Friday, December 22, 2006

Following Too Close (Tailgating) - The traffic law that should be enforced.

If you received a following too close ticket, please check out our New York Traffic Lawyer page.
I've complained off and on about the excessive focus on speeding and the excessive punishments for DWI. Despite what some might think of me, I do think some laws should be enforced, and in some cases more vigorously.

The biggest one that stands out in my mind is "Following Too Close," (or following too closely) a violation of section 1129(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York. This used to be commonly known as "tailgating," but that term has been taken over for parties in parking lots of football games.

Here's what I know as a traffic lawyer and a personal injury lawyer: following too closely is the most common cause of traffic accidents. You will often read statistics that say speed is a factor in some large percentage of accidents. Baloney. I was a trial lawyer for one of the largest auto insurers for over three years, then law clerk to a judge handling a number of car accident cases, and now have my own practice where I still handle car accident cases.

We do see accident cases where speed is a factor, and even some where speed is a major factor. But in most cases it's not a factor at all. You could get into semantics and say that if someone was driving slower the accident wouldn't have happened, but you could also say it wouldn't have happened if he stayed home that day, or if he'd been driving faster as he would have been further down the road and would not have encountered the other car at that intersection. Well, hopefully you get the idea.

Following too close is the cause of many, many accidents. I see people doing it all the time. But I rarely get cases where someone is charged with following too close. Why? I don't really know. Maybe if a police officer reads this blog he can explain.

I have my guesses. For one, speeding tickets are politically popular, so there's pressure on patrol officers to write speeding tickets. The government spends lots of money on radar, lasers, and related equipment so they have to justify the spending. It's easy to write speeding tickets. Just sit in a U-turn on an interstate and you can write tickets all day long.

Then there's the punishment side. Following too close is a 4-point ticket with a fairly low fine (I think total is under $200), and under Insurance Law 2335, one such offense cannot affect your insurance rates. By comparison, a speed of 16 mph over the limit has a max fine of $355, also four points, and can raise your rates (probably 30% a year for 3 years). At 21 mph over the limit it's six points $655 total, and the same problem with insurance.

Just my personal opinion, but going 86 in a 65 on an empty interstate is far less dangerous than the guy who was tailgating me this morning, one car length behind me at about 50 mph (hey, there was traffic - I really couldn't go faster). He was driving a beat-up car and I'm driving my ubervagen (Audi A4 Avant). My car does 70-0 in about 170 feet. His car probably takes over 200 feet.

As an aside, don't tailgate the Corvette Z06 -- they've got awesome brakes - I think it's 70-0 in 140 feet. I read Car and Driver, so I know such things. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn once too. :-)

I really don't think it would be that difficult for police to enforce 1129(a) of the V & T Law, and I wish they'd do it more. I do like getting paid to handle all these speeding ticket, but I'd like to be safer and some enforcement on cases of following too closely might actually make a difference.

42 comments:

joe dupont said...

the cops and the government does not ... i repeat.. does not want you to know the law. this is big money.drivers manuals do not include many driving laws, such as keeping your windows free of crap or nothing on your mirrors, or having your drivers window operational, or college stickers on rear window, etc. etc.

thomas said...

Finally someone exposed the real problem out there on the roads. Following too close is a huge problem and my experience shows most of the time its committed by young girls in small cars, thats probably not relavent but is more FYI than anything. Your 100% correct about the police not recognizing or attempting to deal with the problem. I got tagged by a tailgater recently and when I slowed down and pulled over to let the moron by, a Sheriff Deputy pulled in behind me and wanted to know if I had been drinking. I told him what was going on and he had to be a witness to it but, after explaining he just got back in his car and left. Thanks for a great blog, I for one appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

From my experience in Delaware, 75% or more are speeding so you could safely say speeding was a factor in most accidents. Maybe not the biggest factor, but they were probably speeding.

I stopped speeding January 1, I mean really, 55mph on the interstate where 55, 25 in a 25, 35 in a 35 etc. Before I did this I never realized how bad tailgaiting was. I am tailgated like crazy now. 2/3 of the drivers tailgate me. I can't possible pull over everytime someone does this. I agree police should enforce this law.

Anonymous said...

It's one of the problems, but not a major one. One of the major ones I see from NYC streets is those old people don't know where they are going or what they are doing, or someone driving at 45MPH in the fast lane on a major highway thus those who follow at greater speed, have to seek ways out. In response to the FTC tickets in NYS, I think it's complete BS, my cousin just got one few days ago while exiting the highway. He wasn't following someone, but the person in front of him in the left lane suddently made the lane change to make the exit and my cousin couldn't slam on the brakes because there were cars following him. Cop tagged my cousin with the FTC ticket but not the other person for unsafe lane change. IMO, I don't think cops these days are doing their job properly because they don't have the correct judgement, NYPD is full of power hungry retards, and all they want to do is giving out profitable tickets instead of keeping local streets safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you anymore...

Anonymous said...

It is too bad that you have no idea what you are talking about. "Following too close" worse than DWI?
How many accidental deaths have you encountered among your clients from "following too close" versus DWI?

Albany Lawyer said...

I didn't say following too close was worse than DWI. But yes, following too close can be fatal. It depends on the circumstances, but a good example is when a very large vehicle like a tractor-trailer tailgates a much smaller vehicle.

The one accident fatality that stands out from my experience involved a dump truck that crossed over the centerline, killing the driver of the SUV he hit. There was no alcohol involved.

The other way following too close causes serious accidents is not from the rear-end collision, but from the attempt to avoid that collision causing something worse (like a head-on or hitting a pedestrian).

Anonymous said...

I'm a cop who stumbled upon your blog post as I was researching common causes of traffic crashes. While it is "common knowledge" among many in LE that Following Too Close (FTC) is the most common, I wanted to confirm this. Generally, my impression is that FTC, Failure to Maintain Safe Lookout, and Failure to Yield, are each represented significantly. My impression of this comes from working crashes for over 15 years and these were the most common.

Of the most SERIOUS wrecks, (e.g. fatality, serious injury, or both) the most common factors seemed to be DUI, Excessive Speed, and Driver Fatigue, or very often a deadly combination of all three. Road design is also a significant factor, as two-lane undivided tends to put one into opposing traffic more so than, for instance, a four-lane divided highway.

I can speak only for myself as an individual officer, but I like to catch Tailgaters (FTC) and write them a citation. It is something that is often easy to spot. It is a common cause of wrecks.

People often "fight the ticket" and they often win when they do so. The infraction is seen as so minor by the Courts that when a Defendant takes the trouble to take off work to appear in Court, the Judge will go ahead and dismiss the ticket... and give me a dirty look.

Not to mention... if you go out and write cites for minor infractions, you quickly get a reputation for being an officious jerk.

Still... my view has always been that I get paid to enforce ALL the laws. Someone can always be polite and pleasant enough to be given a warning. However, enforcement DOES change behavior and preventing accidents should be more important than one's desire to be well liked. I didn't sign on to be a cop to win any popularity contests.

ME? I cite for FTC. But other guys (and gals) don't tend to because they don't want to write minor infractions, they don't want to be thought of more badly than they already are as a cop, and they don't want to be in Court on their off-day only to lose and get dirty looks from the Judge.

Hope this helps. Happy Motoring. Remember... One car length for every ten miles an hour! :D

David said...

Thank you all for your comments and thanks for including the "One car length for every ten miles an hour" information.
I was yelled at this morning for tailgating under 25mph (one traffic light to the next). Is there a rule of thumb to follow for traffic lights? Should a driver wait for a car lenght in front before stepping of the brakes once the light turns green?

Albany Lawyer said...

I don't think there's a different rule of thumb. One car length per 10 mph should still apply. Your suggestion of waiting a car length is not a bad idea. My vague memory of drivers ed is that you should be almost a car length behind at a traffic light when you're stopped -- you should be able to see the bottom of the rear tires of the car in front of you.

Think about it another way - is it really going to get you there any faster? You can lag more than the rule of thumb and you'll usually get there in the same amount of time.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article - I totally agree with you, but there are few people that think rationally as you do. People crash because they hit another car. Speeding down an empty freeway is minimally dangerous.

I would love to see an aggressive enforcement campaign of flagrant aggressive driving -- just have cars with cameras that patrol the freeway, and with extreme tailgaiting or, say, 5 lane violations in a 1 minute period, etc., mail the person a ticket. More effective IMHO than speed cameras, "sobriety checkpoints" or other big brother-type enforcement.

Albany Lawyer said...

I like the last suggestion, except for the "mail the ticket" part. That won't work in NY generally, though I suppose they could pass another law. Usually the police have to hand you the ticket.

Anonymous said...

"you should be almost a car length behind at a traffic light when you're stopped -- you should be able to see the bottom of the rear tires of the car in front of you."

In that scenario it seems the government has some liability for not providing adequate roadways that would make compliance possible. When DOT is planning an intersection to handle 100 cars, do they allot 2 car lengths for each car when calculating things like turning lane length?

Kinda don't think so.
That said, it's a good infraction to enforce, but it's a rip off when you're obviously from out of town and it didn't happen, but the cop wrote you up for that "to be nice" instead of giving you a speeder.
It's good to hear courts are willing to dismiss.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was driving at 55 mph on the highway, which is about 5 miles above the speed limit but at the same speed than the rest of the traffic. I obviously wasn't causing any traffic backup... On the top of it I was in the slow lane. Anyway, some lady followed me so closed that I couldn't even see her in my side view mirrors. While looking into my rearview mirror, I could only see the half top of the hood of her sedan. She probably didn't leave anything but 1 foot of distance between my car and hers. I slowed down until I was about five miles under the speed limit to make her change lane. When I thought she was gone, I sped up again, and there she was, bumper to bumper again. I slowed down again and started to wave her to back off. She started waving like an insane person. When we approached a red light she had the audacity to give me looks while passing me on the left. I opened my window, I yelled at her and flipped her off. She looked scared turned her head away and drove off as fast as she could when the light turned green... I am not usually aggressive and mind my own business on the road. But I can't stand people putting my life and my babies life in danger because of their reckless driving. She was so closed I could see her looking at herself in the her mirror and doing her hair! At over 50 mph, about 1 foot away from the car in front of hers. She would have hit me at that speed, it could have turned into a major reck. People like her shouldn't even be on the road. They are just as bad as people driving while under the influence! She plays the aggressive driver but can't even hold her piece when confronted person to person. Jerks like her deserve to be caught and cited. I just wish the laws against tailgating were stricter. How many accidents need to happen for somebody to decide to do something. In WA state where I used to be stationed, they had a major program going on against tailgating. The police told the public about the significant impact tailgating and aggressive driving had on the amount of fatal accidents each year. For an entire week, they doubled the police presence on the intestates, they even had helicopters in the air and they pulled over many people, giving them fines up to 200 dollars for tailgating. That week, driving was the safest way of traveling ever! So people should stop the bs when they say that most people don't even realize what they are doing. They do, they just don't care that they could potentially kill somebody, after all if caught the consequences won't be that bad....

sugarego said...

omg, someone ranting about what i'm always saying!!! every time i drive on the freeway, i notice that almost no one is driving a safe distance behind the car in front of them, which basically means that if one car suddenly goes haywire, no one has time to respond. it means that a great deal of cars will rear-end each other for no reason other than they weren't willing to leave the safe space between their cars. imagine explaining to the person in front of you why you killed their child: um, i'm impatient, and i don't want to be the only one following at a proper distance, b/c other cars just squeeze in anyway. pretty lousy excuse. but i agree. if it was actually enforced, i think people would not feel so much peer pressure to tailgate on the freeway. it's super scary. especially if you're on a motorcycle and a rear-end from a car almost certainly means death.

the other thing that comes to mind is traffic congestion. the more space you keep between cars, the more easily merging and lane-changing can occur. this means less fluctuation in the speed of traffic at complicated interchanges and such and, thus, less congestion. more smoothly-flowing traffic. imagine that!

i wholeheartedly approve of your post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this article. What do you think is the best way for a citizen to try to get things enforced better? Should be just write our Senators? As someone who is equally tired of tailgaters I do want to say something to those being tailgated.

Please remember that the left driving lane is almost universally designated as a passing lane. Even if not by law, it's common courtesy, so you can reduce the amount of tailgating you're getting by staying out of the left lane unless you are passing someone. With that said, I think there are far safer alternatives to tailgating when wanting to let someone know that you would like to get by.

Albany Lawyer said...

The best way for citizens to do something about this is not just write your elected officials but talk to candidates about it at every opportunity.
Whenever you hear a politician talk about traffic tickets as revenue, you know they don't care about safety.

Anonymous said...

I am 50/50 with this article. I was recently issued a FTC ticket when a taxi cut me off and the cop only saw when he was infront of me and not the complete situation. When I tried to explain the cop gave me a dirty look.
The one car lenght rule might apply in some less congested places, but I don't think they could build enough roads to fit all the cars in NYC during rush hour.
There are some people who put themselves in a position to be tailgated. If you see someone doing 70mph and you are doing 45mph, don't merge infront of them. And if you don't know where you are going then stay in the right lane.
To the officer that posted: I bought a blue Accord Coupe with a 4-cylinder engine. I have been "randomly" stopped about 10 times in 2 months. 1 cop even accused me of doing 0-70 between 2 lights. I wanted to ask him if he saw a Ferrari logo on the back of my car. I drove a white Maxima for about 3 years and never got stopped. So much for good law enforcement. That in my opinion is what give cops a bad reputation.

mr mabstoa said...

The only thing about this violation is that you may be following someone at a safe distance but then a person may hit their brakes rapidly when they see a officer sitting on the side of the road or in the median. At that moment it may appear as if you are tailgaiting that individual.
I received a ticket today for this by a NY State Trooper and I really felt as if it was unfair. I will be going to court to fight this one.

Anonymous said...

..so my case: I was FAR behind the car ahead, came upon some cars stopped in the roadway due to deer, hit my brakes causing a hydraulic leak and inefficient braking -> low speed collision. Trooper comes after the accident and tickets me for 1129; found guilty ny justice court. Is that silly when their was no testimony whatsoever on how close I was following?

Albany Lawyer said...

So anonymous following far behind with leaky brakes ... what did you learn from this experience?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous replies that brakes were not leaky until the unusually high pressure of a panic-stop burst a line that was corroded. The car was properly inspected and maintained, but corrosion does not alweays spare brake lines. Failures, unfortunately, are most likely to occur at times of unusual stress.

I'm a cautious and careful driver with an exceptional safety record. My beef is with using FTC as a catch-all when the trooper had no evidence about my actual following distance (which was long). Paradoxically, that particular accident might not have occurred if I had beeen closer, but that's a long story. I don't tailgate, or drive a car with known safety defects.

Anonymous said...

I got a ticket for "following too closely" and it was absolutely ridiculous. When you think about it, when your in traffic everyone on the LIE, or parkway, or even highway is tailgating. I was driving to school and a car with out of state plates was in the left lane of the LIE going 40 in front of me. When i tried to go into the middle lane to get around him, the car next to me sped up, boxing me in. Let me also mention it was raining, I mean POURING, and the idiot in front of me was slamming on the brakes for no reason with not a single car ahead of him for miles. All of a sudden i'm the one pulled over with a ticket and I have to go to court. "Following too closely" tickets are bogus.

Albany Lawyer said...

"I was driving to school and a car with out of state plates was in the left lane"

Driving to school?

A: Makes you sound young, thereby contributing to the attitude many of us have about young drivers.

B: Makes me laugh, thinking "I hope you were going to driving school."

C: Did you even read the post or the other comments? Since you admit being very close behind this other driver, please explain why following too close was making your situation better.

D: What difference do the out-of-state plates make?

JoeV said...

My son recently go ticketed after a low speed collision in traffic on a major side street. Stop and go traffic with lots of traffic lights in that section. Question: How is the cop to decide if he WAS following too closely, or if there was some OTHER factor involved that was out of his control - or if it was just the conditions? The cop didn't witness how close he was; there IS not actual evidence. Does that mean that ANY accident should lead to a ticket?

People are not machines. You look away slightly, some car goes by with a loud radio on that draws your attention, someone changes lanes next to you, someone changes lanes IN FRONT of the other car.

Craig said...

You're an idiot. In order for there to be a crime there has to be an injured party. "Following too close" is a statute reserved for when someone has been rear ended. There is no standard, no measurement that can be held up in court to say someone was following too close unless someone was rear ended and thus injured.

Even if a police officer uses radar to measure speeds and distance between vehicles, that is only a snapshot in time and does not take a myriad of factors into account...reaction times, friction factors, the quality of tires on both vehicles, acceleration of the respective vehicles, etc.

The idea that they can go hunting (or maybe a better term, fishing) for Following too close is ridiculous. I only hope I get one of these tickets some day so I can go to court and tear their case apart...

Anonymous said...

EVERYONE is guilty of this at one time or another; having a bad day, not paying attention, or in a hurry we have all been guilty of this violation. I thought it was humorous how you mentioned that your car was so much nice than the individual who was following you (that has nothing to do with the situation). Maybe that tells you a little bit about the individual driving the car; they could be having a rough time in life or in general. The best thing for people to do when they have someone following too closely is get out of the way and let the car pass them. Sure this may seem like letting the bully win, but in my experience with people is leave them alone. Go ahead and give the person who is already having a "bad day" and affect their lives even more with an expensive fine and other repercussions and maybe that will be there breaking point and then we have someone that has given up and may cause more harm to society. Like it or not we have a lot of mental illness in our society- we can't blame these people or punish them for their episodes. I think that we can all agree that someone tailgating is not in their right mind, at least at that time.

Jason said...

I too am a police officer who stumbled across this post. I’m also a traffic crash reconstructionist and have quite a bit of experience with time/distance and braking calculations.

I’m a little surprised that a police officer would cite the one car length per ten mile per hour “rule” as a good standard for establishing following distance. Using that standard, a car traveling at 50 miles per hour would be following at 5 car lengths (however long that is). Assuming a car length is 15 feet long, that car would be following at 75 feet. A vehicle going 50 miles per hour is traveling 73.3 feet per second. Therefore, following this “rule” would put one only about 1 second behind the other vehicle. That’s way too close to safely stop in most unexpected braking situations. Perception/reaction time is hard to pin down and varies depending on the circumstances of the driver but generally, 1 to 1.5 seconds is optimal.

The better standard is the 2 second (or more) rule. Using this rule, a vehicle would be following at 146.6 feet, which allows much more time to perceive, react, and brake effectively to stop in time to avoid a threat.

By the way, I frequently do cite people for following too close. I use a traffic speed laser equipped with a distance between cars function that allows me to check the following distance of a vehicle. To give maximum benefit to the motorist, I only stop and cite for less than 0.75 seconds following distance. Even with that very close distance, there are plenty of violations to keep me as busy as I want.

Anonymous said...

Sadly I was pulled over for the first time ever, almost 3 months ago by a highway patrol, I was very nice to him and he was very rude. He told me to hurry up with my paperwork, not to upset him because I wouldnt like him when he was angery and grabbed some of my papers out of my glovebox! He also told me to tell my dad to clean his truck (Because I was in my father truck) the car on the side of me, his lane ended so I slowed down abit for him to get on and I got a ticket for following to close, first time getting pulled over and I have to go to court this upcoming tuesday. I will try to fight the ticket, I have never been pulled over in the 6 years of my driving in las vegas NV and I'ama very safe driver. I do not think it was very fair, nor do I think the highway patrol had the right to somewhat "bully" me. I do think following to close is bad, and I'am always 3 cars behind the closest car in front of me. It just so happens the one time I be nice and let someone over I PAY THE PRICE. So I'am not sure if vegas highway patrol is doing their job, because I have seen so much worse on th highway, and highway patrol ignores it.

Calvin said...

I'm a Kansas Police Officer but happened upon your page by chance and read this article.
I can't speak for everywhere, but I know here we didn't enforce FTC too often previously because it was hard to do on the officers word alone. There was a need for more evidence. Sometimes you could catch them on your camera if you were going the same direction-showing less than 2 car lengths at 70mph, etc. However if you sat stationary most drivers would see you as they approached and back off. Then we tried setting up two traffic cones at a known distance, using a formula to determine that at a certain speed the stopping distance is "x", which was shorter than 1 to 2 car lengths. However this required monitoring speed too, and became problem-some. The newest tool that has us enforcing it left and right is called a TruCAM. It is a lidar that allows you to laser in on Car 1, then do the same with the car behind it. The system factors in your distance from the road, speed of vehicles, etc. and it will tell you how far behind the 2nd vehicle is following-both in speed and in seconds. This has been great in court because we are able to show that a vehicle was following at 1.3 seconds, etc. The best part? The TruCAM has a video camera attached and the video will show a crosshair on the video where you lasered in on each vehicle. In fact, I've shown the video to drivers sometimes, and they don't complain about the ticket at all. Maybe you can suggest this to your local agencies and they can begin more enforcement?

Albany Lawyer said...

Thanks for a great comment Calvin!

Anonymous said...

Commenting on "out of state plates" person...

Do you think the person in front of you that was "slamming on their brakes for no reason with not a single car ahead of them for miles" was perhaps trying to get you to back off because you were... say... I don't know... FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE?!

Anonymous said...

I've hit my brakes and stopped hard many times for many reasons in many cars at many speeds... I've never hit anything, because I don't follow too closely. I did when I was a stupid kid and I'm lucky I never got into an accident. I am a safe and curious driver now... So sir/madam, if you hit the person in front of you when they stopped or slowed quickly, you were indeed following too closely... Please learn from your expirence and become a better driver, for yourself, for us, and for the future friends and children you will have in your one ton potentially fatal vehicle of which you are taking control of and responsibility for.

Anonymous said...

I hope you get one too...

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you Calvin. You and the Albany lawyer have been most helpful and informative in this post. I will be heading to my local police headquarters and city hall to inquire about the TruCAM. I live in a somewhat large city where accidents happen everyday on every highway, and although I don't know the cause of them, I do know I get tailgated everyday at very dangerous speeds.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, you law enforcement officers and lawyers can say what you want. I am a student going to school for criminal justice, and my case study that I am going to do in law schoool is going to be police officers that feel that they are above all laws. I am in Tacoma, WA, driving on I-5 Northbound. This Sherriff's Dept. car came hauling tail to the right of me, not on a call, no lights, no sirens, the speed limit is 60 MPH, and this guy is doing 70 to 75 MPH. As he passed me, I moved over to the right lane, then he decides to slow down quickly, so I slow down seeing HIM slow down. We stayed in that lane for a while as other cars were zipping passed us down the highway, this cop did absolutely NOTHING!!! A semi truck was coming up ahead of us in the left lane, but not FAR left lane, so I maneuvered to that left lane, to shift to the left lane to the left of the semi truck. I watched the officer on the far right as we both cleared the semi truck past his cab, the officer quickly DASHED in front of the truck, cutting HIM off, and then getting so close behind ME that I could not see his license plate, or HALF of his hood, then he hits his lights to pull ME over. He gave me a citation for following him to closely, I told him I was not even close to him, AND he was speeding 10 to 15 MPH over the speed limit, in which HE ADMITTED TO, with my wife sitting next to me!! Now, nowhere in 46.61.145 does it say what the standard for a reasonable and prudent following distance is, and, so you all are speculating on the statute's intent, and nowhere in the statute does it refer to any driver's manuals to find the statute, and there is no correction factor for rain, snow, or anything else. So you can BET that I will be fighting this in court, and I know that I will win this. I even had a police officer tell me that I'm not supposed to pull into a pull-off area when I have a problem because it could cause an accident if someone were to hit me. I told the officer to get back into his car, and leave, because you're allowed to pull off the road where alloted, that's what the shoulders are for. Did he argue with me?, not a chance !! He got back into his cruiser, and left the area.

Touchet said...

Most people know what they are doing when they tailgate, so i don't think its an issue with not knowing the law. However, you forgot to mention yielding, especially when its a merging lane.

I have seen many an accident due to merging issues. Here I think that the law not requiring someone to have a drivers education course is the problem. People will get in the right lane when everyone else has merged and cause all kinds of problem. They speed up in the free lane and EXPECT everyone else who has merged to slow down for them and let them in.

Another area where this is a problem is on interstates. In order to pass a drivers test, you should have to merge onto an interstate. I can't tell you how many times i've gotten behind someone who is going 45 mi/h trying to merge on an interstate.

So, I think every state should require drivers education to get a high school diploma.

Anonymous said...

Re: touchet ---

you don't really think it's because people didn't take driver's training do you? you have far too much faith in people's manners. i see this same behavior all the time. it's called RUDENESS. some people think they're more important than the rest of the cars on the road, and they zoom ahead to cut in line.

Somebody said...

No its just something your always going to encounter at the very least once a week, it happens to everybody and i think everybody has done it at least once in there life. So if its something that happens to everybody what gives cops right to hand out a citation for it, next time it happens to me why don't i have the right to just slam on the breaks and then get behind the person to pull them over for something like that, to me its a load of bull.

Anonymous said...

I dont think cops have a right to give out citations for following to close, people "tailgate" me everyday, but what can i do about it, nothing but roll down my window and give them the finger, just because they have a badge and trooper car they have the right to pull me over for something that happens to me everyday about it, people need to wake up and stop giving up there rights.

Warren Redlich said...

You do not have the right to just slam on the brakes and cause an accident.

Robert Richardson said...

A good rule of thumb that doesn't depend on knowing car lengths or even your own speed is 3-5 seconds. As the car in front of you passes a reference point (say a sign), it should take you 3-5 seconds to come to the same sign.

Also, when parked you are supposed to be a full car length behind the car in front of you. If someone slams into the back of you and pushes you into the car in front, you are going to be cited for hitting the car in front.

I've heard that "tailgating" is the only way to be issued a speeding ticket when going under the speed limit, but this may be apocryphal.