Why some cars get stopped by cops and others don't
The list of most and least pulled-over cars (by the police) shows that highway patrollers have a very interesting and subjective eye. At the top of the list: the Hummer.
Highway patrolmen have a lot of time to contemplate cars. And I've always wondered why they stop the car going 10 mph over the limit rather than the one that just overtook it in the outside lane at the speed of Joan Rivers' mouth.
So I am grateful to CNET's Wayne Cunningham for revealing:
Most ticketed Rate Least ticketed Rate Hummer H2/H3 463% Jaguar XJ 11% Scion tC 460% Chevrolet Suburban 16% Scion XB 403% Chevrolet Tahoe 21% Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG 397% Chevrolet C/K 3500/2500 pickup 28% Toyota Solara Coupe 306% Buick Park Avenue 32% Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG 276% Mazda6 34% Scion xA 275% Buick Rainier 37% Subaru Outback 266% Oldsmobile Silhouette 37% Audi A4 264% Buick Lucerne 40% Toyota Matrix 264% GMC Sierra C1500 pickup 40%
*Violations per 100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.
It seems that the police love to ticket Hummers most of all. Perhaps some of you will find this understandable. Rarely has a brand attracted such wholesale disdain. Rarely have men attempted to make up in such an obvious fashion for their paunches and manboobs.
But why do police have it in for the Scion? Three different Scion models festoon the Top Ticketed Ten. They were accompanied by two types of Mercedes, the Audi A4, the Subaru Outback, the Toyota Matrix, and the Toyota Solara Coupe.
I have a theory. The Scion site describes the brand as 'United by Individuality.' Unfortunately, too many individuals have bought Scions and chosen for them to look like instruments of youthful, effeminate subversion. Naturally, in times of orange alerts and a surge toward national defense, these strange Toyotas harbored a visual threat to our secure motorized monotony.
My theory appears to be strengthened by the list of the least ticketed. There you will find the following nine cars: Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet C/K 3500/2500 pickup, Buick Park Avenue, Mazda6, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Buick Lucerne, GMC Sierra C1500 pickup.
This group arouses a couple of questions: 1.) Is it possible to create a list of cars any less moving, any more tranquilizing than this? 2.) What is an Oldsmobile Silhouette? And 3.) What is an Oldsmobile?
Is it therefore possible that whenever our police see one of these cars rolling down the road, they feel an emotion somewhat akin to a dulled sympathy? Is it possible that these cars arouse so little feeling that a radar gunner cannot quite believe that they are speeding or running a red light, even when they are?
My theory is only threatened by the presence of the Jaguar XJ as the least ticketed car in the United States. Why might this Jag be so resistant to the routine of flashing lights and spreading legs?
Well, perhaps there simply aren't many of them on the roads, and this number is a statistical anomaly. Perhaps a majority of Supreme Court judges drives Jaguar XJs. Perhaps these cars are so beautiful that the police just stand and stare, incapable of flagging them down and wafting the wand of justice at their drivers.
Or perhaps there are many among our police forces who simply have a fondness (or an understandable sympathy) for things British.
I had a Jag once. A pretty car. The engine (made in America, I believe) was great. But the vents (made in Britain, so they said) rattled, even after five visits to the shop. So I gave it back. But while I had it, I never got a ticket.