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  • Fatal traffic enforcement accident..

    Three days ago, an Officer in Howard County, Maryland was struck by a speeding vehicle he was trying to flag down as part of a speed enforcement detail. It's common to see officers stepping into traffic wearing bright vests to direct them to the shoulder. Unfortunately, in this case, the driver didn't see the officer and the result was a fatality...

    Anyway, the question is whether this is a common practice across the country? Not yet a LEO, I obviously have not had the opportunity to try this, but I can see it as an effective, yet extremely dangerous method of enforcement.

    Comments? Opinions?

    Thanks
    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils"

  • #2
    Very common in the state of Maryland. MSP routinely does it on really busy highways
    Just shut your damn hole




    Dead Souls-----They keep calling me

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    • #3
      Thanks Chiller.. I have seen MSP on 50 and 95 stepping into the left lane, and while I do believe it's effective, I'm always concerned for the Officer's safety with cars whizzing by at 60, 70, 80 MPH..
      "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils"

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh yes and could be one of the things I hate doing the most. Red's and blue's have a hypnotic effect on people sometimes rendering them completely retarded. I've directed traffic at a main intersection before and one time felt a more than gentle tug at my holster as an 89 year old womans 75 caddie's mirror helped me walk about 10 steps that I didn't want to take.
        Sometimes, doing the right thing means p***ing off the bosses.

        "And shepherds we shall be, for thee my lord for thee."

        Originally posted by dontknowwhy
        I still think troopers and deputies who work in the middle of no where with essentially no back up are the 'men among men' of the LEO world.
        Originally posted by weinerdog2000
        as far as your social experiment, if we cant film you then you cant film us, we will arrest you for obstruction of our freedom.

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        • #5
          Our department has very strict regulations on where traffic safety checkpoints can be set up. We mostly do them on 2 lane roadways, never on highways. Flare patterns need to be set up a certain way and we have to have a certain amount of people to do them.

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          • #6
            Fatal traffic

            Certainly one of our more hazardous activities. Don't really know of any way we'll make it 100% safe.

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            • #7
              This is very common in MD and I've seen it in some other states as well.

              Where I work, the major highways, interstates are patrolled by MSP. When I do this type of enforcement, one has to be extremely careful about stepping into the roadway. I tend to stand closer to the side then in the center of the roadway and I watch the car closely. If there is no sign of them slowing down, I immediately step further to the side and still attempt to get their attention. If they do not stop, then a marked unit will go after them and make the stop.

              I have worked enforcement such as this and have been busy writing a citation when I hear tires screeching and look up to see the flagging officer in the middle of roadway with the car skidding right up to him/her.

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              • #8
                and the result was a fatality...
                Why I wouldn't do it.

                Sorry about the loss just the same.
                "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Taylor1430 View Post
                  This is very common in MD and I've seen it in some other states as well.

                  Where I work, the major highways, interstates are patrolled by MSP. When I do this type of enforcement, one has to be extremely careful about stepping into the roadway. I tend to stand closer to the side then in the center of the roadway and I watch the car closely. If there is no sign of them slowing down, I immediately step further to the side and still attempt to get their attention. If they do not stop, then a marked unit will go after them and make the stop.

                  I have worked enforcement such as this and have been busy writing a citation when I hear tires screeching and look up to see the flagging officer in the middle of roadway with the car skidding right up to him/her.
                  It's really unfortunate that drivers aren't paying more attention...

                  I've seen HCPD doing this on 32, 175, 100 and 29 and each time it is obvious that they are ahead and very obvious when an officer is in the middle of the roadway. If the bright neon vest isn't enough, then I don't know what is.. I was driving south on 29 one time and the person in front of me was being flagged and tried to jump three lanes to the right side and the officer marched all the way to the right lane and stood in front of the vehicle. Stopped all three lanes of traffic..

                  I bet some drivers are focused too much on their cell phones/doing their nails/eating/changing the station/etc. than the road and what's ahead..
                  "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils"

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                  • #10

                    We never did that type of enforcement - thankfully; although I have traveled through MD many times and saw troopers jump out on to I-270 and I-95 to "flag down" a speeding car.


                    When I was a deputy and driving my personal car (off duty, of course), I approached a controlled intersection with a malfunctioning traffic signal where there were three marked units with strobe lights activated. It was a very dark night and the red & blue flashing lights did have that 'hypnotic effect' mentioned above. I was paying attention and still did not see the officer until I was almost on top of him. Ditto for other cars behind me and around me.


                    I think that officer should probably have worn his orange vest that night, but perhaps he had just arrived and did not have time to put it on yet. I would never dream of trying to direct traffic without one - or a flashlight with the orange tip. Even with that, there will always be the person with bad night vision, the distracted teenager or the drunk on their way home from happy hour.


                    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                    ------------------------------------------------

                    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We've done it, I've seen other departments in the area that do it as well, on the local streets and roads. However we have never done it on the highways. I wouldn't even dream of it, the way S. Floridians drive.

                      A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                      It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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                      • #12
                        This is quite common. Not too long ago an Orange County Sheriff Office deputy was killed while trying to flag down a speeder. The difference is that this driver did see the deputy, and aimed for him. He took off, and luckily was caught by an off duty officer from out of state that saw it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StudChris View Post
                          This is quite common. Not too long ago an Orange County Sheriff Office deputy was killed while trying to flag down a speeder. The difference is that this driver did see the deputy, and aimed for him. He took off, and luckily was caught by an off duty officer from out of state that saw it.
                          Wow, that's terrible. At least he was caught.. First Degree Murder?
                          "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils"

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                          • #14
                            I've seen the Ohio State Patrol do this many, many times, by themselves, without a reflective vest. It always floored me. The job is dangerous enough, why add to it?

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                            • #15
                              This is certainly NOT something you'll see in Southern California. To me it's just too dangerous.
                              Last edited by LuvedMyMotor; 06-26-2007, 08:53 AM.

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