I had a little incident with the police on Monday morning on my way to work and now that the dust has settled (hopefully), I feel the need to rant.
Monday morning I am riding my bike calmly through rush hour morning traffic, like most mornings, heading from the Valley to my work in North Van. At around 8:45 am I reach the Port Mann bridge, which as always is heavily backed up with traffic.
Getting to the bridge I do what every other motorcycle rider does, take advantage that I'm riding a motorcycle and not driving a cage, and I switch lanes taking advantage of gaps in traffic in order to get to the bridge quicker. (NOTE: At no point in this I am lane-splitting or doing anywhere near or over the speed limit.)
I go through the bridge trouble free - after the bridge traffic opens up and I get on the HOV and keep going, at this time I'm doing around 10 km/h over the speed limit.
Around the Gaglardi exit, I see two police cruisers (crown vics) sitting on the right side of the highway, stopped. As I pass them, I see them turning their lights on. I immediately keep an eye on them in my rear view mirror. The two cruisers merge onto the HOV lane and proceed to get very close to my tail, at which point they turn their sirens on.
Immediately, I signal right, merge into the right lanes and safely stop on the shoulder. The whole episode from the police cars turning their lights on, to me at a stop on the shoulder took less than 45 seconds.
I shut the bike off, start taking my helmet off, as one of the cruises drives beside me and parks blocking the bike onto the shoulder - I thought that was unusual but continued to take my helmet off.
As I'm half-way taking the helmet off, the officer yells at me to get out of my bike and put my hands in his vehicle.... at this point I'm thinking WTF?!
I get off the bike without saying a word, and the officer comes up behind me and throws cuffs on me while declaring "you're under arrest for evading the police".
I immediately say "officer, I stopped as soon as I saw you behind me" - he responds "no, you ran away from another officer at the port mann bridge".
I get thrown inside the cruiser and they make me sit there while the "other officer" is on the way.
15 minutes later a female officer shows up in an unmarked crown vic, looks at me and asks "why didnt you stop for me back at the port man" - I replied "I did not see any police trying to pull me over, and I clearly heard no sirens"
She asks me to step out of the car in order to look at my jacket. She looks at it, goes "mmm" - then puts me inside the car again.
5 minutes later I get taken out of the car, and they ask if I saw any other bikes on my way over, I reply "no" (which is true, there were no other bikes on the road that day that I saw)
The officer comes to me, writes down my phone number, removes the cuffs from me and says, "we'll review the tapes and give you a call if we do find it was in fact you that was running away". They then let me go.
I havent heard back since....
Now, I know for sure I was the only bike on that stretch of road that morning. My theory of what happened is that this officer saw me switching lanes and taking advantage of gaps, and maybe thought I was lane-splitting (which I wasnt) - then processed to turn her lights on and come after me.
My bike is a stock GSXR, very quiet - so any sirens are easily heard. There was absolutely no siren going off that morning, or I'd have stopped immediately. Additionally, since I was switching lanes, I was constantly looking at my mirrors, I'd have noticed if there was a police car behind me with the lights on.
I'm thinking this power-tripping officer wanted to play hero, and was trying to pull me over from several feet away, without direct line of sight and without sirens being on. She then proceeded to call her colleagues making it sound like she was in hot pursuit, which of course got all the other guys to power trip.
Anyways... the whole thing was a big waste of our dollars, and I can confidently say that I lost a bit of trust and respect for the police that morning.
Stop going after bikes which are actually reducing congestion on our highways, and go after the stupid drivers causing accidents left right and centre because they dont know how to signal, change lanes or drive through intersections.