Contractor Has Close Call

Someday my dash camera is going to capture a magical moment. Its going to be recording when something so wildly unbelievable happens that I’ll need video evidence to prove that it really happened. Today is not that day, but I was able to capture this close call on Interstate 41 near Appleton, Wisconsin.

Things could have been a whole lot worse for both of us. thankfully everybody was ok and nothing serious came of it.

This Poor Green Bay Police Officer Is Lost (Video)

I’m not sure what this police officer was doing, but I wasn’t about to try to pass him in a bad position like that with traffic moving to my right side. Sometimes it’s better just to hold your position until it’s safe. If there was more room in the travel lane I would have made the pass, but I wasn’t about to risk crashing into a police car. That’s not a very good idea. Thanks to the Green Bay Police Department for helping me shoot some interesting video.

My Ticket For Obstructing Traffic

First off, let me just say that I think that this ticket is totally bullshit. It could have been much worse, but there are far more dangerous people on the road than me.

You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?

Ok, here’s the story. I was just leaving the Petro Truckstop in Bordentown, NJ and I was headed for the New Jersey Turnpike / I-95. New Jersey is a crazy place, one like I have never seen before, and the traffic formations can be quite confusing at times. In this particular case, in order to make it from the connecting road to the Turnpike, you had to make a left hand turn onto a major road and then a quick exit to the toll booth access road. Knowing this, I set myself up in the center lane to make the left hand turn. When driving a big truck with a trailer, you want to turn from the outermost lane whenever possible, because it makes clearing the turn much easier. I did what I have done in every other left hand turn I have ever made in my entire life prior to this, leaving the inside lane for faster cars, and the far right lane for cars turning right.

The only problem is that there were THREE LEFT TURN LANES!!! I have never seen three left turn lanes at an intersection in my life. The right lane is ALWAYS for turning right or going straight, and since there was no option of going straight I had assumed that it was a right turn lane only. I should have taken the hint when the far right lane was the most congested, and I probably should have seen the signs that indicate that all three lanes turn left and that to get to the turnpike you need to be in the far right lane.

As soon as I get to the stopping point in the center lane, I realize my mistake. I have two options at this point. Stop and let all of the cars in the left lane go, or hope that one of them stops and lets me in, or continue making my left hand turn on to some unknown road where I might be met with a low bridge or a route not intended for trucks. That’s possibly the most scary situation I could get in, is being lost in New Jersey. No thanks! So I did the safest, most reasonable thing I could think of, and that was to signal to the big truck along side of me that I need to get in his lane. I looked over and made eye contact, and motioned that I would like to get over and he nodded. So when the light turned green, I took my opening.

The Maneuver 

I made a quick acceleration and began to turn form the center lane onto the road, I had cleared the other big truck by two whole truck lengths and I moved over once I completed the turn and could see that I was clear of him. I signaled him with my flashing marker light that I appreciated his gesture, a move that any trucker knows and is familiar with, and continued on my way.

“Well that was a close one,” I thought to myself. “It could have been much worse and I’m thankful that the other driver was nice enough to let me in like that. I thought people in New Jersey were supposed to be complete assholes. That guy must have been from the Midwest or something.” As soon as that thought completed through my brain, I looked in the mirror and saw flashing red and blue lights. Where the hell did this guy come from? There weren’t any cops around. Well apparently there was, and he nailed me.

He comes up to the car and asks if I saw the three signs indicating that I needed to be in the far right lane to legally make that move. I tell him that I did not, and that where I come from there is no such thing as three left turn lanes. Ignorance is no excuse and I can completely understand his point. I should have been paying attention to the signs.

Cops Doing Favors

He proceeds to point out that he could write me a long list of violations, from reckless driving, to unsafe lane change, changing lanes in an intersection, and a few more that I can’t even remember. Instead, he assures me that he understands that I didn’t mean to do any harm and that he will do me a favor and only give me a ticket for obstructing traffic. This… favor… he says is a non-moving violation, the same ticket I would get if my car stalled in the intersection, and will not incur any points and the fine would be less than $50. It was surely a lot better than the tickets he could have written me, right?

Well in reality, the ticket was for Obstructing Passage of Other Vehicles, a moving violation in the state of New Jersey, and carried a fine of $187 and 3 points on my license. It double my car insurance rate with Progressive, and it went on my DAC, trucking’s version of a permanent record. I’ll have to explain this ticket at every driving job I ever apply for in the rest of my driving career. It’s only silly because nobody got hurt, I communicated my intentions, and even got the blessing of the guy to make the move as safe as possible.

Well, it is what it is, and there’s no hiding from it now. What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever been pulled over for? Hit me up on Twitter @cody_rose and tell me about it.

 




My Close Call In Ohio

I was traveling westbound on Interstate 70 in Columbus, Ohio in September when this big truck decided to put us in a rather dangerous situation. He took us three wide and shot up the middle, forcing me into the left lane of traffic. Luckily I was paying attention and anticipated him coming over, so I had enough time to check if that left lane was open before he shoved me into it. I had just merged from the right lane into the center lane because of merging traffic entering the highway. This video is part of the reason why I hate truckers so much. Do you have dash cam footage of a close call you were a part of? Tweet me the link to the video at @cody_rose




That Time Obama Almost Turned The Car Around

While driving across Ohio on the turnpike I was listening to a rally for Hillary Clinton on Sirius XM Radio and I came across this audio byte that I thought I would share. President Obama was on hand to rally supporters and when a protester ignited the crowd, the president had a tough time getting them under control. Hold up! Don’t make me turn this car around, you hear?

This dash cam footage was taken using the Drive HD by Cobra.




Almost Got Caught Speeding

 

Back in December I was driving through Pennsylvania on I76 and I was coming down the mountain pretty fast. The speed limit is posted at 65mph and I was doing 70-75mph. As I was coming down the mountain, I heard another driver on the CB radio announce that there was a police officer waiting for me just around the corner. By the time I heard the message and tried to slow down, it was too late. I already saw the officer and he was already beginning to come after me. I’ve never had a speeding ticket in my life. I’m actually quite a safe driver, although some might say that I’m slow and unnecessarily cautious.

While I was looking down at the speedometer and trying to slow down, I didn’t notice that a car had just passed me going much faster than me. He had to have been going 80-85mph. So while I thought the state trooper was coming after me for speeding, he was really going after the other car. You can hear it in my commentary, that I thought I was busted for sure.

This video was filmed using the Drive HD Camera by Cobra.