This past weekend, summer finally seemed to arrive in all its glory. Clear skies, bright sunshine, heat, and all that good stuff. Time to get out on the road, windows down, and enjoy the weather, right?
So, I did. In my own personal '04 Subaru Impreza WRX
(those types of days call for the tester to be left at home). It's Java Black Pearl with 17” gun-metal Prodrive mags; there are bright red Hella horns up front, a new cold-air intake under the hood (with the silencer removed for that fantastic turbo blow-off “pshaw” sound), STI
springs, and adjustable suspension. I've got a boost gauge on the steering column and a short shifter as well. Oh, and I've got a Prodrive exhaust for that hearty, Subie growl.
All these mods were made roughly 4-5 years ago. They aren't in-your-face excessive and they're not at all offensive (last I checked). I've lived in the same city and driven my modified Subaru in said city for the past 6 years. I've driven past countless cops in countless situations: winter, summer, spring, fall; windows up, windows down; on side streets, on the highways. I've only ever been stopped for speeding (once), and rightfully so.
|Photo: Miranda Lightstone
But then I was pulled over on this gorgeous day while I was slowly, carefully, cruising around downtown.
My exhaust was too large and too loud. Not factory standard (duh). And so, with his measuring tape and digital camera, the copper examined my Prodrive exhaust and explained I would receive a ticket in the mail at a cost of $150. No points deducted from my license, but a chunk would be missing from my bank account.
I played the dumb blonde on this one and asked the kind policeman when said law could have possibly come into effect as I'd been driving for years with said modification on my car without being stopped. To which he gave me an “are you stupid?” look and said; “You've never come across a cop with a measuring kit like me then”. And walked away.
Perhaps he'd like to have measured the size of his ego for giving me a ticket for an exhaust that's damn well silent compared to Harley Davidsons and even some of the newer super cars on the road today (like the new Aston Martin Vantage S
I'd drive shortly after). Oh, but those are factory-made so they're OK.
But, how unfair is that? I get dinged because I took the time and effort to make my car unique, to make it my own and to make it sound good. Granted, there are “fart cans” out there annoying us all, but my Subaru is not one of them.
What really got my goat was the fact that I was able to cruise past 4 more cops that afternoon without a peep from them. Not even one of them even looked up to acknowledge my presence on the road. How is it that some cops can adhere to the “laws” while others don't? Is it part of a selective training? Should those “mod” cops have special badges? Drive different cars so we know who they are as opposed to regular street cops of highway cops?
Selective ticketing is like selective justice, no one wins.