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Old 10-09-2002, 09:46 PM
PoloBenz's Avatar
Man In Black
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Northern California, Bay Area
Posts: 66
Unhappy I was pulled over on 101 between East Blithedale and Paradise

Well, my father was right, I am not invincible, and sure enough, one day I would get pulled over for speeding. Being 18 years old does not help either. Well, here is the story…

I was going onto the highway by Bon Aire, and as usual, I made gave it gas to get into the far left lane. I was cruising along at a modest 60-65 (around where the Big 5 store is) when a bright [insert profanity] person decided the person in front of him was going to slow, so he cut me off instead. I hit the brakes—I didn’t slam them, but did slow down significantly. I was close to his car. I left maybe five feet or so between us (yes, I know, not a smart thing to do…but I was frustrated). He continued at the same rate of speed, so I stayed close behind him, hoping he would move out of the way and not disrupt the flow of traffic. He eventually sped up and merged to the other lane. Being the foolish person I am, I gave it gas and went off, ~70. I eventually slowed down, once I had reached the top of the hill before the East Blithedale exit. I noticed a cop car well behind me in the far left lane. I slowed down even more, to about 60. Eventually the cop was behind me. I switched one lane over to the right, as did he. Then after driving directly in front of him, he pulled me over the East Blithedale exist. I dropped my passenger side window and waited for him. He was very polite, and informed me that I was speeding. I told him I was going a few miles over the speed limit. Then he asked me why. I told him that I was running late to school. After that he tells me I was behind a gray car, back at the Big 5 area, a little too close (he said less than a car length). I told him I was. I TOTALLY forgot that he cut me off before because I was very nervous. He then told me my lights were illegal (I have clear corners with orange bulbs, and rear 94/95 lights with white bulbs (not super extreme ricer bulbs, but like the new S-class style). He asked me to engage my left turn signal, then inspected my lights and came back. Then he told me that it is illegal to have tint on the front two windows of my car (IS THIS TRUE?). BUT what I realized afterwards (I was too nervous to argue with him or say anything) is that my windows was DOWN when he came up to my car…I had MY window up, but he could not really see the darkness of the tint viewing in from the passenger side. He asked me for insurance papers and registration, which I gave him. He left me and went to his car where I was nervously watching him in my rear view mirror write out a ticket. When he came back, he gave me the ticket and said he is going to be nice to me and only write me up for (quote from the ticket) “following too close (vehicle code 21703)” and “side window tint (vehicle code 26708).” Then he told me to have a good day and drive safely.
I admit my fault of driving to close to the car in front of me. I also admit being stupid and foolish for forgetting to tell the CHP officer that (I was WAY TOO nervous). I find it hard to believe that my front tint is illegal because I see a TON of stock cars with darker tint up front (i.e. my father 2002 Sport Track). I have tint up front, but it’s VERY light. Now that I think about it, I find it awkward that he ticketed me for driving to close to the car in front of me. How could he have seen that since he was far behind me (I would of seen him if he was close to me)?
I am going to go to traffic school and get the one point on my license off; I will also go to a local police station and inquire about my tint. When I go to court to get my fine, I will inform the judge of what happened. I was cut off and had to slow down because the guy in front of me was restricting the flow of traffic doing the speed limit in the far left lane. I will admit I was going a few miles over the speed limit. (~60-65). I admit I was following too close to the car in front of me.
My father thinks it will help drive slower. It probably will; however, I have to commute from San Anselmo to San Francisco EVERY DAY for school, and the days when I’m running a little late, I do tend to go a little fast. I’m not using school as an excuse, but I do tend to drive moderately fast in the far left lane.
I wanted to see if anyone had any opinions or thoughts about this? Is it fair to be pulled over for driving to close in that situation? I really regret not being able to tell the CHP officer how the guy cut me off.

Thanks for any input.


Please excuse any grammatical errors, I’m still frustrated writing.
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Old 10-09-2002, 09:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,473
Sorry man,

Tint, take a picture of your car next to a new car on a dealer lot and explain that it looks like your window is less dark than the new car, or just peel it all off and say what tint. Thats just a fix it ticket I think.

Following too close, you were in the wrong. They dont care if someone cut you off because "you should have been following at a safe enough distance blah blah," then when you gased it, he probably saw that and he wanted to make sure you dont hurt yourself. DOnt tell police you are late. Just say yes sir, no sir, then fight the ticket if you car that much.

1 point is nothing, save a traffic school for doing something worse like a red light which is 3 points, or exhibition of speed which is 8-12 points.

I got a red light violation, but I should have fought it knowing what I know from my defensive driving class.

Be careful man, dont hurt yourself out there, or upgrade to sl 600 brakes.


Current Stable:
1994 S500 v140, 210k miles, white with grey.

Former Mercedes in the Stable:
1983 300CD Turbo diesel 515k mi sold (rumor has it, that it has 750k miles on it now)
1984 300CD Turbo Diesel 150 k mi sold
1982 300D Turbo Diesel 225 sold
1987 300D Turbo Diesel 255k mi sold
1988 300 CE AMG Hammer 15k mi sold
1986 "300E" Amg Hammer 88k mi sold (it was really a 200, not even an E (124.020)
1992 500E 156k mi sold
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Old 10-09-2002, 11:48 PM
Posts: n/a

That sucks boi! Popo's are the worst! So you are going to go to traffica escuela? How dark is your tint, boi? Sounds dirty...rawr! j/k Anywayz, next time play it safe and let tha playa hatta who cut you off just go by. Let him get tha ticket. But next time you know. Popo's shouldn't mess with the Benz Crew!
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:18 AM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Sorry Pard, but aftermarket tint on the front door windows is illegal in Califaztlan (no matter how dark factory tint is, it's still illegal to aftermarket). At least that is a fix-it ticket. As far as how'd he see how close you were, easy - he was likely getting on the highway while you passed by in your self admitted mild rage, placing you in prime target viewing range.

Sounds like the guy who stopped you appreciated your polite manner and rewarded you with a fix-it and a following too close pinch. Could have got you for speed, possibly reckless driving, maybe a road rage charge, and if you'd have copped a tude, would have likely tacked on the lights.

Plus you can tell if a window is tinted by looking from the other side.

Sounds to me like he cut you a mighty nice break.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
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Old 10-10-2002, 06:59 AM
Kuan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: At the Birkebeiner
Posts: 3,811
Thumbs up

I think you're handling it very well. Take it with a dose of humility and realize that there are those less fortunate than you. People get cut off everyday. It may have been a simple lane change and you were driving a little fast. In any case, you simply CANNOT let these morons ruin your day, so just let it go. Learn to anticipate idiot moves and keep your distance.

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Old 10-10-2002, 11:01 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 12,279
I changed my attitude years ago (I guess age does that). Instead of getting mild road rage or getting my blood pressure up because of some idiot driver I have gotten to the point that I will slow down and make room for other drivers. The roads are getting more and more crowded and in some areas, cars trying to get into another lane will flat not be able to unless people in those lanes allow them in. Unfortunately, the roads are not going to get less crowded. The person driving like an idiot will eventually get what is coming to him/her.
I have found this type of driving attitude goes a long way toward making for a more relaxed driving style. You'll eventually get to your destination and if you are running late to an appointment then you need to leave earlier.
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:58 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
I've learned that its fruitless to question the resulting consequences of my own actions and if one is guilty=accept the consequences

sounds like these were involved in your situation:
>tail gating
>violating speed limit law(s)
>operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner
>operating a vehicle in an aggressive and/or discourteous manner

The legal and possible real-life consequences are clear for:
>violating the posted speed limit
>violating California Vehicle Codes
>injury to yourself & other people
> (-) financial
> (-) property
> (-) insurance

I'd suggest becoming intimately versed in CA Vehicle Code and then pondering your inquiry posted here....(from a practical vs. legal perspective) and possibly expand the exercise to comprehensively re-think about the way you operate a vehicle- - perhaps you will make different choices and have different (better) consequences occur?

If you hold a valid CA Driver's Liscense, you've (among other things) acknowledged your knowledge of these laws....and it is here where you will have a formal resource to apply to this situation.

>California's Basic Speed Law overrides the Maximum Posted Speed limit; in other words, you may be cited for speeding even if your vehicle's speed is below the Maximum Posted Speed Limit
>Aftermarket tint on vehicle windows is not (blanket) illegal- review the law for explicit details (on-line/ hardcopy)
>In traffic court, a judge will most likely lean toward/honor a law enforcement professional's "opinion" based upon mere observation vs. a layperson's...key here is 'trained professional'- CHP is trained to enforce the law and their observations hold merit
>if you admit to be guilty of speeding to a law enforcement officer, it is easier for the officer to document the violation based upon this acknowledgement (all else being equal)
>if you following another vehicle at highway speed with less than a car length in front of you, it is illegal and unsafe (unsafe based on the fact that the one car length does >your 5ft< does not allow sufficient reaction time to avoid a rear end collision btw- cars are longer than 5ft so you got lucky

all in all, if you learn from this situation, perhaps you will operate a vehicle in a manner that will keep us all safe and sane on the roadways

best regards
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:22 PM
Posts: n/a
Unfortunate but true

In most cases when someone says "HE cut me off!!" The truth is that you knew the person was trying to get on their way and left just enough space for them to NOT get around you without cutting you off. This is in fact what most drivers will do. They subconscously say, "This guys probably just some jerk that wants to pass me." So, they begin the game. I see this ALL the time on the roads. The driver speeds up when the other one tries to move over then rides their tail on top of that. Driving should be cooperative, not a competitive sport.

Maybe he's got some other ligitimate reason for trying to pass you other than just trying to pass for no reason. Maybe mom is sick in the hospital, maybe he got an emergency call, maybe the person is actually late for some engagement. If you were not doing this, OK. But we all know the way this scenario goes. Most importantly, let's be honest with ourselves.
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:41 PM
This space for sale
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,350
Re: Sorry!

Originally posted by calibenzgurl
That sucks boi! Popo's are the worst! So you are going to go to traffica escuela? How dark is your tint, boi? Sounds dirty...rawr! j/k Anywayz, next time play it safe and let tha playa hatta who cut you off just go by. Let him get tha ticket. But next time you know. Popo's shouldn't mess with the Benz Crew!
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Old 10-10-2002, 01:01 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,126
You wanna speed....come to Atlanta. They don't stop you on the highway unless your over 80!
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Old 10-10-2002, 03:10 PM
Diesel Power
Posts: n/a
Don't they stop you for obstructing traffic if you are doing UNDER 80 in Atlanta?
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Old 10-10-2002, 03:20 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,126
Originally posted by Diesel Power
Don't they stop you for obstructing traffic if you are doing UNDER 80 in Atlanta?


Nope, they are too busy cleaning up all the accidents to write any tickets:p
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Old 10-10-2002, 06:24 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,793
Originally posted by -fad
>Aftermarket tint on vehicle windows is not (blanket) illegal- review the law for explicit details (on-line/ hardcopy)
Last I checked it's not illegal but the legal limit is something like 15% light blockage. The basic tint or maybe it's discoloration that comes with glass pretty much makes up that 15%. FWIW, I don't think you can buy tint that light so if there's any additional tint, as Mr. Tangas says, it's illegal.

Register your car in Arizona where it's probably legal to tint the windshield.

But I hear you. The worst part of getting dinged on something like this is that you're the one who gets it out of the thousand other violators you see daily -- whether it's window tint, clear corners, no front plate, driving 66mph or whatever. How can you not feel picked on?

What finally stopped bothering me is single drivers in the carpool lane. In the final analysis it's one fewer car in the congested right lanes.

91 300SE
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:47 PM
PoloBenz's Avatar
Man In Black
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Northern California, Bay Area
Posts: 66
I appreciate all the responses.

Wow, I am a sophomore at the University of San Francisco and I couldn’t type correctly or even check my grammar. Reading it over now, I realize there is a plethora of mistakes…sorry.

I found out that factory tint is an entirely different story. I will take the car to a local police station and have them look at it. If they don’t approve, I will have the tint removed, if they say the tint is all right, then I’m set. I will pay the fines and not go to traffic school. You are right about keeping the option open to attend traffic school in a scenario worse than the one I was in. 600sl brakes sound nice J hopefully, a sl600 to go with them, hehe, eventually.

My tint is not that dark. It is extremely light. Yeah, playing it safe is something I ought to do more often. Where in CA are you from?

I appreciate your words, especially knowing that they come from the perspective of a person in the field of law enforcement. Yes, you are right, he probably did treat me differently because I was very polite to him. I am a very polite and passive person…except when I get pissed off (rarely). I have no hard feelings about the incident what so ever. I am constantly learning because I am at a young age. This incident will, non-the-less, teach me to apply more patience when it comes to driving. By the way, why did you refer to California as Califaztlan? I remember hearing something about a political view towards CA and the world Califaztaln, but I don’t seem to recall why.

Yep, there sure are those people who are less fortunate than I am. You are right, I shouldn’t let these morons ruin my day, and I should not let them aggravate me to the point where I speed. I was driving a little fast, I admit to that and I take the consequences of driving around 60-65 miles per hour; however, what he did was quite possibly correct because the people in front of him were driving slow, so he change to my lane. However, what he DID NOT think about is that I am driving between 60-65, his lane was going 55, and after he cut in front of me, he continued at 55 miles per hour. The fact that he was driving at the same rate as the people in the next lane over, cutting the flow of traffic in the fast lane is what ticked me off. I simply have to learn from my mistakes and, like you said, anticipate foolish drivers on the highway. Being a few minutes late is not worth the risks involved with speeding or driving recklessly.

I still have some time before I completely loose my testosterone-driven attitude. There are so many drivers out there that tend to make me quite livid on a daily basis. The other day I saw a lady run into a curb while driving 5 miles under the speed limit of 35 on a clear and sunny day behind Safe Way in Corta Madera while talking on her cell phone. I have to learn to adjust my attitude when driving.
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:47 PM
PoloBenz's Avatar
Man In Black
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Northern California, Bay Area
Posts: 66
I did [eventually] look up the CA Vehicle Code. I learned quite a bit of information reading it—stuff that was not covered in driver’s training school. I operate my car in a safe manner. I know when it is safe to drive in a spirited manner, and vice versa. Although, like I have said, I have some learning to do, after all, I only have about 3 years of driving experience, compared to my father who has driven for over 40 years her in the US with out a single ticket. This incident will affect the way I drive, and hopefully, teach me to drive with more patience.
I do not plan on taking the officer to court and contesting. I was wrong; I admit it—plain and simple. About the tint, you are right: any aftermarket tint is illegal. I am quite surprised because the shop that installed my stereo said the tint on my car is fully legal, and that I can go darker if I choose to, within the law. I purchased the car from an older lady who had already done the tint job before.

I wish driving is a cooperative ordeal and not a competitive sport; however, I always see the way people drive on the highway as being the latter one, an extremely competitive sport. I can see his legitimate reason for cutting me off: traffic in front of him was going slow at 55 miles an hour. In my opinion, he should have waited for me to pass before moving into the lane I was in. I do not want to sound conceded about “my” driving lane, but I’m sure he saw that I was driving at around 60-65, and he should of kept up that rate of speed once in the far left lane. Oh well, what happened, happened.

Ditto, WORD, hehe.

El President-
Atlanta, here I come!! Hehe. If I ever move in hopes of being able to drive fast, it would be to Germany. Once I finish my double majors in accounting and marketing, I will go on to complete two masters in the graduate program at either the University of San Francisco, or, if all goes well Stanford. Then (a loooong then, hehe) I will move to Germany and by a fleet of German cars, mostly Mercedes, and drive as I please. J

I’m sure you see the countless cars here in the Bay Area that have illegal parts on them, from the illegal, poorly-aimed, lights on “ricers,” to sound-pollution from cars with removed cats and illegal “off-road” resonators, and who can forget, limo tint! My tint is light, VERY light.
Yeah, I stopped caring about the single drivers in the carpool lane after a while. What frustrates me now in [Marin County] traffic are those that take the exist lane and fly by the rest of traffic, and then, right before the exit, cut off someone to the left lane, or take the bus stop exit. That really pisses me off.

Thanks guys for all your input. I appreciate you taking your time to reply to my post (I think I took too much time, wow, I haven’t written this much on a topic in a while—outside of school).


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