Clovers… On the Road (and Otherwise)

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I’m often asked – what’s a Clover?clover lead pic

Technically, it’s a specific person – an incredibly persistent troll on these pages who identified himself (herself?) using that handle. After awhile, it stuck – became a general term, describing a mentality (reflexive authoritarian and collectivist) rather than one particular individual.

We all know Clovers.

They constitute the bulk of our fellow Americans. Among other things, they are terrible drivers.

Not so much because they are untalented behind the wheel.

It is because they are controlling and deliberately inconsiderate behind the wheel.

Dealing with Clovers on the road is like dealing with a 300 pound oaf that sort of wanders around your house, randomly stopping and standing in the hallway (or suddenly walking out of rooms, unexpectedly). A Clover expects you to avoid him … and then gets mad when you attempt to maneuver around him.

The classic example of this is the Clover who pulls out in front of you suddenly but then accelerates slowly. He was in a big hurry to get in front of you – but in no hurry to proceed, once he does. He’ll take his time getting up to speed – and will often not even reach the speed limit (which is usually at least 5-10 MPH below the speed at which traffic normally flows).clover leaf

Either such drivers have a very poor sense of spatial relationships (closing speed, etc.) or they are incredibly inconsiderate.

I vote for inconsiderate.

Proof of this being that the Clover will invariably speed up if you attempt to pass him. Once the passing zone is cleared, the Clover will then slow down again.

This is done out of pure spite. They get their yucks this way.

Some Clovers will go to impressive lengths to prevent you from passing them. Not only will they “speed” (and remember, Clovers claim to hate “speeders”) like Jeff Gordon at Charlotte, sometimes they will (also like Jeff Gordon) use their car to physically block you from passing. They’ll see you about to move into the left lane to pass – and they’ll move into the left lane to prevent you from passing. I have had this done to me many times. Hence it is critical to get the drop on the Clover. Never let him know you plan to pass. Just do it, quickly – before the dull-witted beast has time to react.

If you succeed in passing, the Clover will flash his headlights and honk his horn at you – not unlike an ape at the zoo throwing his own scheisse through the bars. But of course the ape has his reasons.

And so does Clover.Clover old guy

It’s a mystery, unless you understand the Clover mentality.

A normal person who happened to be a slow driver would be happy that you passed. Because you are no longer following him like a lamprey on a great white and besides, it’s just common courtesy. Why should one care whether another driver is driving faster than you like to drive? If he wants to pass, great! I’ll make it easier for him by slowing and maybe even pulling off a bit onto the shoulder, to signal him that I am on his side and trying to help.

A true Clover will never do that. It is his mission to make it as difficult as possible for you to pass.

Or to merge.

Three lane interstate highway. You are building speed on the on-ramp. A Clover is in the far right lane, adjacent to the on-ramp. There is no traffic to his left (center lane) but the Clover will not move into the center lane to make your merge easier. He will – like the oaf in the hallway – expect you to adjust to him. You will either have to accelerate furiously (risking a ticket, if there’s a revenue collector in the vicinity) or lose your momentum, slow (so as to clear the Clover) and then slot in behind him.

If only Clover would move over, you could merge smoothly – and traffic would flow.

This concept is anathema to Clover’s mentality. Which is a mentality innately hostile to the live – and let live mentality. That is, to the mentality of people who are not Clovers.wonka Libertarian

It takes almost no effort – and in no way causes inconvenience – to ease over one lane, to clear the far right lane for the sake of merging traffic. To not leave two car lengths of air between your car and the next car ahead of you in a turn lane (so that more than just you will clear the intersection when the light goes green).

A Clover is defined by such acts of low-rent, passive-aggressive incivility.

Which is interesting, diagnostically speaking.

We (Libertarians) are accused by Clovers of being “selfish” and yet we are not the ones demanding that others defer to us. Yes, we may “speed” – but we do not demand that Clovers “speed,” too. We’d just like to get by the slow-poke and go on our way, thank you very much.

Why not let us?

Our “speeding” does not impede Clovers or cause them any tangible harm (their bruised feelings don’t count). But their refusal to yield –  the way they use their cars to force others to slow to their pace – does impede others. Like the oaf in your home who just stands in front of the ‘fridge and will not budge.

The on-the-road equivalent of this being the Clover who is at the head of a quarter-mile-long conga line of cars, yet it will not occur to him to pull briefly off the road so as to let all those cars get by and on their way. The Clover who matches his speed exactly to the car in the adjacent lane, so that neither lane can be used for passing.Libertarian 2

Clovers have a rubber yardstick they use to determine what’s “safe” vs. “risky” … It is their personal feelings about what constitutes “safe” and “risky.” The problem here is that there are millions of Clovers and each of them has a different set of personal feelings. Some feel that it’s ok to drive 5 MPH faster than the posted speed limit – but ticket-worthy (because “unsafe”) to drive 10 MPH faster. Other Clovers feel that the yellow advisory signs (as in curves) ought to be as religiously obeyed as a formal speed limit – and that anyone who drives faster than the suggested (but not technically a legal mandatory maximum) velocity is “dangerous.”

There’s no real standard. Just the legislated feelings of Clovers.

An interesting aspect of all this is that Libertarians have a more socially constructive attitude toward driving – toward their fellow drivers – than collectivist Clovers do. The difference between the two – as in politics – hinges on the question of coercion.

Libertarians will do their best not to impose themselves on others – on the road or otherwise. They may try to get around you. But they’d never try to block you in. They’ll drive faster than you. But do not insist you drive at any particular speed except that which you are comfortable driving. Take all day, if you like. Just – please – use your rearview and when you see another motorist coming up behind you who obviously would like to get by… let him.

As practitioners of the live – and let live – philosophy, Libertarians will usually try to avoid conflict.

The opposite of Clovers, who seem to enjoy creating it. depends on you to keep the wheels turning! The control freaks (Clovers) hate us. Goo-guhl blackballed us.

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  1. There is another type of “merging Clover”. The first kind will not move to the left to let you merge even if it is completely clear. The other type doesn’t know, or ignores the fact that when they are merging they do not have the right of way. So that if there is a lot of traffic on the road, they are supposed to wait until it is clear enough to merge. Often they just barrel into the line of traffic forcing everyone in the right lane to slow down or even stop since they are unable to move to the left.

  2. Wooooow…
    Um, I totally used to be a clover on the road. Did not think of that as an authoritarian thing but that would match up with my political views at the time. Weird how that works.

    Hi, by the way. I’m, like, new to this site. Heard of it via Tom Woods. Promise I don’t drive like an authoritarian any more.

    • Hi from blue to,

      It’s not one’s speed, per se, that makes one a Clover. The defining attribute is an insistence that others be forced to drive the way you are comfortable driving. Peripheral characteristics include general inconsideration, such as not paying attention, yielding when you ought to, etc.

      • And that changes as clovers mood changes. clover might “allow” you a move one day that would be completely unacceptable the next. clover might point out to someone(thankfully, my neighbors are all at least half a mile away)they had one side vehicle’s tires on the grass separating their two driveways even though they were on “their” grass but clover doing the same would be acceptable because they only did it “just the one time”.

        clovers laws and rules change for clovers benefit or what they see as behavior they don’t like at that time. It’s highly changeable though. When clover backs into the street and causes others to take evasive action it’s clover who’s shaking their fist. clover would jump out and whip your ass…..if she had any guts but is always willing to have a badged thug do it for her.

      • Right, right. I got it. I used to be a rude driver in various, unpredictable ways. Just generally unsympathetic. Fortunately, I changed. I’m not looking for a cookie or anything, just…I don’t know…compulsively sharing I guess.

        • I drive very fast, but I do my best to be courteous. So, for example, I don’t bear down on (and tailgate) a slow-poke. I reduce speed, leave a comfortable following distance. When an opportunity arises, I pass the guy. But never darting back in front. I try to ease over and then resume speed.

          I wish, though, that people (in general, a few already do) would learn to be proactive, use their mirrors and yield/move right before a car coming up behind them gets there, so that the faster-moving car doesn’t need to slow down and can just continue on his way while the slower car does the same.

          Thats how it’s taught in Germany.

          • If I waited till not a single vehicle was in sight I might never get anywhere but on 2 lane roads with a paved shoulder I pull out(I rarely drive anything but a big rig) and when I see someone coming from behind I move as far onto the shoulder as I can. Often I can get the entire rig completely below the white line and people pass and wave or blink their lights. That’s a much appreciated move and the very reason I cuss waterhaulers so much because few of them are professional drivers. They went to driving school, got hired on and drive like they would their lowrider on a city street.

            I don’t do that always though. There are certain vehicles you can tell that aren’t going to be running as fast as you are in a half minute. And I detest those who speed around me and then won’t even drive 70 on an open road. I will tailgate them and it most often causes them to move over and let me by. Some people are so stubborn though they will let you get right on them and stay there, sometimes speeding up a bit and getting a tiny gap and then slowing down again. That’s a clover that’s not ready to die though and will finally let you by when you pull out and they speed up just enough to not let you make a pass and then there is oncoming traffic and I have the option of slowing down or just move back into the lane and let stupid take it’s course. Amazingly, they can then finally move over and let you by. This really ain’t rocket science but it’s the way clover rolls.

            You don’t realize how many clovers there are till you make a move, sometimes an illegal one, and then all these vehicles fall in behind you and do the same thing.

            A few years ago I was coming back from Dallas and there was 47 miles of I-20 torn up with concrete dividers in much of it. I got to a stop behind what appeared to be miles(it was about 3 miles)of stopped cars. It was a wreck since the idiots doing the construction hadn’t allowed enough room for big rigs at a choke point. It’s illegal to leave the road and cross the barditch to the access road but that’s what I did. I’d been gone nearly 15 hours and my dog and I were dead tired. Once I tore across, then it was a herd of traffic crossing over a good 1/2 mile area behind me. I got to a fuel stop right where the wreck had happened. I and about another 100 SUV’s and pickups got there within seconds of each other. I didn’t need fuel, just something to drink and something for my dog and a place for both of us to pee. I’d bet that place had never had that many vehicles at it at one time. The DPS knew where we’d come from but what to do with that many people? Now days, it’s just a common thing.

            Recently I made this move and it was a mistake. The access road never cleared so I passed a couple miles of traffic, along with a couple hundred other vehicles to find a stopped, not soon to be opened road. The traffic on the interstate began to move so I sat there and waiting till it cleared pretty well, switched my diff. lock on and took a hard left across the ditch to the edge of the main route. I waited for a gap, pulled out around the back of a DPS car with the trooper motioning traffic on and got back up. That was all everybody behind me needed and then they crossed like a herd of gazelles. It wasn’t so much that I’m gutsy as practical. If the DPS wants to stop me and ticket me in the middle of that mess then I’ve miscalculated. They didn’t and I went on with a horde of cowards(clovers) behind me.

  3. Am I allowed to post any further comments? I’ve made two attempts without success. Am I just doing it wrong? Or is there some rule or procedure I am not familiar with? I’m new here and new at this.

      • No, I tried to post one thing two or three times, but it never appeared. I thought it might be over the length limit or something.

        I’m not trying to troll you. I’m actually on your side about almost everything, I just don’t think every crummy motorist is a Clover who’s doing it on purpose.

        I’ve noticed most people don’t see behind them very well. I certainly don’t. And I think most drivers tend to be focused on what’s ahead of them. I sure do.

        • Fourth try.

          People weren’t backed up behind me. What gave you that idea? Some crazy guy just followed/chased me across two rural counties, for reasons still known only to him. But I believe I already said I do not consider myself an expert motorist by any means, and I would not drive if I had any other means of getting around.
          I tried to post a shorter version of the following a couple of hours ago, but I evidently pushed the wrong “Reply” button so my post just vanished into the ether.
          If someone is tailgating me, especially at night with his high beams on, I am more than happy to pull over on the shoulder and let him pass. This has happened before. The last time was three or four years ago. I was on a narrow, winding, unfamiliar stretch of two-lane country road, in the middle of nowhere in the pitch dark.
          I was indeed driving slowly, for I was quite lost. (I once wrote a detailed account of the incident, elsewhere. If I can find it still archived, I may append it.)
          Someone in the inevitable pickup truck was right on my bumper, with his high beams on. I kept slowing down, hoping he would pass. Finally I just pulled over and stopped on the shoulder of the road. Instead of going on the truck stopped alongside me, and the driver demanded to know what was wrong, what I was doing.
          “Well,” I replied, “your high beams were blinding me. Please go on ahead.”
          “My high beams weren’t on,” he claimed.
          “Well, they were blinding me anyway. Please go ahead.”
          Finally he did, grudgingly and with ill grace.
          Another time, about 19 years ago, I was driving in fast, multi-lane expressway traffic (which I am not used to). Everyone was doing 80 in a 55. A red pickup truck pulled up alongside me on my left. It got about a half car length ahead of me and then very suddenly, very deliberately swerved sharply into my path. I was forced to veer sharply to my right, and only narrowly avoided a collision.
          I slowed, to let him get ahead of me. This was not courtesy, but a tactical maneuver. I could see the driver’s face clearly, because he was looking straight back at me for a considerable distance, at least a hundred yards, maybe two.
          He was giving me the one finger salute with one hand, and I could see his mouth working, but of course could not hear what he was yelling. At first, before the distance increased between us too much, I could see the whites of his eyes, all the way around, and I could swear I saw drops of spit spraying on his rear window, but that could have been an illusion.
          I waved and smiled at him, as if to say, “Farewell, my friend, you are not long for this world.”
          I slowed more, widening the gap between us, and then took the first exit ramp I came to, calculating that he must be swept along helplessly by the rushing river of metal and glass, further away from me, and that it would be next to impossible for him to come back and follow me.
          To this day I have no idea what set the red pickup driver off, but if I had to venture a guess, I would say I had probably changed lanes too abruptly while he was behind me, in my blind spot. So he was looking for some of that Big Payback that James Brown sang about.

          Oh, here’s the longer version of the bright lights-tailgater incident, originally posted elsewhere under a pen name on October 30, 2011.

          “Lost In the Dark”

          Really. I’d been trying for several days to make the trip to deliver some Halloween gifts to a kid I know *way* out in the country. I mean in the back end of nowhere. Each day illness prevented me from going.
          Today I woke up ill again. Gut-sick, as they say, which is a chronic condition with me, and also feeling strangely faint and “woozy.” I didn’t begin to feel well enough to drive until nearly 9:00 P.M. I set forth in the dark. In this I was unwise.

          I thought I still knew the way, though it had been six months since I went out that way. I thought wrong. It’s not an easy place to find in broad daylight, and in the dark I could not see any of the landmarks I depended on to find the way. I took a wrong turn somewhere. When I realized this, I tried to retrace my steps. That didn’t work either. I kept taking more wrong turns, and getting loster and loster.

          In the nearly pitch dark I lost all sense of direction. I could barely tell up from down, let alone any of the points of the compass. Nothing seemed remotely familiar. It was kind of like I had entered the Twilight Zone or something. Lost in the dark — the very thing I am always trying to save others from had happened to me!

          This was made nastier by the fact that I had barely enough gasoline to get there and back, but not enough to wander around lost indefinitely. After at least 45 minutes of fruitless wandering, the gas was starting to get pretty low.

          It was only forty degrees Fahrenheit, and getting colder, and I was in no way dressed for the weather. I had no flashlight, which was unusual for me. I had no earthly idea where I was, and did not know a soul in those parts. It was nearly 10:30.

          But just before panic set in I spied a house with lights in the windows, and stopped to ask directions. I could hear what sounded like large dogs barking as I started to exit my car. This gave me pause. I got back in the car, turned it on, and angled it around so that the headlight beams were aimed toward the sound. I saw that the dogs were confined in a kennel. So I approached the door and knocked. I was shaking, I think just from the cold, but I am not sure.

          A kind and brave lady answered the door and gave me directions. Eventually I made it back to my own town, in the barest nick of time, for I needed to go to the bathroom badly.

          Anyway, it was not a fun way to spend an evening. It’s been a long time since I was that lost, and since I was that close to being panic stricken. That I failed in my mission troubled me greatly. And it gave me a sense that I am getting old, and maybe just about at the point where I need looking after.

          If there was anything good about it all, it was during the drive before I realized I was lost. I heard three songs in a row on the radio. They were “Scarlet Town,” performed by Gillian Welch, “Graveyard,” by Devil Makes Three, and some song by Neil Young, I think its title may have been “Down By the River.”

          Here are some of the lyrics of each:

          “Scarlet Town”

          Buddy I went down to Scarlet Town
          Never been there before
          You slept on a feather bed
          I slept on the floor
          I don’t mind a lean old time
          Or drinking my coffee cold
          But the things I seen in Scarlet Town
          Did mortify my soul
          Look at that deep well
          Look at that dark grave
          Ringing that iron bell
          In Scarlet Town today
          I spent some time in New Orleans
          And came along a bend
          But Scarlet Town brought me down
          Low as I ever been
          Look at that deep well
          Look at that dark grave
          Ringing that iron bell
          In Scarlet Town today
          On the day I came to Scarlet Town
          You promised I’d be your bride
          You left me here to rot away
          Like holly on a mountainside
          Look at that deep well
          Look at that dark grave
          Ringing that iron bell
          In Scarlet Town today
          Now you may hide in Scarlet Town
          For a hundred years or more
          But the man who knows what time it is
          Is knocking at the door
          So fare you well, my own true love
          If you never see me around
          I’ll be looking through a telescope
          From hell to Scarlet Town
          Look at that deep well
          Look at that dark grave
          Ringing that iron bell


          I wanna tell you a story
          Ain’t got no characters in it but me
          I wanna sing you a sad song
          _Most of it I don’t expect you to believe_
          It starts off just the Whiskey and Wine
          Miles of travel and some real good times
          _But it ends in a dark corridor
          Where there ain’t no windows
          And there ain’t no doors_
          Well that’s me
          Just a’drinkin’ off this bottle
          And a’driftin’ out to sea
          _Well that’s me
          Just a’sittin here starin’
          And a’shakin’ like a leaf_
          Well that’s me
          _Just a’leanin’ on my shovel
          In this graveyard of dreams_
          Yeah that’s me
          Just a’leanin’ on my shovel
          In this graveyard of dreams
          I wanna take you to a shipwreck
          A thousand miles underneath the black sea
          _It looks like everybody’s sleeping
          But look close they are dead indeed_
          I wanna lead you to an armchair
          Deep black in the files of my mind
          I wanna sit you in the candle’s light
          Where I’ve been spendin’ all of my time

          “Down By the River”

          Be on my side,
          I’ll be on your side,
          There is no reason
          for you to hide
          It’s so hard for me
          staying here all alone
          When you could be
          taking me for a ride.
          Yeah, she could drag me
          over the rainbow,
          send me away
          _Down by the river
          I shot my baby_
          Down by the river,
          Dead, oh, shot her dead.
          You take my hand,
          I’ll take your hand
          Together we may get away
          This much madness
          is too much sorrow
          It’s impossible
          to make it today.

          Somehow hearing those three in a row like that brought on a flood of mental imagery, and almost the germ of an idea for a story. I suppose if it were made into a screenplay and from that into a film I would use those three songs, or parts of them, at various crucial parts of the tale. You might guess what sort of a story it would be.

          • Hi David,

            Tailgating/high-beaming/swerving/cutting other drivers off – and so on – are execrable actions. I do not condone any such.

            But I’m not sure why we’re discussing such things as they were not discussed in the article. The article focused on drivers who obstruct traffic by driving slower than other traffic and refusing to yield to faster-moving traffic. Again, it’s the slow driving that’s the issue. It’s the slow driver who impedes others drivers.

            The key thing here is to scan one’s mirrors and anticipate the need to yield – then do so – before traffic bunches up behind you. To not pull out in front of another car unless you are prepared to accelerate quickly enough such that the other driver does not have to slam on his brakes. To pay attention to traffic signals so that you are ready to go – immediately – when the light turns green.


          • I think some pickup drivers are either unaware or just don’t care that their headlights sit enough higher than a car to cause a ‘false high’ problem. Or maybe some of them know it, but haven’t figured out how to properly deal with it.

        • Hi David,
          If you scroll down to ‘preview’ your post and then hit “Reply” instead of “Post Comment” your comment is gone. I made the same mistake more than once before I realized what was happening.

  4. Eric, I think my commitment to personal liberty is as great as yours. I just don’t define it chiefly in terms of driving real fast. I am frankly not a car enthusiast. I really don’t like to drive and I don’t believe I am especially good at it. I am sure I make mistakes in my driving, but not on purpose or because of any kind of controlling, authoritarian attitude.

    Not everyone who is a bad driver, or who just does not measure up to your personal standards of daring and skill in his driving, is a Clover. Nor is everyone who makes some mistake in traffic doing it on purpose just to enrage you.

    I have been the target of several road rage incidents. Evidently I had done something that enraged someone behind me. I never knew what. I only know whatever it might have been, it was not deliberate.

    So, in response to some inadvertent mistake I was not even aware of, frenzied lunatics followed me for miles, in some cases across more than two counties, or once all the way to my home, to confront, harass, and threaten me, in one case brandishing a gun, in another a tire iron.

    I don’t see how someone going too slow or making a poor job of changing lanes justifies that. Does that prove me a Clover?

    • Hi David,

      It’s not driving slowly that makes one a Clover. I hope I made that clear in the article, but I guess not. It is expecting others to also drive slowly that makes one a Clover; the failure to yield; the refusal to move over to the right lane… being oblivious, inconveniencing others when it’s avoidable… and so on.

      Road rage such as you describe is also most un-Libertarian. The Libertarian (if he is one) merely wants to get around you/go his own way – and leave you free to go yours.

      A Clover get angry when passed. Sometimes, a Clover will actually try to prevent other cars from passing – acting as a sort of freelance arbiter of traffic law.

      • I’ve grown tired of the some animals are more equal than others when it comes to speed. On my morning commute being in the correct lane is very important. There are sections where 90%+ are speeding and most of those who aren’t just take a long time to get up to speed and will be soon. Illinois repealed the part of the vehicle code for keeping right on surface streets about a decade ago and I’m tired of moving over to the right only to get pinned there when I need to be in the left (and vice-versa) plus the right lane traffic drops under the PSL as many of the idiots who were doing 15 over have to pre-slow for the on-ramp they are taking.

        I’ll stay in the right lane on limited access highways but on the surface streets I pick whatever lane works with the traffic pattern at the PSL for the fastest travels. The hell with the people who can speed everywhere everyday for 20 years and not get a ticket. I almost always pass the ones that are taking the ramp and the rest I catch at the next red signal where they promptly slow me down with their inability to accelerate swiftly. So the hell with them. If they want me to move faster they should call their legislator.

        • I’ve run radar detectors since ’76. I’ve had the worst and the best and several in-between. While I’m a fan of Valentine One, things have changed and VO hasn’t. The network Escort invented with GPS and smart phones that allow you to see in real time radar and laser in real time has no equal. I’ve ridden with people who have it and it’s simply the nads, nothing has ever compared to it. Since I go for months without being in a car, I don’t have one but intend to do as Mith or someone suggested once, install one in a auxiliary speaker for my CB. Escorts are detector detector undetectable so the only way to get nailed in a commercial vehicle is to have one that can be found, something not likely housed in a CB external speaker housing, turned off when you get stopped. Let’s see a detector detector find one of those.

          As things change, I must change also. Just yesterday(hell yes, on a Sunday and I get paid nothing to be on call)I had to find a locationothing like a call at 1pm and it takes me 8.5 hrs. to get it done….. and move material from one place to another a few miles away. I used a satellite view to find those locations. Beats hell out of directions written by someone who can’t write legibly and then gets it wrong in the end.

          But that’s what Escort doesn’t do, the detected radar or lidar is automatically posted so that everyone with a detector on that network knows it instantly. Sure, the source may move but when he does and another subscriber detects it, that’s immediately shown also.

          • I keep putting off a radar detector purchase. I don’t have a smart phone or a data plan and I loathe things with a subscription. That’s what escort has in that regard. All that fancy stuff goes away if you don’t pay and it’s just relying on the performance of the radar detector itself. Last I looked only escort’s radar detector geek model, redline or some such was somewhat better or equal to the V1 on stand alone performance. I like the V1 directional arrows and the remote display. I don’t feel like geeking out on radar detection so I’m thinking the V1 is probably best for me. plus the V1 uses phone connectors so I can make my own wiring for it and have custom installs in each car but only one radar detector.

            • My smart phone is the same price(monthly fees) as my old phone(unlimited data, calls, texting) and I need them all for business. Otherwise, I need nothing more than a phone for speaking.

              Last you looked must have been long ago. Escort does things V1 doesn’t do, esp. in a venue like yours. I always liked V1 because of its superior KA detecting but that’s a moot point now since the differences are negligible.

              I only know that for me, the instantaneously updated radar and lidar GPS locations are nothing short of phenomenal since cops don’t have the ability to simply be there and another place in a couple minutes even though they try. But every time they turn on some device and an Escort is in range, it sends out the location and you can watch where the a-holes are going via GPS locators. It’s a big deal in my part of the country.

              What can a cop do when I move into the passing lane to make a pass but primarily to block him doing those uber speeds so he can make a few fast miles and turn around and get others from the opposite direction? I’m simply moving out and very slowly passing someone or moving out into the passing lane to let someone in on an entrance ramp. I can move out and stop him for no reason at all he can see but I have a reason, like the person I thought was going to be a hazard stopped on the shoulder. If it had red and blues, I’d be stopped and ticketed for not doing so. It works the other way too. But I mostly I like detectors for those speed zones they make to simply catch you unawares. As long as those pheroes are turning it on and off though, you have a distinct advantage. I could care less that V1 detects KA 150 feet further away(old figures)than Escort when I know he’s there already vs. flying by night with the V1. Come around a curve and the V1 detects a signal a little further than the Escort(and I don’t even know it’s true now). So what? I already know the coptard is there via Escort GPS notifications.

              CM made a good move with this technology, very good for people who have a lot of miles to make in country where there are a LOT of miles to be made.

              • Last time I read was last year. I was interested in the newest top of the line escort. It’s priced too high and then I have to pay for a subscription to their service to take advantage of the features it has beyond the V1. I don’t want another subscription. I’m going to have to ‘upgrade’ the phone sooner or later so that’s moot, it’s paying escort every month or year or whatever it is that I don’t want to do. Plus it relies on other people having the escort radar detectors and the subscription. I have my doubts there are that many people running them.

                I see escort now has an arrow model. $650 plus $20/yr for the database plus $40/yr for the live.

                That thing would take the rest of my life to pay for itself. Although I have to admit manually spotting cops is getting much more difficult, but I really don’t get pulled over enough to justify a $650 radar detector. The others are $550-$600. But then to get the ‘live’ option means a $40 subscription. Plus the $20 one. I’m on the fence for a V1 at $440 and done as being too much.

                • Hi Brent,

                  I didn’t know about the subscription; agreed – that’s too much (and too much trouble).

                  My V1, on the other hand, has more than paid for itself – many times over. At least once a week, it alerts to me to a cop I would not have seen in time, in time to slow down in time.

                  Given a speeding ticket is usually at least $120, it doesn’t take long for the V1 to pay for itself. Don’t forget to include the insurance savings, too.

                  • An escort with the higher starting price and subscription will never ‘catch up’ for me. Every three years that subscription is the same cost as a ticket. The V1 is right at the threshold of reasonable payback.

                    • Hi Brent,

                      Arguably, more so – in my state, at least.

                      Because it is very easy to get hit with a “reckless” driving cite – and that will cost you at least $1,000 (not counting the lawyers or the insurance hit).

                      All it takes is 80 MPH… anywhere… even on a highway with a PSL of 70. That’s right. Just 10 MPH over the speed limit is “reckless” driving in VA…

                    • It depends on how many miles you drive every day too. And how that affects your employment since many companies do various things including firing for getting even one moving violation.

                      I was out in the boonies where Reagan and Upton counties meet, headed back to near Midland when I met a DPS out there on FM roads. Now all those counties have various colored pickups and SUV’s that look civilian till you get right next to them and see that blended in moniker. And now they are even having their own county and city DOT’s to collect even more revenue.

                      Plus, for me, there is no “break even” point since one moving violation leads to another. With a perfect record, your chances of getting a ticket are much lower.

                      Another phenomena many people have noticed is not getting a ticket after being stopped for speeding and showing(mandatory)your CCL. Nobody seems to be quite sure how this works.

                      Of course, getting stopped and having the detector found will lead to at least two tickets if not more in my case.

                    • I stopped cruising at civilized speeds on the interstates when they made 26 over 6 months in jail. It was on the same bill as increasing the speed limit to 70, so it would have been 96mph but the bureaucrat double-cross kept the PSL at 55mph. 85th percentile is like 78mph so it’s a mere 1 over what the speed limit should be and it’s go to jail. Radar detector or no I am not going to play that because ISP cruises at 90-120mph looking for victims. (probably with the radar off)

                      Regular speeding tickets with the keep it off your record online traffic school payoff are ~$120. So it takes a while to pay for a high end radar detector. I only see people using the cheapies if anything.

                      The way IL does traffic ticket revenue is to make everyone a violator with a zero percentile speed limit, the ticket fine relatively low so people pay it and get on with life, an out so it doesn’t go to the insurance companies, and then make it up in volume.

                      This didn’t work for the traffic ticket lawyers so hence the jail time for 26 over. So basically it goes from about $120 and then at the magic number thousands and jail. And I’m sure the thousands and the jail go away _if_ one pays a lawyer. Because that’s what it’s ultimately about, rent seeking. If they actually put someone productive in jail it costs the state money (income and other taxes), so that only will happen to the poors and others they abuse for the jail & prison system rackets.

                      Eight, I think the state gun cards serve as calming measure for cops because people who have them have already been background checked by fellow cops.

                      I too am concerned that a radar detector will turn non-ticket papers stops into ticket stops. They can always find or make up something.

                    • BrentP, since detectors have existed, showing one was a sure ticket even when legal in non-commercial vehicles in states where detectors are legal. More times than I care to remember, I hid one along with the cord as I got nailed by instant-on. I recall one ticket I got out of and the trooper not only was hiding in what then was an illegal method but beholden to my parents for practically clothing his children to adulthood. If he had another trooper with him, he’d never get out of the car and be just a voyeur as it were while I got my speeding paper.

                      I was always in a hurry and not just a hurry to party or get home but mostly in a hurry to get somewhere I needed to be. I commonly had at least a couple jobs going. Of course that’s no excuse, in fact, it’s not an excuse at all since you make enough to pay the charges. But the thing I did was to ask nicely for a defensive driving course deferment and was never turned down. You could only do one of these every six months or so or maybe every year, I forget. But I once had 3 going concurrently since there was no way to corroborate one county with another on the things. I’d take one course and plead I needed a couple copies of that same course for the JP, the insurance agency and my employer. Sometimes I had to take a couple courses or three in a year but it beat the alternative, having a violation on your record since that really affects whether you’ll get one on an iffy speed.

                      I only quit speeding after becoming a dangerous felon on probation. Much like Irwin Schiff(RIP), I was and am, unpopular with the govt.

              • Did some reading, apparently with a V1+WAZE+YAV1 that will get the capability above what escort offers. WAZE and YAV1 are free. Not even a one time cost.

        • BrentP,

          I would think that surface streets (ie local non-interstate roads) would require one to adjust their driving as needed for the conditions encountered.

          If the roads one travels makes it difficult to switch lanes then I agree with your post (get in the appropriate lane and drive at the appropriate speed).

          Fortunately I do not regularly drive in congested driving environments.

          In less congested situations, if I am able to safely allow traffic to pass me, then I have no problem pulling over to let faster traffic pass me.

    • You drive for mils (or across two counties) and don’t bother to look in your mirror to see the people backed up behind you? Clover or not, your slow diving is a road hazard.

      • Clovers often watch their mirrors. Test it. No horn. Just a gesture (could be a middle finger, but doesn’t have to be) and watch what happens. You’ll find they do watch their mirrors more often than you think.

    • A lot of the comments on the article attached also show why I no longer actively read Jalopnik, it seems most of their commenters are self-righteous clovers than actual gear heads. I just happened to see this article linked from the Yahoo front page. Many commenters blame the motorcyclist for attempting to pass on a double yellow. So far only one commenter seems to have seen the irony of the clover crossing the double yellow to enforce his version of “safe driving”.

      • DrOtto,

        Technically the MC crossed the dbl ylw and broke the law. (breaking a traffic law does not mean one will immediately die and/or automatically suffer dire consequences — although it did happen in this case due.)

        However the car driver also technically crossed the dbl ylw and broke the law, and rammed into the MC which is also against the law. (The car driver could face jail time for what he did)

        If a phero was on the MC, then the car driver would be on attempted manslaughter charges in addition to anything else the phero could think of charging him.

        I am amazed at the number of people blaming the MC for the car crossing the dbl ylw and ramming the MC.

        • Gawker Media is very left-leaning and sickeningly statist. While I check in on Jalopnik daily, I can’t stomach a lot of the stuff I read there.

          • It floors me that the driver was not charged with attempted murder (or at least, manslaughter).

            Does anyone here imagine that if a driver were to deliberately swerve at a pedestrian who was jaywalking he would not be so charged if he succeeded in hitting him?

            That it would be acceptable as an excuse to say the the jaywalker was breaking the law?

            • No one seems to notice that a long stretch of this road is straight road with a clear clear view of oncoming traffic. So why is that goddammed 2Y line there anyway?

              Then he says he was stung by a wasp. Were his windows opened?

              The old codger is off his rocker and needs to be removed from driving any conveyance. He is definitely a clover, that has used violence to enforce his viewpoint. He’s also on pharmaceutical medicine of some sort.

              Attempted murder this certainly is.

    • Attempted murder, no other way to see it, esp. since the driver said he didn’t care. If the couple on the motorcycle were my friends, that POS driver in the car wouldn’t need worry about his possible day in court. Using a car as a weapon is the same thing in my state as using a gun or knife or anything else.

      I pass people in a truck on a double yellow all the time. I can see into the supposedly blind spots double yellows were invented for. It seems now as if they have a totally new reason to exist, to create more criminals and make more revenue for the govt.’s involved.

    • There’s a followup post on Jalopnik regarding the charges filed against the driver of the car that swerved:

      Some of the comments are simply appalling. Here are a few examples:

      “Not to beat on someone that’s already down, but WTF. The rider was an idiot. Don’t do illegal shit will riding illegally.”

      “know how this all could have been avoided?

      1. Not riding since he had an invalid license.
      2. Not breaking the law and passing in a double yellow zone.”

      ‘Two infractions, pal. And driving without a license is pretty far from “minor.”‘

      ‘well, so far we’ve gone from “passed on the DY” to “passed on the DY, and oh yeah, he doesn’t have a license”.’

      “Not following traffic laws is attempted suicide.”

      “The guy driving his motorcycle like a fucking asshole, putting his girlfriend and every other motorists life in serious danger”

      “The guy was riding without a license. It follows that maybe he should have been more careful then not.”

      “I don’t know, I see motorcyclists like this and they are reckless, dangerous imbeciles. Plus he had a passenger to boot. Also, I think it’s possible that the driver wasn’t trying to hit him, but scare him, as he swerved over well before the biker got to him, not at the same time as if he was intentionally trying to hit him.”

      I think we’re doomed. Clovers abound, even on alleged gearhead sites.

      • These people have their head up their ass so far there’s no hope. They can compare someone doing something technically illegal but causing no harm to someone deliberately trying to kill two people. What idiots.

        • I doubt it was “illegal.”

          Traffic violations in most states are classified as infractions, i.e. civil fine, no criminal liability.

          • Bill, yes and no most likely. In Tx. speed limits are “suggestions” although you can be fined. Failure to stop is a crime though. It’s becoming more of a “criminal” thing everywhere though since we have those privately owned prisons that need to stay filled. It was once quite the leap from a local lock-up to prison but every day as I’m sure you know, the gap is smaller, often considerably. And once you are detained then there is a plethora of other “crimes” you may be guilty of. I suppose we’re speaking of “criminal activity” now in Tx. when you speed by more than 25mph. That works to 100mph or more in most of the state vs. Virginia where 1 mph over 80 is criminal and much of Tx. it’s merely 1 mph over the PSL.

            We were on this subject one day and I did a search. What I found directly compared Tx. to Virginia. I never liked to travel in Virginia and can’t imagine what might get me there now. For reasons I never quite understood, the people in Virginia seemed to very much hate Texans way back when, 40 years ago.

            My first time I kept asking my co-driver “Weren’t we on the same side?”. Evidently not now he’d reply.

          • In Texas traffic citations are considered criminal even allowing for jury trial. The only exception is red light cameras, which are civil infractions not allowing due process, but also not really having enforcement teeth. Texas outright outlawed speed cameras, yet several counties (Hays being the most recent) still persist on teaming with Redflex to run them illegally.

      • Keep in mind that story is being presented to the greater gawker for trolling goodness. So it’s showing up on sites like Jezebel and countless other Gawker media blogs. When they have something like that to work with they want to create conflict.

        Had the story been only in the Jalopnik sphere there would be 10% the number of comments and the usual percentage of speed kills law is the law types one finds in automotive forums.

    • Every study of traffic that was done without some agency, state or otherwise wanting to effect the results showed that speed in and of itself wasn’t the determining factor in accidents but the disparity in speed. it doesn’t take a genius to realize 50 mph dolts running in 80mph traffic cause almost all accidents. I’m out there to the tune of 600 miles or more every day and see it happen countless times. All the state needs to do is take the dashcam footage of people who run the roads every day and simply watch it. It ain’t rocket science.

      • So I making my journey on I-294 tonight. 55mph 60mph 55mph 60mph Lovely this new speed limit arrangement is worse because now I have to keep track of what region I’m in or what sign I last saw. Anyways IDOT has these signs with inspirational messages. Tonight’s was FATIGUED DRIVING IS UNSAFE. Yeah, so is being bored to the point of passing out because the insanely low speed limit.

    • ALL traffic congestion is caused by slow ass drivers.

      And it turns out the car driver has a lengthy criminal record. Hopefully the jury notes that.

      • The driver is clearly a psychopath. Whatever the sins of the biker, to deliberately swerve into his path constitutes attempted murder in my book.

  5. I don’t fault the clover for driving like an ass . I fault the government that require you to drive like an ass under threat of violence.

  6. There’s also the herd mentality. I notice that there seems to be a lot of drivers who like to travel in a large clump of cars, all tailgating. Even in very light traffic. I don’t think it is a speed thing, or someone blocking the passing lane, because I’ve seen it when they’re all lined up in the right lane as much as when both lanes are used. It creates a lot of problems when conditions change, such as when passing a truck or going into a construction zone, because instead of having a space to allow for vehicles to maneuver in between, everyone just ends panicking. It gets really bad when they go through exits and someone who doesn’t want to be in the herd comes through. Not only will they not let you in, but then you have to pass all of them, or slow down in the other lane (usually left), causing the clump to get worse. And being in the clump makes for very stressful driving, because it doesn’t take much for someone to panic and hit the brakes.

    It’s a big road. Plenty of room for everyone. Stretch out, relax and enjoy it. This ain’t NASCAR.

  7. Well, the thing is here in North America that there is no decent mandatory drivers training. (In Germany such Training is a great money maker for many businesses including the Government, but that business model has not reached this continent, yet)

    Here it is left to the parents to teach there kids how to drive, which equates to:

    The blind is leading the blind ! So effectively bad habits are passed on to the a new generation of drivers. Isn’t that not wonderful ?

    I grew up in Germany and got my drivers license there. And yes, I had a very tough instructor who once satisfied, after some 40-50 hours of training, that I was completely in control of the car, he gave permission to have me road tested. No one is allowed to drive a car who has not obtained a valid drivers license. Until that day one has to live without the great privilege to drive himself. For my international business travel it was convenient to apply for a international drivers license as well, which I had. When I immigrated to Canada neither license I had was any good for ‘Canadian standards’ and I had to re-do my license a third time. Having completed ‘real’ drivers training and driving routinely 200 to 250 km/h in Germany while not getting involved into accidents is apparently no measure for the Canadian drivers license office.
    Initially I was givin’ a ‘limited’ license G2 if I remember correctly and I was permitted to drive. I had also to re-do a rather simplistic theoretical test, which I passed with 100% altho the office employee did make a mistake evaluating my test as he used a wrong template telling me I had failed. As I pointed out that I suspect he made a mistake not me, the looks on his face were priceless. Eventually he realized and used the correct template confirming I had passed with 100%. Awkward silence in the office confirming that indeed the blind are leading the blind everywhere ! Then I had an appointment for a road test so I could obtain a ‘full’ license G. It was an amusing day for me that day but I spare you the details…

    The American Drivers License concept is beyond ridiculous in my opinion. Somehow, for Americans, it appears to be to difficult of a concept to understand that what is needed are two documents not one with multifunction / purpose. What is needed is an Personal ID and a drivers license as two separate documents.
    So people who have not the skill to drive safely will not be able to obtain the privilege of a license to drive but will get a personal ID which is needed. This way the Wacko’s can be kept of the road and one will enjoy the benefits of safer much lighter traffic. But again this IS a difficult concept to understand for many.

    Another aspect of all of this is this. There is an obsolete rule in place that is no longer adequate for dense traffic, that is who comes first drives first. In practice I have observed countless times how this is been ignored by traffic and it is free for all…
    In Europe the rule is a ‘right of way’ rule on intersections without traffic lights. But again it is too difficult for people to find out who approached the intersection from the most right direction.

    Anyway, I should end my rant…

    • Bill – I understand what you are saying about ‘”drivers’ training” being of poor quality in the US. But why should we need either a “driver’s license” or an ID. Would not be necessary in a free country.

    • I drove like a fiend when I was 12 years old. It was physics and not much more except watching what was going on. I had already knocked off the incompetent, a great deal of which was elderly but they didn’t have a lock on stupid. I was much safer driving all out than those who never broke 10 mph. I didn’t pull out in front of people, but unfortunately, those slow drivers did, without signal or anything else and you never knew what they’d do. It’s the same now.

  8. Actually most clovers are merge impaired and come down ramps expecting traffic on the road to adjust.

    I don’t adjust for people merging into the highway. I hold a constant speed. People can accelerate or decelerate or do whatever, I remain predictable. What I get are these clovers who go just the right speed to be on a collision course. Deliberately trying to get me to adjust to them. Then I don’t at the last moment they’ll accelerate or rarely drop back. This shows me they knew I was there all along but were playing their stupid game.

    • I was headed west on I-20 one day this week and doing 70mph, being a moving roadblock since traffic was running mostly close to 80 and over. I gotta get that truck turned up. So I come over an overpass and there’s a new Caddy with only 400 hp or so running down an entrance ramp….sloooww. I didn’t have to guess what would happen next. So granny(probably no older than me or not by far)gets to the end of the ramp and traffic is THICK, truckers trying unsuccessfully to move over so she turns her wheels hard to the left(so she can see)and stops. Luckily no big rig was committed on that ramp and the last I saw of her she was still stopped, trying to make that turn into 80 mph traffic.

      You can’t unteach that or teach not to do that. It’s something innate, a hardwired thing that can’t be undone short of a lethal dose of moving steel impacting that Caddy. She’ll find a victim, probably already has found many of them she left all crunched up and maybe dead behind her. She’s probably seen some of them on tv news and thinks to herself (I was at that same place today. I don’t know how those people can’t drive it. I have no problem). If the state really wanted safety they’d stop those people and shoot them since they have immunity in the murder dept. anyway.

      • Just yesterday, I happened to be driving on the Interstate spur (I-581) near me. Construction in process narrows the road down from three to two lanes. There are warnings (and cones and flashing yellow signs) at least half a mile before you get to the actual winnowing down.

        As I get to that point, what do I spy? A Clover who has stopped in the far right lane, its left signal on. I did not stick around to see what happened next….

        • eric, I’ve seen it, seen various scenarios play out to leave someone there, generally somebody who has wrongly thought they could do better and get around somebody.

          I’ve been working on Step Child all day, still am but waiting for RTV to dry on a leaking fuel gauge sending unit. 3 of us had been working on various things and began to say all the unkind things we could about DOT since we had no new back-up light and the tractor(1996 Pete)has never been wired for one since that little shitty has only been in existence for a bit over a year.

          But it brought to mind one of the funniest things I ever heard involving a trucker and a DPS. Two ol boys were coming in from a few days on location fracing a well. They ran a nitrogen truck(NOWSCO, Nitrogen Oil Well Service Company). The driver is killing a Coke in a can and they’re both dead tired out in the middle of nowhere, down between Pecos and Ft. Stockton, really in the boonies so they’re not paying much attention, just hauling ass wanting to get home. The driver tosses the Coke can and then looks in his mirror just in time to see it bounce off the windshield of a DPS car. Needless to say he got pulled over. I don’t think he got a ticket though, just a butt chewing…..and the troopers probably got back in the car and laughed themselves silly and then told everybody via Motorola. Of course this was 47-48 years ago, a totally different world. That was a time when guys who never dirtied their hands had a bit of sympathy for those who’d been in the same filthy clothes for days. No porta-potties(good enough for me, I hate the things and would rather go to the pasture in any weather…..or just a ways out on the prairie), nothing to eat or drink you didn’t bring although the guys in cars would generally drive 100 miles to get some of each for everybody, at least, on their crew if not everybody(company charge card). I miss those days……and all the good-lookin women. Ray Wiley had it right back then.

        • Eric,

          I have seen this dozens of times. The most irritating thing about this scenario is when traffic comes to a standstill. You get to where the lane disappears and there are people stopping to let clovers who were in a “hurry” merge. They were in such a “hurry” that they had to fly down the ending lane and pass everyone, only to have everyone else stop to let them in when the lane ends.

          If only they didn’t think they were special and in more of a “hurry” than everyone else, the traffic would flow better because no one would be waiting to let hurryclover merge.

    • I’m with you on this one. The on-ramp vehicles are the ones who yield to the vehicles in the travel lanes. It’s clearly marked. The other problem are drivers who don’t bother using the ramp to get up to highway speed, entering traffic at 10 or more MPH under the traveling speed.

      That said, if there’s a long line like at some ramps at rush hour, you bet I’ll get over if I can. Whatever keeps traffic moving.

  9. I have to opine here. I like the whole concept of “Clover,” but there needs to be another facet added to this quagmire: PEOPLE WHO LACK ASSERTIVENESS!

    This is a by-product of the “dumbing-down” of America. We lack people that “take charge” or “have confidence” anymore.

    Holy crap, I see people at a 4-way stop sign sit there forever, waiting for someone else to “make the first move!” It blows my mind. I see this DAILY.

    ME? No F-ing way. I go the split second I see my chance. F-everyone that slacks off.

    The road is curiously absent of confident, capable drivers these days. Are they “clovers?” Maybe yes, maybe no. But you need to add this (lack of) assertiveness and confidence to the formula.

    That is what happens when you become dependent on outside things. You end up INEPT.

  10. The worst part of having a slow old diesel: everyone passes you in acceleration, even if you drive faster normally once up to speed. The best part: rolling coal on the clover who was blocking you in once you do get the drop on it.

  11. I love the ones that drive 10-20mph below the speed limit, and when you pass them (finally), they decide you must be punished, speeding up and tailgating.

    Also, does anyone think there are certain vehicles that the clover tends to drive? IMO, the Prius is #1, followed closely by electric vehicles.

  12. > It is their personal feelings about what constitutes “safe” and “risky.”

    I think it’s because they have no empathy. They cannot visualize what other people may want … only project what *they* want onto others.

    A psychologist could make their career by studying them.

      • Unfortunately, clovers run the Illinois tollway. After dragging their feet for years the state finally allowed the speed limit to be increased to 70. So did the signs get changed on the tollway? Nope, the tollway authority “studied” the “issue” and are in the process of putting up,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 60 mile signs,,,, face palm. Yet another case of “we know better then you” in action.

        • It’s not just the tollway, it’s IDOT and the state cops and rest. First the legislature passed the bill but the control freaks made 26 over 6 months in jail as part of it. Quinn, governor, refuses to sign it, vetos, the legislature overrides the veto. The bureaucrats refuse to raise the speed limits on the NE Illinois interstates. The legislature passes another veto proof bill that says, yes, we meant those interstates too. So IDOT and the tollroad authority do a speed study worthy of climate change money and decide to raise the speed limit from 55 to 60. An absolutely worthless change. 60mph still means being the slowest thing on the road.

  13. It’s the same envious evil mentality throughout their life. It’s the union mindset- you have to join, you have to obey, and anyone with a better idea or work ethic is the enemy and to be destroyed, preferably by juvenile playground politics or mafia-esque violence.

    If I can’t go 80, neither can you!

    I’ve reached the limit of my tolerance and patience for such. They have reneged on civilized behavior, therefore they want war. They absolutely cannot handle their tactics being used on them- “It’s not faiiiir! (sob)”. There is nothing morally wrong with lying about a liar (listening, traffic cops?) or stealing from a thief.

    The only problem is, decent people always end up wanting a long bath.

    • the pheroes have long claimed that it is OK if they lie to a suspect in order to gain evidence or get them to flip on an accomplice. But it is ‘illegal’ for someone to lie to them. In fact, that ended up being the only charge they tried Martha Stewart on.


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