Sunday, April 15, 2007

Salute to Police Officers!

Note: The original version of this post contained this copyrighted image. Due to the photographer's request it was taken down. My apologies to the photographer.

All the while, I have always thought that flashing light is the only way good drivers warn others of impending police speed traps. If you don't know what I mean, just try to recall the last time drivers from the oncoming traffic suddenly flashed their headlights on you and you got puzzled by their stupid gestures. The next time, you should feel warm and fuzzy inside, for they are trying to save you from a summon, or in the case of Malaysia, some good amount of coffee money. Of course in a place like Malaysia, people who flash headlights aren't necessarily friendly guys. They might actually just be freaking speeding demons who want to shove the cars in front off to the side road.

Talking about those demons who flash their lights behind you. You know what I call them? Show-offs. I reserve a hard corner of my heart for people who push their BMW / Merz / Volvo / Camry / [whatever 'big car'] behind me trying to force me to move to the other lane. There was once a car was forcing me so hard within a metre behind my car, and when I was trying to shift lane I almost banged into another car beside me. But after that experience I knew better what to do. I would let them wait while I cruise safely within the speed limit, and change the lane only when it's perfectly safe. I would not risk my life for show-off who think that they own the fast lane.

Back to flashing and warning... So yeah, I always thought that flashing is the only warning sign for speed trap or police officers, until I read this today:

... a local morning radio show had a segment in which people could call in to "salute" police officers.

For example, someone would call in and say, "I would like to salute the fine officer parked at the corner of 1st and Main." Then the hosts would yell "SALUTE".

By the time the segment ended you knew where every traffic cop in the city was hiding. It was hilarious!
"Good morning Mr. Officer parked on I-10 Eastbound at the 144 mile marker. It's a lovely day, isn't it?"
How creative that is!

To end this post, so that you know: flashing headlights to warn incoming traffics of police officers is illegal in some places. For example, in Virginia, US, flashing your headlights to warn about cops is considered as "Obstruction of Justice", which comes with a ticket if you get caught and gives you the title of a felon.

Hmmph. Gotta be careful next time.

p/s: I went to four trips in the last eight days, I will see if I have time to put up pictures. :)


Melissa said...

what if someone who is so unlucky, accidentally flashes the headlights (like my mom), at where the traffic cop is around....

youngyew said...

Haha no idea lehh.. I think in Malaysia don't have such law lar.. :P

day-dreamer said...

Cool morning radio show, hahaha!

But nowadays in Malaysia PLUS Highway, at some points they don't use traffic police anymore. I think they use infrared cameras...

youngyew said...

day-dreamer: Haha but those spots are well-known by regular drivers, so it wouldn't work as well as random spot-checks. :D

absidian said...

Chang Yang, the BMW picture you used in this post belongs to me.

It is copyrighted. Please remove it, and in future please ask for permission before using copyrighted images.

Btw, interesting blog you have. Regarding the flashing lights, the highway regulation strictly states that "unless overtaking, vehicles should keep the left lane". So, unless you were overtaking someone else in the left or middle lane, your cruising in the right lane is incorrect too, regardless of how fast the "offender" was travelling when he flashed you from behind. He may be breaking the law by speeding, but it is usually in your own interest of safety (and law) that you shouldn't be in the right lane unless you yourself were overtaking because that in itself is "illegal" too. It is unfortunate that Malaysian drivers (in general) have terrible lane manners, nevertheless everyone should be more aware of what is right/wrong in the first place to make our roads a safer and more pleasant place to be.

changyang1230 said...

Hey absidian, sorry to have used your copyrighted image. Have you just changed it to "all right reserved" or have it been this way all along? It seems that I have gotten the URL from "all sizes" page, so I thought it's under Creative Common?

I did link back to your flickr photo page so I thought it's in itself a proper attribution. If you have checked my other blog posts, whenever I used other's image I have always added an "Image credit" link to the original page. I didn't do it for this one because I thought the link on the photo itself is sufficient.

Neither this blog or post is for profit, so the fact that some people clicked through to your flickr photo page (I figure that's how you found this page?), I actually helped increase the exposure of your work without any profit to myself. I don't even serve any ad on my blog. So I can't see the reason behind your hostility in your second paragraph. I don't think that my "fault" deserves that much of reprimand, seeing that I had zero bad intention and had actually linked to you (which enabled you to find out about this page and reprimand me in the first place).

Regardless, I am also a photographer and I do appreciate the concept of intellectual property and stuff. I have taken down the photo as requested, and retained the link to your image. However, I hope that you realise that it's unfair for you to reprimand people who at least linked back to you - what do you reckon about people who actually used those pics and never linked back to you - and you would never have had the chance to reprimand?

Nice pic by the way.

changyang1230 said...

*has it been this way*

changyang1230 said...

Anyway about your original comment. It's true that many Malaysians don't observe the lane manners and drive on the right lane when they are not overtaking. I concur that sometimes I am guilty as charged as well.

However, sometimes what happens is, you see a car something like 50m ahead of you, and you switch to the right lane preparing to overtake it. If the speed difference is not very big, sometimes you would need some 30 seconds or so in order to overtake. And it's during this 30 second that some reckless guy came zooming behind you and try to flash you with the headlight like some hoons.

Sometimes, you don't just overtake one car, you overtake two or three cars that are spaced out in 100m or so. So you take even longer in the overtaking process. And hence more chance for those show offs to annoy you.

Of course occasionally I am guilty of driving on the right lane when I am not overtaking; but that's not the norm. My usage of the term "cruising" might have misled you to think that way, but when I say cruising it's more like 110km/h (speed limit) or slightly more while overtaking.

I am NOT an old bloke driving 70km/h on the right lane the whole journey in the highway. ;)