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Old 05-16-2010, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Check your brake lights!

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Originally Posted by shiba View Post

Its awesome to hear someone (and i wont mention names ) say "you only used your brakes like 3 times!"

So... I got stopped in NY State the other day, on the way home from Pick-A-Part in Horseheads, NY.

It was a "routine" traffic stop... the officer had been following me for some time, of course, and noted that I hadn't used my "brakes" even one time, including slowing for traffic lights, etc. though a busy part of town... of course, using brilliant deductive logic, he decided that my brake lights MUST be blown out or inop... so he pulled me over.

When I saw his lights come on, I was going about 30 MPH. It takes me only a short time to stop from 30MPH once I shut the engine off, so, once again, I didn't use my brakes - "confirming" his suspicion.

Believe me - I was more than a little annoyed with this particular officer by the time all was said and done, and I may have gotten slightly belligerent with him and his insistence that it's absolutely impossible (!) to stop a vehicle without applying the service or parking brakes. (It was also decidedly wasteful of my time to explain to the officer that parking brakes don't turn on the brake lights, due to the fact that they're designed to hold the vehicle in place while it's stopped and parked... .)

So, after explaining (again) exactly what I did, and showing him that my brake lights were, in fact, operational, he reluctantly let me go with a "warning". I'm not really sure what he was warning me about, because it was clearly a verbal warning. I didn't even get a piece of paper, so I don't have his badge number or anything... Wish I did, cuz he was a mouthy one... I'd more than likely have reported him to higher authorities.

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Old 05-17-2010, 02:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Engine braking and stop lights.
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Christ -

Hee hee. I would have tapped the brakes at the very end so that he knew his argument was moot before he walked up beside my car.

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
 
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Quote:
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Christ -

Hee hee. I would have tapped the brakes at the very end so that he knew his argument was moot before he walked up beside my car.

CarloSW2
See, I don't ever really think about this - I've never been rear ended doing this, in probably 4-5 years of doing it as often as possible (I hate changing brakes, is all), so I figure that everyone can tell I'm slowing down/stopping, and after awhile, I forgot to hold the brake pedal just past the switch point anymore. Now, I do this instinctively without ever touching the brake pedal.

I just turn the engine off, and start walking the transmission down through the gears. If I come up a little long on the engine braking distance, THAT'S when I use my brakes. It doesn't happen often, because I normally don't need to come to a complete stop anywhere. When the light turns green, I turn the key back on, and begin re-accelerating back to the speed limit. I try to time the lights, but around here, it's killer at times, especially during peak-traffic times.

I guess if this is going to keep happening, I'm going to have to start using the brake pedal a little bit again... that's a shame, though - more electrical load.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hee hee. I would have tapped the brakes at the very end so that he knew his argument was moot before he walked up beside my car.
Yeah, brake check the tailgating cop!
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 05-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Christ -

Hee hee. I would have tapped the brakes at the very end so that he knew his argument was moot before he walked up beside my car.

CarloSW2
I just read this a different way, as well...

I wasn't really sure why the cop was pulling me over, so it never occurred to me to show him that my brake lights did, in fact, work.

That's one of those times where a little more information probably would have eased the situation a bit, eh?
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Chirst -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I just read this a different way, as well...

I wasn't really sure why the cop was pulling me over, so it never occurred to me to show him that my brake lights did, in fact, work.

That's one of those times where a little more information probably would have eased the situation a bit, eh?
Yeah, but you were within your rights, and it wasn't clear as to *why* he was pulling you over. In hindsight, I will make sure to use my brakes when I am being followed. In any case it sounds like he wasn't being reasonable.

I have a hunch that I am usually followed because of my small side-view mirror. Once they see all my other mirrors, they back off.

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Old 05-17-2010, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
See, I don't ever really think about this - I've never been rear ended doing this, in probably 4-5 years of doing it as often as possible (I hate changing brakes, is all), so I figure that everyone can tell I'm slowing down/stopping, and after awhile, I forgot to hold the brake pedal just past the switch point anymore. Now, I do this instinctively without ever touching the brake pedal.
I just turn the engine off, and start walking the transmission down through the gears. If I come up a little long on the engine braking distance, THAT'S when I use my brakes. It doesn't happen often, because I normally don't need to come to a complete stop anywhere. When the light turns green, I turn the key back on, and begin re-accelerating back to the speed limit. I try to time the lights, but around here, it's killer at times, especially during peak-traffic times.

I guess if this is going to keep happening, I'm going to have to start using the brake pedal a little bit again... that's a shame, though - more electrical load.
funny you mention the forget. I popped two brake lines a couple of years ago.. and had to use ebrake from highway speed, down to an exit ramp.. instinctively knew to hold the pedal just for the lights. The car has front ebrake cables going to rotors, mechanically operating the piston... I could use ebrake all day for real brakes...but I went rally mode crazy on the old soob.. back brakes to front are balanced, no plow.



last fall, I got hit in the back at a redlight, on a steep hill...stupid driver didn't even acknowledge my lights...goes to show, with or without, something stupid can happen. never count on anything..and stay alert.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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...some of the hybrid cars use "deceleration" lamps (yellow?) to warn following traffic that the vehicle is indeed slowing down towards a stop even though the brakes might not be activated yet.

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