One Motorist’s Substitute for V1

We were headed across Oregon, my wife and I in my 2005 MINI Cooper S, and my cousin following in his modified T-bird. I was maintaining a brisk pace. The MINI handles very well, so I didn’t have to slow for the corners.

My cousin had to drop back when the road curved, but he would catch up on the straights. As we started over rolling hills, I could see a couple of cars ahead that we would overtake. My V1 started beeping; the arrow indicated ahead.

I could not remember any false signal sources in this area so I slowed a little. As each car in front of me went over the crest, V1 gave a warning burst. They both had been hit
by radar. I immediately slowed using brakes so my cousin would see and he could also slow. That is, if he had been paying attention.

As I approached the hill, a Sheriff’s car appeared and I was blasted by his instant on. After he went by there was another warning blast, this one from the rear. He had targeted my cousin. In my mirror I saw him hit his brakes hard and he pulled a quick U.

Sure enough, my genius cousin had not been paying attention and he got pulled over. I told my wife that he was going to be really mad about getting a ticket. In the next town I pulled into a gas station. A few minutes later my cousin showed up. I didn’t expect him that soon, or that he’d be smiling.

He said, “The sheriff asked me if I had any good reason to be going 76 mph on a 55 mph road.” He had decided to play totally dumb but honest. He told the officer, “I was trying to keep up with my cousin in that little thing he drives.” When the officer told him that he had clocked me and I was within the speed limit, my cousin said, “Oh, he must have slowed down. He’s got one of those thingamajigs that he sticks on his windshield. What do you call them?”

“A radar detector?” the sheriff asked. “Yeah, one of those things,” my cousin responded. He said the sheriff just shook his head, rolled his eyes, and told him to “slow down.”

Unlike my cousin who relies on dumb luck and sympathy to duck tickets, I count on V1. It has never let me down.

Brian Hawley
Eugene, OR