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Old 11-20-2009, 04:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bobc455 View Post
The only justification I've ever heard is when a police car is on a multi-lane road, if they do the speed limit they essentially become a moving roadblock and cause unnecessary traffic congestion and unsafe conditions.
That thinking is bass-ackwards. If the speed limit is unsafely low, then it should be raised. Why should we all be expected to break the law all the time just to be safe? That ludicrous! If 85 is the speed that can most safely flow the required volume of traffic, the speed limit should be at least 85.

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Was the cop using his lights and siren?
No, he most definitely was not. Neither officer was.

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In any event...you don't make a left turn in front of oncoming traffic unless you KNOW you have enough room...
Consider how far away the 100mph cop was at the time. When you see a car off in that distance, it's entirely reasonable to expect that it can't possibly arrive at your location in the time it takes you to complete your turn.

I'd like to point out a few minor changes to the story that would majorly change the result:
- If it was just me doing 100mph on that road and there was no accident, I'd be behind bars.
- If it was me who hit and killed the left-turner while going 100mph, I'd be behind bars for a LONG time.
- If I was doing 100mph and the officer was turning left and I hit and killed him, I would be brutalized by the other officer and put away for life. The police and the media would paint me as a murderous premeditating cop-killer.

If there's anyone we should expect to drive safely, it would be police. That one drove at a speed that could never be safe on that road, and then didn't even try to evade the car that was in the road.

If a pedestrian had been crossing, consider the amount of time it takes to cross; the police car could have been totally out of sight when the pedestrian entered their lane and then run over the pedestrian before the officer could even see him in that light. At that speed, a lot of distance is covered very quickly.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:01 AM   #12
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To put this in terms that are easier to understand, 100 MPH = 146.66 feet/second (FPS). 40 MPH =48.66 FPS. If the cop was going anywhere near the speed limit he would have only gone about 20 - 25 feet in the fraction of a second it takes to move your foot from the accelerator to the brake. At 100 MPH he travelled 70 - 80 feet in that fraction of a second. Since the police car was travelling at nearly 3 times the speed limit I think that it would have been reasonable for the other driver to think that they had plenty of room. That's why police cars have flashing blue & red lights to warn other drivers that they are travelling at high speed. There were no warning devices activated on the vehicle. The only time I assume a vehicle might be coming at me at 100 MPH is when merging onto a highway, not crossing a city street.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:27 AM   #13
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Speaking of fractions of a second:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/22713350/Anderson-Warrant

The cop did not react until there was less than 1 second left. The gas pedal was 100% floored until 8/10 second before the collision.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
<snip> The only time I assume a vehicle might be coming at me at 100 MPH is when merging onto a highway, not crossing a city street.
When making a left turn, one should never ASSUME ANYTHING!

Maybe it was my having to learn to drive in a car that could give a snail an interesting race (1960 Corvair w/2 speed Powerglide), or maybe it was just a conservative leaning regarding driving in general, probably the only activity in which I have ever considered myself conservative, but I always make sure I have about double the adequate room to make a left turn, and only after I have pretty well determined the speed of the oncoming cars (if any). With the Corvair, not only was the acceleration very sedate, but if one hit the gas too fast, it was likely to stall. (This was probably due to a vacuum leak where the vacuum crossover pipe attached to the heads, something I didn't realize at the time I was driving that car.)

As I have said, I've had people get impatient behind me, but as far as I am concerned, their impatience is their problem, not mine.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:15 AM   #15
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Arrow

In the urban environment I live in I regularly assume that cars are coming at me 10-15 MPH over the speed limit. If I assumed every car was going 100 MPH I would never even be able to get out of the driveway until maybe midnight or 2 AM.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:38 PM   #16
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One shouldn't assume the speed of an oncoming car. You look at it and judge the speed, and then make your decision to turn.

On the other hand, I did a little research on this particular incident. Not the Sean Hannity website or similar stuff, but the original news reports from the days after the crash. It seems that, indeed, the cop was apparently doing what he shouldn't oughta. (The investigation is ongoing.) Since this information was not in the original post, and because I have seen it happen, I made the ***/umption that there may have been a legitimate reason for his driving at that speed.

I can understand the apparent situation...called to a neighboring town to help break up a brawl...heading back to his own jurisdiction...maybe he wasn't really supposed to be going to assist the neighboring town cops, but he did anyway...the adrenaline still flowing and driving a car with a fair amount of power, in a hurry to get back...probably YDAFOC...doesn't at all excuse his actions, but I can see how it could happen...
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:03 AM   #17
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Yeah, I forgot to mention that; there is neither evidence nor any claim that he was responding to an emergency or otherwise had any reason to be going fast at all. As is visible in the video, he did not use his strobe lights.

No matter what the emergency, 95mph (from the arrest warrant) is not acceptable on that road.

Oh, and as for assuming the speed of oncoming traffic...where should one stop measuring speed and start assuming? 150mph? 200mph? 1000mph? 1 mile per second? A certain amount of pragmatism and is necessary if you intend to drive on real roads with real traffic or else, as Jay said, you will be paralyzed, unable to go anywhere ever because someone could be a mile away, well out of view, driving 5280mph and be there in one second.

I suspect that the two cop cars were lined up such that he was entirely unable to see the 95mph cop until the end, and before that all that was visible was the 69mph cop. Regarding that one there was plenty of room.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:11 PM   #18
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If I were investigating the crash I'd also have to ask (if it was visible from the video I didn't catch it...) was there a signal controlling this intersection? Was there a left turn arrow? Did the cop run a red light? Did the kids making the left turn have the arrow?

Sure would be nice if these videos were in color...there'd be a lot more information available...

Regarding assuming speed of oncoming traffic...I guess you have to use a little common sense...if a car is traveling at six times the speed of an airliner, anyone could be forgiven for making a left turn in front of it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #19
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was there a signal controlling this intersection? Was there a left turn arrow? Did the cop run a red light? Did the kids making the left turn have the arrow?
According to the documentation that HC linked to, the traffic lights were in caution mode for night use (A lot of small towns do that in the south) The cop had a flashing yellow light, and the kids had a flashing red light.
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