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Posted: 2/11/2006 7:27:58 AM EDT
Driving home the other night this state trooper is on the side of the road with a car blue lighted.

I've noticed that it seems the officers now always point the nose of their cars out into traffic toward the driver's side rear of the car they are behind.

Just curious what the reason for that is. I'm guessing it's something to do with the rubberneckers staring as they drive by? The cruiser probably gives a little protection as the officer is walking up to the window.

Thanks...
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:32:17 AM EDT
No, its so that some dumbass doesnt plow into his cruiser and kills him and the person he has pulled over. LEOs get hit all the time while they are along the side of the road. Drunks, rubber neckers, shitty drivers, sleeping drivers. You name it. More then one LEO has been killed.

The position of the car gives some protection. Also in MI anyway you have to go to the far lane if you see a LEO on the side of the road.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:14:08 AM EDT
There is a tactical purpose for it as well, having to do with maintaining cover while advancing or retiring from the subject vehicle. One of our LEOs can explain it. However, I've seen it taught so many ways that I think the underlying requirement is just "Put some sheet metal, wheel, &/or engine block between you and the driver," and every "expert" has his own "one and only" way of doing that.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:16:00 AM EDT
I've seen too many videos of Officers being stuck while at the side of a vehicle.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:22:22 AM EDT
Most of us can't shoot straight, so parking straight is out of the question.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:33:45 AM EDT
I think it is to blind the drivers on the oncoming cars. With all the damn lights that they have on lord knows that you can't see them with all the glare.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:34:13 AM EDT
I too have noticed this new type of stopping technique. It used to be that the officer would place his hood ornament roughly in line with the offender's driver's side tail lights, thus giving him/her a better view of the suspect and their vehicle. But I too have seen too many police videos where some idiot crashed into the cruiser and wounded or killed the LEO.
InMiddleburg Hts, Ohio, a local LEO had a driver stopped on I-71 and they were near the end of an entrance ramp. The officer was at the side of the suspect's car doing his duty, when another guy in a truck, for whatever reason, veered across 3 lanes of rush hour traffic and slammed the LEO's cruiser. The patrol car lurched forward and pinned the officer between his own cruiser and the stopped vehicle. He lost a leg, and his career. It was a terrible instance of a driver's inattention, that in turn caused a terrible tragedy. My guess is that maybe the 'angle stop' technique is hopefully meant to deflect another oncoming idiot with the LEO's cruiser, and therefore reducing the risk. I hope it works, their job is dangerous enough.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:36:27 AM EDT
We had a string of state troopers get killed when other cars hit theirs and them while they were stopped on the side of the interstate a few years ago. Since then they've also made pulling over into the far lane a law in our state.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:38:56 AM EDT
This is one reason I'm not a cop. The side of the interstate is so friggin' scary to me that I'd make traffic stops by blue-lighting the offender, then yelling over the PA "OK. Go up to the next exit and then sort of drive around till you see a parking lot without a lot of big trucks in it, or someplace else that looks safe. Let your dog or kid get out and walk around a bit and we'll see if he gets hit. If not, meet me in the first booth at the Waffle House. And bring your driver's license."
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 10:46:32 AM EDT
You park your patrol car offset from the stopped vehicle to allow a clear path for the officer to walk in so the officer does not get hit by another car.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 10:49:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
This is one reason I'm not a cop. The side of the interstate is so friggin' scary to me that I'd make traffic stops by blue-lighting the offender, then yelling over the PA "OK. Go up to the next exit and then sort of drive around till you see a parking lot without a lot of big trucks in it, or someplace else that looks safe. Let your dog or kid get out and walk around a bit and we'll see if he gets hit. If not, meet me in the first booth at the Waffle House. And bring your driver's license."



Now that's how you do it!
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 10:53:59 AM EDT
This is a guess but IMHO the angle would tend to deflect a collision away from the officer on foot, as well as the stopped vehicle, if the police vehicle was struck from behind. If they parked square, a collision with the police vehicle would tend to create a three car pileup.

As previously mentioned, LEO's need to alter their lighting when making stops like this to avoid blinding other drivers. I have experienced that myself.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:04:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:06:13 AM EDT
Here is your answer: If you pay attention, you will always see the cruiser's front wheels turned fully toward the direction of the road (fully left). They also park the vehicle back and more proximal to the road than the subject's car.

This is done so that when struck from behind, the patrol car will track to the left (into the roadway) instead of into the pulled over vehicle. It is a protective maneuvre.

I have noticed in the last year or two that the MO State Highway Patrol is parking with their cruiser at an angle as you describe (as well as having the tires turned fully left), and I assume it's due to more research into such crashes and they determined that it would enhance the deflecting of the cruiser into the road intsead of the pulled over vehicle.

I learned this in EMT class in Texas way back in '97. Had to think for a bit about where I picked that up...
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:11:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gamma762:
This is a guess but IMHO the angle would tend to deflect a collision away from the officer on foot, as well as the stopped vehicle, if the police vehicle was struck from behind. If they parked square, a collision with the police vehicle would tend to create a three car pileup.

As previously mentioned, LEO's need to alter their lighting when making stops like this to avoid blinding other drivers. I have experienced that myself.




It's only been recently that lightbar control options have allowed this. Unfortunetely, most lightbars that have this degree of freedom in lighting options are pretty pricey and large agencies (like mine) and very small agencies will likely not be able to afford them for some years down the road.

I would be nice for me to be able to say, kick off the white rotators to the rear and just leave my red/blues and arrowstick running. Sadly it's not an option for me. the new set-ups we are getting dont even have arrowsticks, which is royally pissing me off.


Sheep
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 11:13:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
This is one reason I'm not a cop. The side of the interstate is so friggin' scary to me that I'd make traffic stops by blue-lighting the offender, then yelling over the PA "OK. Go up to the next exit and then sort of drive around till you see a parking lot without a lot of big trucks in it, or someplace else that looks safe. Let your dog or kid get out and walk around a bit and we'll see if he gets hit. If not, meet me in the first booth at the Waffle House. And bring your driver's license."



Link Posted: 2/11/2006 3:20:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By topknot:
Here is your answer: If you pay attention, you will always see the cruiser's front wheels turned fully toward the direction of the road (fully left). They also park the vehicle back and more proximal to the road than the subject's car.

This is done so that when struck from behind, the patrol car will track to the left (into the roadway) instead of into the pulled over vehicle. It is a protective maneuvre.

I have noticed in the last year or two that the MO State Highway Patrol is parking with their cruiser at an angle as you describe (as well as having the tires turned fully left), and I assume it's due to more research into such crashes and they determined that it would enhance the deflecting of the cruiser into the road intsead of the pulled over vehicle.

I learned this in EMT class in Texas way back in '97. Had to think for a bit about where I picked that up...



That sounds good in theory, however, the force of an impact at highway speeds is too great for the tires alone to track the police vehicle in the direction the tires are turned. Two little tires turned to the left will have nil effect on the direction the impact goes when the vehicle is struck by a 2500 + lbs vehicle traveling 55-85 mph. If the police car is 1-2 car lengths behind the pulled over vehicle and is struck in the example I stated above, the direction of the tires means nothing.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 3:32:37 PM EDT
I think it's to keep the guy thats pulled over from backing up into the patrol car, and deploying the airbag, leaving the car difficult to drive and buying the bg somewhat of a headstart. Also the above reasons.

-vT
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 3:39:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HeldHostage:
We had a string of state troopers get killed when other cars hit theirs and them while they were stopped on the side of the interstate a few years ago. Since then they've also made pulling over into the far lane a law in our state.



A family member that works in a suburb of Birmingham tells me that he had a friend get hit like this a few years ago. Now his wife has to support him and their kids together, and he doesn't even know that he's an adult.
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