19 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Police Cars

19 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Police Cars

Police officers are always the source of wide speculation and general myth-making, this is almost entirely due to the fact that they are feared by all, with good reason, and the way that they enforce the law varies and changes so greatly from officer to officer. Indeed, when it comes to enforcing the law, there is a scary amount of discrepancy and confusion, as well as many liberties taken on the part of the police.

When it comes to road safety, it really all starts with the civilian, not with the officer, so for those of us who love all things driving and cars, and know how to be cognizant and safe drivers, highway patrol and cop cars can be quite a nuisance. In the motoring world, the myth of the cop car has spread far and wide. Let's take a look at some things about cop cars everyone gets wrong.

19. Unmarked Cars Can't Pull You Over

This idea is one that almost everyone gets wrong, it's surrounded by myths and falsity. An unmarked car can definitely pull you over, there's no doubt about that. Unfortunately it's perfectly legal.

They can also give you a ticket, so it's best to keep a sharp eye out for any and all police cars on the road.

18. Their Windows Are Bulletproof

While many cop cars are outfitted with some serious defense additions, the fact is that they are for the most part plain old cars with a few simple adjustments.

The rumor that they are invincible is just not true, so don't let the police force intimidate you too much.

17. Cop Cars Can Only Radar When They're Stationary

The idea that a cop car that passes you by in oncoming traffic can't tell what speed you're going, or the idea that you can't get a ticket because the officer was moving when he "clocked your speed" is just false.

Radar works in all kinds of crazy and wonderful ways, including in the dark, including while in motion, including many things. While it isn't fair, it's how it works.

16. All Police Cars Are Automatic

This myth has a little bit more to it than just a black and white one or the other. In America, they tend to all be automatic transmission equipped.

In other countries and in Europe especially, it really depends. Many police car models come equipped with a manual transmission.

15. Car Manufacturers Make Cop Cars

It might seem like car manufacturers provide the cops with a complete cop car package. And that just frankly isn't true. While some models come with specialized options specifically for police fleet vehicles, this isn't the case always.

Often cop cars are modified by other companies that add bigger alternators and other features.

14. Maintenance Is Based Off Of Mileage

While this is true of most cars, this is not the case with cop cars. Most cop cars spend a lot of their life idling in place, so mileage isn't a good indicator of wear.

Cop cars have their regular service and maintenance scheduled off of time, not mileage.

13. Buying An Old Police Car Is A Good Idea

Many people think buying a cop car is a great idea, because if there's any car in the world that's been impeccably maintained, it's got to be a police vehicle, right?

The truth is that there are a wide variety of variables that dictate how well a cruiser was maintained over its lifetime.

12. Police Cars Are Different Than Tuners

The fact of the matter is that while cops love to harass tuners and anyone who is part of the culture, their cars are nothing more than glorified, uniformed tuners.

They are taken to a company that specializes in modifying police cars, they add bigger brakes, a bigger alternator for all the lights, as well as any other mods depending on jurisdictional decisions.

11. Every Cop Car Is A V8

It would seem that a great big honking V8 would be the perfect engine for a cop car, to go fast and have the most power to take down the baddies.

But it's just not true. V6 engines often have more than enough power, along with the dependability and durability that is unmatched by V8s.

10. There's Not A Hellcat Cop Car

As insanely powerful the Dodge Charger Hellcat is, with 707 horsepower along with much other power, the fact is that it's just not the most practical, nor the cheapest.

Nor is it the most dependable, even if it has an insane ability to go fast. Plus police departments really don't have a whole lot of money.

9. It's Easy To Steal A Police Car

For some strange reason there is the myth that cop cars are easy to steal. This is completely unfounded and untrue.

They have what's called a run-lock ignition, according to allowing the car to run without a key. Of course, when the brake pedal, clutch, or parking brake is touched the engine will cut out immediately.

8. Cop Cars Are Expensive

While they are by no means cheap, the fact is that the police department really doesn't have a whole lot of money. So practicality along with a budget really decides what kind of cars the police force will get.

And the standard cars that patrol the roads aren't all that expensive, not much more than their stock counterparts.

7. Police Car Radars Are Easy To Foil

From tin-foil to CD's to any number of other crazy ideas and myths, at the end of the day they are all false, and everybody gets them wrong. There just isn't a way to foil a radar gun.

There's a reason radar is used in all kinds of fields, it's because it's ruthlessly reliable and hard to interfere with.

6. Canine Cop Cars Are Cruel For The Dogs

One might think that leaving behind a dog in a car with all of the windows up would be a cruel thing, but that's just not the case.

Police dogs live the life in the backseat. With run-lock ignition, the car is climate controlled to make sure the dogs are always at comfortable temperatures.

5. Cop Cars Aren't Just Built For Speed

It might seem logical that cop cars are only built for speed. But the fact is that they have to be durable, have lots of longevity, and also be quite strong, able to take a serious beating.

So instead of being only speed and having many other weaknesses, they go for the all around impervious option. Logical, really.

4. It's More Than Just Some Lights

Lightly touched upon before, no pun intended, cop cars are modified by professional companies for police officers with more than just a light bar in mind. The inside is heavily changed to have a safe back seat.

The engine gets a bigger alternator to accommodate all of the lights, as well as beefed up brakes and a few minor performance upgrades.

3. Jurisdiction Decals Actually Matter

A lot of people think that it's not possible to get pulled over by a cop who is outside of his jurisdiction. While this may come in handy in some specific cases, it's not like the cops will give up the ghost when you pass over some invisible line.

A lot of times cops have the ability to pull anyone over, or arrest anyone, regardless of jurisdiction. But it really just depends.

2. All Cop Cars Are Crown Vics

While it's true that the quintessential idea of a cop car is often indeed a Crown Victoria, the truth is that just isn't a fact, cop cars can be any number of different models of cars.

With that in mind, it's best to keep your eyes peeled on the roads for any number of different cop cars.

1. Cop Cars Are The Fastest Cars Around

While this particular GTR decked out as if it were a police car would indeed be the fastest car around, the fact is that regular cop cars just aren't.

They are built for durability more than speed, though there are pursuit vehicles designed to travel at higher speeds during high speed chases.