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A get well card for a couple of cops

Post by Brian O'Neill on Dec. 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm with 9 Comments »
December 29, 2010 8:59 pm

Motorcycle cops are a tough breed. They ride in the daylight and dark, the heat and the cold, and in every manner of wet and windy weather imaginable.

Most people would prefer to never meet one. Their job is to handle traffic issues, and yes that includes writing tickets. Sometimes lots of tickets. This may seem like a bitter job, and often it is, but there’s a particular motivator for the guys on motors: crashes.

Traffic officers investigate all manner of collisions from minor fender benders to multi-car pileups. They are often first on the scene to render first aid to a seriously injured passenger or to throw a blanket over the tragic remains of a very bad day. I appreciate the professionalism they usually exhibit in dealing with many of the unpleasant circumstances they find themselves in.

Their job is also a dangerous specialty in a dangerous profession.  This was evident Tuesday night when two motor cops in my agency were struck by a vehicle and went down hard. They both survived the crash with scrapes, bruising and at least one broken arm.

It was a rough night, but it sounds like they will heal up. These are tough guys.

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  1. Hope they weren’t riding illegally 2 up like some officers did out at Alder Lake this summer. I actually photographed 2 Kent cops riding side by side up the 512 hill in Puyallup last year. Drove alongside them in my F250 with my phone hanging out the window taking their pictures, making sure they could see me. Hope these officers recover, and hope they weren’t arrogantly breaking the law when they went down. Any experienced rider knows riding 2 abreast brings additional risks. Avoiding potholes, evasive maneuvers, etc are options taken away when riding 2 up. Nothing like watching cops violate the traffic laws to turn the public off. Brian-do you know if they were riding staggered or two up?

  2. RCW 46.61.608 (4) Motorcycles shall not be operated MORE than two abreast in a single lane. There you go TMell, it seems you were looking quite foolish taking those pictures.

  3. Tummler is dead on. Unless the cops were riding three up, I see no problem.
    Nothing like reading about ignorant citizens berating cops that are obeying the law.
    Hey Brian, any word on if they were riding three up or obeying the law and riding not MORE then two abreast?

  4. pazzo242 says:

    “Drove alongside them in my F250 with my phone hanging out the window taking their pictures, making sure they could see me.”

    Aren’t you lucky that they didn’t pull you over for distracted driving, given that was no less dangerous than texting while driving. What a moron!

  5. Thank you for continuing to post what it’s like to be a cop… I wish there was a way to tune out those that want to hate.

    Anyway, I appreciate your perspective when these things come up.

  6. I stand corrected on the law. After riding with a pack of friends, and having the group pulled over by law enforcement for members riding two abreast, I had always been of the assumption that that traffic stop was legal, and that the action was illegal. Wish I had been better versed on the law when the stop was made. I have been actively involved with the Washington State Patrols harrassment of motorcyclists, and was unaware this illegal traffic stop was another example of motorcycle harrassment by the WSP.

    I don’t ride 2 up, and the bulk of my friends don’t ride 2 up. It adds an additional level of danger, not allowing you to react. Case in point is the Alder Lake incident this summer, and after reading the real story that the second officer says he intentionally laid his bike down to aid his fellow officer, I am assuming they weren’t riding 2 up. You can’t react to inattentive drivers, potholes, road debris, sudden braking, or any of the other dangers on the road as effectively when riding 2 up. Riding in a staggered formation still allows you to “packed up” but gives everybody twice the room to adjust.

  7. dankuykendall says:

    Just sending out positive thoughts to these two Bikers. Heal fast, put it behind you and put your face into the wind.

  8. I ride bicycle (properly equipped) and I enjoy seeing the local police
    “doing traffic”. I like the motorcycle cops because I figure they have about as much between them and a really hard surface as I do. It’s a
    comfort to see them out there doing their job. I hope these two can heal in relative comfort.

  9. Brian O'Neill says:

    I will directly pass on the thoughtful comments posted here. They are much appreciated.
    Although I’ve never been a motor cop, I have watched how hard they train and how often they take fast, painful tumbles during that training. No doubt the fact that they weren’t more seriously hurt or killed was a result of that training.

    Thanks again. All the positive comments more than make up for the one that always picks the worst moment to grind his ax.

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