From 'd!ckhead' to 'Sir' in the flash of a camera...

The other evening I was riding home from work when I happened to ride past a Highway Patrol car. Usually they just ignore me, but on this occasion, the officer evidently felt the need to share his opinion of me. Leaning out of the window, bogan-style, he yelled across to me.

'Where's your helmet, dickhead?'

The default approach for the NSW police is, in my experience, to be rude and aggressive. With the notable (and honourable) exception of the velocops, my interactions with highway patrol officers has rarely been pleasant. However, this was the first time I had ever had a police officer shout outright abuse at me.

I stopped, and a conversation ensued, where I pointed out I was unable to wear a helmet for medical reasons. He continued in the same aggressive tone, 'Yeah? Yeah? You gonna tell me what it is? What's wrong with you?'.

Then, suddenly, he clocked something. I have a camera mounted on my handlebars. And it was pointing in his direction. Suddenly his tone changed. No, he didn't need to actually see my medical certificate. He was just concerned for my safety. 'Ride carefully, sir', he implored me, before pulling away.

I run cameras partly for fun, partly in case a driver does something dangerous around me, so I have evidence.

But it seems they are also necessary protection against aggressive policing. 

Views: 1808

Comment by Jonathon Troy on June 4, 2016 at 5:27pm

Did you get the encounter on video? The footage would be useful given the number of stories of fines issued for track standing etc, given the officer had committed an offence himself (use foul language/offensive conduct in public).

Comment by Dan on June 4, 2016 at 5:47pm


It is on video, but the audio quality at the start is very poor - I was still riding when he was shouting abuse at me, and you can't hear much except wind / road noise.

Comment by Jonathon Troy on June 4, 2016 at 6:35pm

At least you got the officer to correct himself. It seems that the police in NSW are getting aggressive when dealing with the public.

Comment by PeterT on June 5, 2016 at 11:15pm

Sounds like the camera already paid for itself

Comment by Colin on June 6, 2016 at 1:20pm

That's the attitude test, and it's a deliberate tactic used by police. They initiate the encounter with rudeness and aggression, and if you respond with anything other than meek deference you fail the test. Goading people to create a justification for messing with them.

Comment by Colin on June 7, 2016 at 1:16pm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-06/vision-released-police-office...
In that case the cop is too stupid to realise that his own video camera is going to incriminate him.

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