little. No move. Then I hit the brights--still nothing. Then I honk--nothing. Another honk--still nothing!

Finally I blow into the right lane, come up even with her, roll the window down, and yell out, "The left lane is for passing!" Middle-aged, nondescript Mom-looking woman. No reaction on her part. (I was hoping for shame, I guess.)

I'm just baffled as to why someone would do something they should know is so infuriating to others, and with no benefit to oneself.

I mean, if she was about to turn left, *where was the left-turn signal*?! Had it been on, my reaction would have been completely different. (I did not see her turn left, so I think she was just being stupid.)

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 06-27-2012 at 05:44 PM..
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:51 PM
 
291 posts, read 495,626 times
Reputation: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Just about two hours ago, I was driving home from work, northbound on the GW Parkway. I'm in the left lane (trying to do my usual, steady 60 in the 45, which is about what most people do). Somewhere near Ft. Hunt, I come around the curve to find this SUV is right there in the left lane, lumbering along at maybe 50 or 55. I slow down and give them a chance to move right. They don't. So yeah, I tailgate a little. No move. Then I hit the brights--still nothing. Then I honk--nothing. Another honk--still nothing!

Finally I blow into the right lane, come up even with her, roll the window down, and yell out, "The left lane is for passing!" Middle-aged, nondescript Mom-looking woman. No reaction on her part. (I was hoping for shame, I guess.)

I'm just baffled as to why someone would do something they should know is so infuriating to others, and with no benefit to oneself.

I mean, if she was about to turn left, *where was the left-turn signal*?! Had it been on, my reaction would have been completely different. (I did not see her turn left, so I think she was just being stupid.)
And we wonder why there is road rage in Northern Virginia. You handled the situation well.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,589 posts, read 10,900,305 times
Reputation: 5608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Just about two hours ago, I was driving home from work, northbound on the GW Parkway. I'm in the left lane (trying to do my usual, steady 60 in the 45, which is about what most people do). Somewhere near Ft. Hunt, I come around the curve to find this SUV is right there in the left lane, lumbering along at maybe 50 or 55. I slow down and give them a chance to move right. They don't. So yeah, I tailgate a little. No move. Then I hit the brights--still nothing. Then I honk--nothing. Another honk--still nothing!

Finally I blow into the right lane, come up even with her, roll the window down, and yell out, "The left lane is for passing!" Middle-aged, nondescript Mom-looking woman. No reaction on her part. (I was hoping for shame, I guess.)

I'm just baffled as to why someone would do something they should know is so infuriating to others, and with no benefit to oneself.

I mean, if she was about to turn left, *where was the left-turn signal*?! Had it been on, my reaction would have been completely different. (I did not see her turn left, so I think she was just being stupid.)
Wow. I would say your road rage filled driving was worse than her offense. Can you say reckless driving on your part? I like the "tailgate a little" comment. Didn't know you could tailgate just a little?
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:09 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,978,728 times
Reputation: 3858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
Wow. I would say your road rage filled driving was worse than her offense. Can you say reckless driving on your part? I like the "tailgate a little" comment. Didn't know you could tailgate just a little?
Maybe you're right. (In fact, my wife would agree with you--if she knew. Which she won't.) But what should I have done? What is a driver supposed to do when someone insists on blocking the left lane? I mean, come on--I'm not Ghandi!

(Re. "tailgate a little," I mean I was probably about one car length behind her, rather than right up on the bumper.)

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 06-27-2012 at 06:29 PM..
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,121 posts, read 12,691,081 times
Reputation: 3771
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Maybe you're right. (In fact, my wife would agree with you--if she knew. Which she won't.) But what should I have done? What is a driver supposed to do when someone insists on blocking the left lane? I mean, come on--I'm not Ghandi!

(Re. "tailgate a little," I mean I was probably about one car length behind her, rather than right up on the bumper.)
I see no reason to push someone close up, but I think it is ok to flash your lights to signal you want a car to move over so that you can pass. At least I seem to remember reading that in VA code. I'll try to look it up.
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