Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos we find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.
Any video that suggests “limiting your dependence on brakes” in the first 30 seconds is a winner in our book, and this 1974 patrol-car driving lesson for police did just that. Yes, teacher, we are certainly listening now.
If you’ve ever dreamed about learning police maneuvers or classic instruction on car control, this video provides a way to go to class without the tiny chairs or requirement to take any comprehensive notes. On top of that, it looks like an enjoyable one to take. (The driving part does, at least.)
The video comes from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, teaching all about police chases, maneuvers, turnarounds, speed and safe-driving skills. Included in that is a pretty major warning about driving under a Code 3, which requires officers to drive through traffic with lights and sirens in order to reach an emergency as quickly as possible:
“On a Code 3, one thing to realize is that your siren and your emergency lights don’t qualify you as an emergency driver any more than a badge and a gun make a competent officer.”
Ouch. People didn’t put things lightly back then, did they?
The video even shows a test of how effective a siren is, emphasizing that police shouldn’t expect other cars to move over just because of it. One patrol car with its sirens on passes another, and the man inside raises his hand when he hears the approaching siren—which, unnervingly, isn’t until it pulls up alongside.
After going through all of the tests and lessons, the students get to take patrol cars out on the driving course and things start to look really fun. If anything, I’m ready to go hoon a ‘70s patrol car now—surely you are, too.
But that probably won’t happen anytime soon.
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