While I am perfectly clear about some etiquette details with regard to police:

–          Don’t call them “ocifer” even if just kidding around when stopped

–          Don’t flip them off and tell them you were simply saying they were doing a #1 job

–          Make donut jokes

There are some etiquette items that I am unclear on. Unfortunately I had two of them back to back today.

First. Let me say I am now in a city where they are maniacally focused on pedestrian rights in crosswalks. As soon as a person even implies they are about to step into a crosswalk they have the right of way. Even if say you are going 50 miles an hour and the light is green and the crosswalk appears clear.

Stop if someone steps off the curb (or even threatens to step off).


Here I am ready to make a right hand turn (on red … legally). Road is curving into the intersection so I as I look to my left it’s difficult to see that far up the road as cars come down the hill.

I inch out to get a better look attempting to insure some kamikaze coming down the hill on the cell phone doesn’t abuse my car. I am now officially in the crosswalk.police-car-lights

A police car slides up behind me (which is typically good for a slight uptake in the heartbeat even if you aren’t even close to doing anything wrong).

So I am now partially blocking the crosswalk with a black & white behind me and me being doubly careful I don’t cut in front of a car coming down the hill.

And then, lo and behold, the local wino, pushing their favorite shopping cart, curves around the corner of the hill on the sidewalk ambling toward the cross walk that I am partially blocking on the far side of where willy the wino is going to enter the crosswalk.


Do I make my legal right on red now and risk getting hit but get out of the crosswalk before he enters the crosswalk?

Do I hope the light actually turns green so I can just turn?

Do I honk and wave at the policeman to back his fat ass up and I back up?

Do I just get out of my car and walk back to the policeman and ask them for the ticket I know is coming? Do I roll down the window and shout out to Willy the wino to hurry up cause I have the 5 bucks I owe him?

Painful decisions I have to make. I am unclear of the etiquette here. And I was hesitant to ask the ocifer for etiquette advice.



And then there is the slow fast left turn light.

You know what I am talking about.

The left turn arrow takes forever to appear. You can sit for seemingly an hour and cars are going and coming and turning every which way except the left hand turn lane you are in. And when it does turn green it’s for about 5 seconds.

So. The police car is the only car in front of me at the slow fast left turn light.

We have been sitting there forever. The policeman is looking out to his left.

The turn arrow finally turns green.

We sit.

He continues looking out to his left.

We sit.

Seems like hours (Its seconds but the frickin light is only green for a milliminute).

car54Do I honk? (without yelling or flipping him off).

Is he just sitting there staring at the good looking woman standing on the corner in the short shorts and jogging at a standstill for the light to change?

Or is he staring at some unseen hoodlum ready to commit a crime I can’t see and my honking would disturb the surveillance and “blow the nab” (so they say down at the police house) for him?

Do I honk and he just gets pissed off and writes me a ticket for any reason he wants? (but I make the left hand turn)


Needless to say. Light switches to yellow. He notices at last minute. Accelerates thru light and I am stuck. I could point out that the light was probably orange when he actually entered the intersection but I am not even sure what the etiquette is for that.

It was a very tough police etiquette day today.

Needless to say I stopped by a donut shop afterwards to think about it all. Powdered. None of the gooey stuff inside. And no I didn’t see any cops when I was there.

Written by Bruce