Australian Cops Are Using Unmarked Motorcycles To Pull People Over

Spotting an unmarked police car can be easy. Dark blue Ford Crown Victoria shadily hanging out on the side of the highway? Piece of cake. Random motorcycle in traffic that then asks you to roll your window down for a public scolding? You'll never see it coming.

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Cops on unmarked bikes in Western Australia are mostly being used to issue tickets for cell phone use, according to Perth Now:

Just in the past seven days, officers on the bikes issued 147 infringements to motorists for mobile phone offences and another 26 fines to drivers for not wearing seatbelts.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich said the new fleet of unmarked bikes would strongly target inattentive driving, which he described as an "unacceptable phenomena."

Though I don't really care about the tickets, or the bikes, at this point. What I love is the way Australian cops talk to people they're pulling over, like they're a Very Disappointed Parent:

You're going to go over there and we're going to talk about using a mobile phone while you're driving!

And after that, you're going to go to your room and think about what you did. We work very hard to make sure you're safe out there, driving your car, and there you go being irresponsible. What kind of child are we raising? You'll never be able to get into college like this.

DISCUSSION

rdr0b11
David Ruddock

On the one hand texting & driving = bad. On the other, he's pulling over people who are otherwise stopped. I check my phone if I'm in bumper-to-bumper gridlock or a long light. It's not hurting anyone. I would be pretty miffed if I got a ticket for it, but luckily LAPD has way better things to do.

I get the reasoning - if they're doing it at a stop light, they're probably trying to get away with it while actually moving at speed. But in the world of criminal law, I tend to feel uneasy that a largely safe behavior is being treated as tantamount to a very unsafe one simply as a supposition.

I understand that the law supports what this guy is doing, but I get that "due process" tingle in the back of my throat when I see people getting ticketed for something that, in the moment, isn't a detriment to public or personal safety. I get it, we can't trust people not to be idiots, so we should police it just to be safe, but still.