Confessions of a Traffic Cop

Confessions of a Traffic Cop” was written by Phil Berg and posted at Yahoo.com. After reading the article I thought it would make a good post here at CopBlock.org. I didn’t want to copy and paste the whole article so will only focus on a few of the questions. You can, and I encourage it, read the entire article by clicking here.

Phil, the author, interviewed Mike Brucks a now retired traffic cop of 22 years who claims to have wrote over 40,000 tickets (damn!) and now wants to share [brag about] his experiences. Phil’s questions are in bold, Mike’s answers are plain text and both (Phil’s and Mikes) are block quoted. I’ll add my two sense in outside of block quotes with italic font, so you know who said and wrote what.

Let’s get into the mind of a traffic cop, first question.

Besides speeding, which is the reason for most tickets, what’s most likely to get a traffic cop’s attention? 

Seatbelts, cell phones, red lights, and stop signs. I concentrate on all the things that can cause an accident. There are some cops who write tickets for expired plates, for having no insurance or registration, but you’re not going to crash because of any of that. I focused on safety issues—that’s what I like to do.

OK, good start. Officer Mike is actually concerned with safety, that’s good. I can get behind being safe. It’s nice to hear an Officer say he’s not as concerned the revenue generating, or the permission granting, aspects of the insurance, registration and plating business. 

How much leeway do you give someone before writing them a speeding ticket?

The speed limit in Texas used to be 60 mph, [and] well, out on the clear road where there’s a lot of visibility I give people leeway. I wouldn’t write tickets until they got to 80 mph.

There are two points to make here. First, how are motorist supposed to know what leeway the officer is giving? Maybe one day they drive by and Officer Mike is working so 75 in a 60 is ok but the next day, different cop, different results. Second, I’ve had Officers tell me time and time again, “the law is the law” and that they’re just enforcing those laws. Well in this case the law says 60 is the speed limit, not 80. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want people ticketed for speeding ever because it’s extortion, a racket. It’s a punishment with no actual proof of working, other than lining the pockets of government. I mean if laws restricting speeding worked, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. 

And before you jump on me about speeding being unsafe, I’ll get there, just wait. Moving on. 

             Are speed limits too low? 

No, the traffic engineers, at least in Texas, are pretty good. It’s not that some parts of the highway are safer for speeding, it’s that drivers aren’t always paying attention. People die on lonely deserted stretches of road too. There are a lot of times drivers aren’t concentrating. They need to understand you’re going 100 feet per second on the highway. Above 75 mph things just happen so fast, [whether it’s] a flat tire, a coyote, wind, dirt, or rocks. It’s not that much better now that cars are safer; reaction times are still the same.

Wait, what? In the question before this Officer Mike allows a cushion, or uses his discretion, for speeders especially if there’s alot of ‘visibility.’ Now he says that Texas engineers are pretty good and that the 60 MPH speed limits are not too low. Officer Mike goes on to say that people die on deserted roadways too, that concentration is also a factor and that people need to understand that 75 mph is fast.

Boy I’m confused. Are the speed limits too low or is Officer Mike simply allowing people to break the law? Is he implying that driving faster is more dangerous, yet advocating Officer’s use discretion by allowing faster driving? Maybe the last question will help clear things up.

When do you not chase a speeder? 

I clocked a guy on a crotch-rocket bike doing 189 mph. Just let him go. Since police departments began to get sued for chasing speeders, around 1995, there’s a fine line. You have to determine if you can catch him, if chasing him will cause an accident for him, for you, for the public. There’s no way to catch anyone like that.

This is why all driving laws that don’t address an accident/damage to another person, or their property, are bullsh*t. First, they don’t prevent any accidents, if anything, they create them. How many times has an accident been caused, or almost caused, by police lights on the side of the road. Or due to heavy braking when sneaky cops are spotted by speeding drivers?

Furthermore, Officer Mike talks about not chasing down the speeding biker because it’s unsafe. Well Officer Mike, if that’s your stance then how did you ever ticket anyone? You had to chase down all 40,000 people you wrote tickets for in your career and risked causing an accident for them, you and/or innocent public bystanders.

Congratulations Officer Mike. Your 22 years of being a traffic cop were completely worthless. All you did was prove you are a hypocrite. Your traffic stops were based off nothing more than your subjective feelings at that particular moment. Had you actually taken the time to think though your actions as a traffic cop, you very well would have concluded, that you are unable to preform the job with any sense of consistency. Just like you did this interview.

  • Common Sense

    Another moronic conclusion from Adam. You’re awesome buddy.

    How’s that panhandling gig coming along?

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  • Chris

    This comment is for t. Hey t. in this blog the POS cop is admitting Cell Phones and driving is a safety issue. Once again t. you are a dumb POS just like the cop in this blog – worthless to the human race.

  • shawn

    Sorry, but sounds like a good cop to me. I don’t know what it is you think should happen.
    Do you believe people should be allowed to drive any way they please? Sorry, not going to happen.
    I’m not going to wait for you to run my kid down in a school zone because you don’t want to slow down. Do you want to Tbone people at intersections because you don’t believe in basic traffic control? Without basic rules of the road, traffic would grind to a halt. As for licenses and plates,. One, we have to pay for roads somehow. How would you have hat work? Two, how would you deal with someone who just wont act civily on the road? I mean, we could just shoot offenders i guess, but it seams better to punish them by temporarilly suspending their driving rights/privilages whatever, or perminately if they wont learn.

    The road doesn’t belong to you do do as you please, and I’m not waiting for you to kill me or mine.

  • Zapeee

    Isnt “clocking” someone following them in close proximity for .1 or .2 miles? have you ever seen a police car that could go 189?

    @shawn- do you really think registration revenues pay for our roads and bridges? really?

  • Zapeee

    and there has never been a full-sized kawasaki police bike with saddlebags, radio, and kitchen-sink fairing that could get anywhere near that speed, either.

  • YankeeFan

    This an example of pure stupidity. This anarchist do as you will with no laws to govern a civilized society is pure bullshit. When it gets reported and accurately so that we lose almost as many in one year on the roads as were lost in Vietnam, for which we have a memorial for, then we do need rules of the road and proper enforcement of those rules.

  • underoath

    Zapee….you are thinking of pacing.

  • Common Sense

    Charger, Magnum and Caprice are at around 150mph but most police agencies limit their top speed to 120-125mph.

    The older Ford Mustangs routinely reached over 160mph and MSP once used a a Camaro in the 1990s; which exceeded 160mph and were rumored to have reached top speed of 185mph.

  • t.

    Ademo: At the beginning of you 7th paragraph…you sum up everything about you concerning most aspects of the police…”Boy am I confused”. Truer words i haven’t seen in a long while.

    You think his decision NOT to try and chase a motorcycle at 189 is a BAD thing????
    You question why he doesn’t stop everyone?
    Your worried that people might not know about how much they can break the law??
    But in the beginning you think he’s doing a good thing by stopping and citing dangerous behaviors.
    Boy, you. ARE confused.

    Its. OK though. Its actually one of the most comical aspects of Cop Block. The depictions of the police as both hyper vigilant and yet sloth people suckling at the taxpayer tit. You or own words show this in this article, no further research required.

    You (and your blocker brethren) complain that the police don’t arrive until after a crime occurs. But yet bitch about the “police state”. Which one is it ?!?! Heck, just lookat your closing 3 paragraphs. You somehow claim that he ( or I, or any other officer) never stop an accident. How, oh all knowing one, how do you prove what didn’t happen? Just the thought of getting stopped heightens the attention of many. It slows them down. It gets them to use a DD or take a cab home after too much to drink.

    Your own comments contradict you. And your conclusions are simply baseless opinion. And that’s OK. But that’s all it is.

  • t.

    @Chris: sorry, just saw your stupidity. I never said using a cell phone when driving isn’t dangerous. I just asked your dumbass why you got mad at an officer for doing something that is legal for him to do? Or do you want to make more laws and make more things illegal?

  • mike s

    189 on a crotch rocket? even if he did try chasing the speeder he wouldnt keep up at all in a cruiser…except if it was the Dodge Charger crusier, those suck.

  • qwerty

    i generally do not like cops, but this guy seems cool to me. poor article. focus on more important issues. and stop worshipping guns, all of you. it makes you look stupid.

  • Zee L Usay

    @ T: I am glad for your reply you saved me from a lot of typing. Your observations are fairly accurate. I find the site drifting to be a hate site driven by more and more narrow minded hatred of the police. If your goal is to watch and hold the police accountable I applaud you. If your goal is to interfere with police operation, well your a criminal and a danger to my safety. I you do things just to provoke the cops then your more a deusche than the cops your baiting. There are more than enough ass hat cops out there without goading some guy that has a really crappy day into something he regrets.

  • Dr Kranknstein

    Read this and did a quick once over of the whole story. It seemed like Mike was a pretty straight forward officer. The article seemed like you were trying to split hairs though. The cop took everything into account not just speed. Rainy day…yeah he got you at 65-70. Sunny day/clear weather….he let you slip a little further. I am hung over and don’t wanna deal with assholes today…so no one gets a ticket =). Sounds like good judgement to me.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    My old 1989 Yamaha FZR-600 did 150mph on stock gears with nothing but rejetted carbs and an aftermarket exhaust. The new bikes of 1000cc and even 1200cc are blindingly fast, so 189mhz is certainly within the realm of possibility. These days I keep a newer 150cc scooter for puttering back and forth from the VA hospital.

    On the matter of the revenue enforcer, oops I mean “police officer”, deciding on the fly who is travelling too fast, the old saying that “selective enforcement makes criminals of us all” comes to mind.

    On a side note, does anyone else find it amazing how quickly the admitted pedophile rapist common sense appears to comment on new stories? It is almost like his entire life is loading http://www.copblock.org into his browser and pressing the F5 key repeatedly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • t.


  • Nbcrew

    This comment is for SHAWN. Dear shawn you must be border line retared for
    Leaving the comment that you did. the point of this whole
    Story is that Officer mike was ticketing people based
    On his opinion of a fast driver, witch just so happened to
    Be 20+ over the legal limit. So im sure if officer mike had
    Been on duty when theses “crazy people” you speak of that drive threw school zones
    At high rates of speed (WITCH NO ONE DOES BECAUSE WE AS PEOPLE HAVE SOMTHING CALLED COMMAN SENCE) he woulda been cool with me crusin threw at least ten over increasing my chance of smakin your kid with the front of my kia.
    Were not all fucking idiots we all went to school and passed a drivers test to get behind a wheel
    Its not like were a bunch of pyhcos that go speeding threw school zones law or no law
    No one would do that. And if someone would do that then they were gunna do it anyway
    Regaurdless of the “speed limt” .
    They want nothing more than to line there pockets
    They dont give a fuck about you or your kid in “the school zone”
    I dont need to be punished for speeding i know that professional people make the speed limits
    For a reason and that to be a safe driver you should follow what the sign says
    But there are hundreds of circumstances where it would be ok to speed, or run a red light, stop sign ect.. and i do so in a safe manner.
    I was already raised by my parents who showed me right from wrong
    I dont need a stranger/hipocrit in my face telling me to slow down.
    Your kid will be fine, i dont plan on speeding threw school zones and playgrounds you dumbass.

  • t.

    @nbcrew: Funny, lots of people get ticketed form speeding threw schools zones.

  • Nbcrew

    @t yeah they do, for doin 20 in a 15.

  • shawn


    I get the horn for slowing down in school zones.
    You must be borderline retarded not to understand my point. If the cop is cutting people a break, it is just that, a break. Personally, i think he is being too generous.

    This site is full of ‘free men’ who think we can get by without traffic laws of any kind. Any given commute would prove that wrong. We have traffic laws, most of which make sense and are good, to define for the morons what they shouldn’t do that would endanger innocents. There are idiots here who argue that it should be ok to fly through a school zone while 15 sheets to the wind. And that is insane.

    I challenge the cops on things like checkpoints and no cause stops, but i am fully with them that we need traffic laws to define correct behavior and punishments to enforce them.

  • Nbcrew

    Listen mrs T im sorry if i offended you, i guess im coming off the wrong way.
    I also think that we need traffic laws. Im not saying i want them to take down speed limit signs so we can all just wing it.
    I just feel like the punishment for these victimless crimes shouldent impact your pay check.

  • t.

    Crew: all right. So what should the punishment be? Public flogging?

  • Ademo Freeman

    Why do you think people here worship guns? And how does someone taking responsibility for their protection make them look stupid? IMO, relying on the police to protect you is stupid.

  • qwerty

    ademo- first, i respect you for what you are doing and what you have done. however, i strongly disagree with your support of the kentucky sheriff who will gladly disregard federal gun control law. assault weapons do not need to be owned or carried by anybody outside of a combat zone. not citizens, not cops. nobody needs these weapons. i’m sure this sheriff will gladly uphold the second amendment but not the fourth, or any other amendment that is more important in our day to day lives as members of a civilized society. and yet you support his selective tyranny. fuck the second amendment. i don’t care about guns, i want freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from the drug war, etc. standing with sheriff dredd from kentucky undermines your purpose.

  • shawn


    I could go with flogging a few.

    If you’re calling me Mrs T, he and i bump heads like rams. But considering our arguments, some might mistake us for married.

    But as T asked, what punishement would you choose for bad driving? Without enforcement, traffic laws would be mere suggestions.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    The only logical repercussion there should be for traffic violations should be points levied against ones drivers license. All monetary fees should be abolished. Those that accumulate too many points will have their driving rights reduced or eventually removed until they show adequate respect for the rights of these fellow citizens.

  • shawn


    The 2nd is the final guarantee of the rest, so your F the 2nd is short sided.. Do we need ARs? Not really. If i have a gun, i can get a real assault rifle from a gov thug just like the french did in WW2. But it isn’t a good idea to let the government get too free in restricting the 2nd. Give a mouse a cookie…

  • shawn


    The problem with that is that without an immediate cost, people would game the point system. I see that at work every day. What i would like to see is the removal of financial gain to the government, buy requiring the money go to random cherity or something. I’m not blindthat many governments are gaming traffic violations.
    Tallahassee fl they put up red light cameras and SHORTENED the yellow. Clearly that was for revenue generation.

  • t.

    @Shawn: I’ve got to ask because it vexes me….where do you think the money goes? You seem to be buying whole heartedly into to Pete’s nonsense of some sort of perverse motive for traffic stops. So I’ll ask you (and even @Glenn=liar) what you think happens with fines / court costs.

  • underoath

    Glenn….there is already a point system in place and most people don’t pay attention to that as it is. If there are no other consequences besides a point system, that most people ignore, then what do you suggest?

  • shawn


    I don’t know about all of it, but there are clear signs of governments using it to fund themselves. It will change from state to state. Ever heard of speed trap towns? They get their funding this way.
    I once went through an area on us41. 45mph constantly. Then a sign raising it to 55. 200 feet later, behind a tree, back down to 45. Then there is the talahasse story i mentioned where they reduced the yellow after putting in a camera.

    You have a mayberry view of government if you think they are above using traffic law as a means of revenue generation. Even if they simply use it for jails, that is money they divert elsewhere.

  • Jamsmith

    You all must be kidding. Now I agree we need safety rules for the road. I am no anarchist. But the man makes loads of valid points, if you possess the intelligence to understand it.

    The dumbest thing I read is this:

    “You (and your blocker brethren) complain that the police don’t arrive until after a crime occurs. But yet bitch about the ‘police state’. Which one is it ?!?!”

    How idiotic! How utterly stupid! A complete retard!

    Police our public servants. IT IS THEIR JOB to come when a citizen calls them. It is not their job to abuse their position or ignore the Constitution. I expect them to do both. So the answer, you moronic fool, is BOTH. We expect police to work within the parameters established by a free society. And we expect them to get here quick when we call them. And not to show up at all, if not invited, unless they have a warrant.

    How low an IQ must one have to not understand this.

  • john doe

    If I look at the times I feel I should have been stopped from driving against the few times I have been stopped for minor traffic thing it becomes obvious that something is wrong. Play this in your mind and see if you can come up with a solution.

  • t.

    Very few places still get any funding directly through the tickets they write. They can get indirect funding through state and federal programs, but few get any direct money that way. The red light cameras tend to be a. Even bigger boondoggle. Those are generally contracted through a private company and the city / town only receives a very small percentage. I think we got like 4% before we got rid of them.

    I don’t think it’s my “Mayberry view”. I thi I you are working off of bad intel and it clouding your view

  • Chris

    T… Its quite obvious you are a COP or a COP lover. Just admit it – we all want to know. Which one are you? You sure spend a lot of time on this website. LOL…

  • Shawn


    “Very few places still get any funding directly through the tickets they write.”

    Those dollars are going somewhere, and governments like to spend it on themselves. And if they aren’t, they why are there still speed trap towns and why do they play games with the cameras? A man proved in court they did so in Tallahassee FL.

    They may not get it DIRECTLY through tickets, but that money does something. Even if only used to fund jails and such, it still relieves them to spend the money they would have spent elsewhere.

  • Dan Sayers

    One number to indicate what’s a safe speed at all times is a fallacy.

    I once took a trip to Chicago from Toledo with the intention of following every law to the letter for the purpose of making my journey undisturbed. Couldn’t do it. As I neared Chicago, even where there were four lanes per direction, the slowest person was well above the speed limit. If I were to have driven the speed limit, *I* would have been the danger and I would’ve been pulled over and rightfully so.

    Take that same road and add in a pile-up. Now the speed limit is likely unsafe because of the rubber-neckers.

    As pointed out above, the most unsafe items on the road today are police just sitting there, vehicles that are pulled over on high speed roads (as opposed to pulled ahead someplace safe), and yes, traffic cams. Because all lead to people who are at speed with everybody around them suddenly slamming on their brakes. For those keeping score, the very devices used to enforce arbitrary speed limits are the very things that make speeds unsafe.

    Would I rather a cop say in an interview (meaning not necessarily substantiated) that he focused on safety rather than burned out tail lights for example? Sure. Would I rather a cop say he focused on crimes with victims rather than citizens moving at certain speeds or having certain objects on their person, yes, that would be much better.

    Sorry, you can bring up a school zone to subvert the topic of liberty and pull on heart strings for an easy, albeit fake win in such a discussion. The bottom line is police detaining people otherwise enjoying the freedom of movement, for actions that have not harmed anybody, does not even resemble where the goals of a free people should be.


    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want people ticketed for speeding ever because it’s extortion….

    So if I rip down the road at 80 MPH every morning in front of the school when kids are getting off the bus….you’re OK with that? Excessive speed is the number 2 contributing factor in fatal accidents. Right behind alcohol.

    And Qwerty.. Don’t worry, when you need the police, we’ll be there in 4-8 minutes. We’ll bring the ambulance or coroner with us depending on what you need.

  • Dan Sayers

    @PSOSGT: If a person says one thing and you say they said something different, you’re OK with that?

    I’ve already stated that saying “school” isn’t the ace of spades, automatically winning the argument. If you’d really like to discuss it, my parents taught me the danger of the road from the age I was outside the house, which was younger than the age of entering school. Meanwhile, I’ve never seen a school that wasn’t significantly set back away from the road for the purpose of “safety.”

    EXCESSIVE speeds ARE dangerous. I never commented on EXCESSIVE speeds other than to imply that being above a posted speed limit isn’t necessarily EXCESSIVE speed. There are people in this world that can safely handle doing 100 MPH and there are people that will rear-end you doing 5 MPH in a parking lot. Let us not pretend that speed, oblivious of all other factors, denotes safety.

  • shawn


    And Qwerty.. Don’t worry, when you need the police,
    we’ll be there in 4-8 minutes”

    I wouldn’t count on that. Took a cop more than an hour to come when we had a nut trying to break in.

  • t.

    Sanders: But YOU are core sting that they are all sharing the same roads

  • cookie

    Another bullshit article. This guy sounds like a decent cop, at least for what little he reveals about his enforcement attitude.

  • Maddness35

    This is interesting, and I strongly stand in fellowship with any individual who demands that the men and women who take up the oath of our protection stand behind it with integrity and common sense.

    In these times, as in all times past, people in power have abused it. Poorly suited individuals can gain employment in any field, not just law enforcement. And as such is the case, their actions and decisions can hurt an entire organization. More laws equal less common sense, and unjust laws are antithetical to freedom. However, this article is a SHINING example of WHAT NOT TO DO. Where’s the “Confessions of corrupt city councils”? or “Confessions of a Red Light Cam lobbyist”? I would not want to remove the blame from corrupt law enforcement, or even remotely claim not guilty for them, however behind every badge, just as behind every computer, is a living breathing person. To hack and slash with such terrible bias every single element of law enforcement, I stobutly claim this to be far from productive. To enforce change, we must respect these oathkeepers. When the time comes that individuals with integrity are forced from their positions, it will be those oathkeepers of integrity that will fight for justice. Are we at the point where evil has triumphed completely? If you believe that, then evil has done its job and you have paid evil in full. Do I believe in Anarchy? YES. Are we as a society ready for anarchy? Hundreds of years of incremental control and reduced freedom seem to indicate that anarchy at this moment would be ruinous. In an anarchy responsibility and integrity MUST be prevalent. And as we all know, we have been lead away from such a concept for so long now that for most in this society, anarchy would result in complete chaos, which incidentally will be nothing different from the organized and codified chaos in which we currently reside.

    Anyway, I am at the same point proud and supportive of reining in the abuses of power and God complexes that hide behind the honor of any badge, and depressed and saddened that hate has reared its evil in such a discussion. If I was a competent pious law enforcement officer I would be appalled and offended by this post. So, please Ademo, use your anger responsibly. Attack the industrial military complex, the industrial prison complex and the industrial law enforcement complex. Don’t rage against the petty decisions of a traffic enforcer. We’ll see no change in that. Especially when that officer is simply following his own discretion, which to me is a far more honorable position than the officers that pull people over based on ethnicity or beliefs. Keep up the watch of the watchers Ademo, but don’t let the negativity consume your high ground in the battle. We wont win this if we stoop to equal footing with the wicked forces at work today.

  • http://suijurisforum.com indio007

    When I see all those assumptions about accidents and safety etc…. verified in a peer reviewed scientific journal maybe I will believe them.

    They base all their crap on insurance industry propaganda that is designed to mold legislation that fattens their profits.

  • greymatterassault

    Here’s the problem that those of you who defend the cop’s mentality are missing. You make the assumption that if we actually lived in a voluntary society that people would automatically resort to unsafe behavior. You assume that people would run rampant through a school zone and kill kids, or somehow drive crazier than people currently do on the roads. It really is the same argument as gun control. People assume that if most people were legally able to carry a weapon wherever they go it means that society will be like the shoot out at the OK Corral all the time. This is craziness. Do you need laws to make you a safe and responsible person? Do you need laws for you to obey common sense? Why do we need a state law in Texas making it illegal to run over people that are walking through a cross walk? Is it not obvious that if you hit a pedestrian as they are walking through the cross walk that you will be liable for whatever damage has been done? How does making it illegal make it MORE wrong? All it does is make you liable to the state INSTEAD of making you liable to the actual victim. Am I the only one seeing this? If you knew that you would spend the next 5 years paying restitution to a victim you have maimed due to your lack of responsibility with a motor vehicle, I think you would be just as unlikely to be irresponsible as you would be if the state says you would go to jail. This is what is wrong with people today. You woul RATHER have a p[olice state so that you can live with less responsibility for your actions. You embrace losing freedom so that someone else can hold others liable in the name of justice that has gone awry. What are you going to do when they finally make a law that YOU believe is ridiculous? Just because something has been a certain way for your entire life doesn’t mean that is the way it should be. Just because you are content to be the frog in the pot of lukewarm water doesn’t mean that those of us willing to take responsibility should have to be in there with you. Hop out now before it kills you, and then boils over to your kids, and grandkids as well.

  • shawn


    Far too many need common sense explained to them. But for the most part you are right. But what about those who won’t drive or handle a weapon safely? Do we not need a sanction to stop them and force them to act correctly?

    Laws don’t take away your right to drive or own a gun. But they do spell out that misuse of either will be punished.

  • Johnd3

    I will have to agree with the writer on his last Italic paragraph. I can tell right from the beginning the cop was lying. Especially after he stated he wrote 40,000 tickets. Every word out of his mouth was nothing but bucket full of shit. And I did my best to be neutral with this article. And no matter what the ending result was the cop lied. They love the rush and the chase…

  • Cops Protect Us

    All you anti cop persons sound bitter and mind-numbingly stupid. Does your ignorance know no bounds? I bet all of you anti cop people are bitter about a ticket or arrest you feel you didn’t deserve so now you start a hate group to make your little bruised egos feel better.

    Grow the fuck up!