This is the Cop Trap. The cop's aura of authority threatens everyone nearby into being model citizens. I suspect it's because no one is at all sure if a cop can pull you over for speeding if they're driving next to you. The assumption people seem to make is: They're a cop, and therefore they're probably traveling at the proper speed. If I match that speed, I'm fine. If I pull ahead of them, I'm speeding and will get pulled over.
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"Play it cool and he won't know I'm blitzed on Zicam."
I have no clue if cops can pull you over for that, and judging by the number of Cop Traps I've seen throughout my life and have taken part in, I'm certain a majority of people are just as clueless as I am. I can Google it, then confirm or deny it in this article -- but why? Why take the chance of ruining something that's so fun to watch?
For miles a cop will hover behind these ass-draggers until they get fed up with everyone trying make themselves look extra-special-good, like students pretending they're thinking really hard when the teacher walks around, only to cheat off the kid next to them when the teacher passes. The cop moves on to another portion of the traffic flow, where they will most likely get stuck behind another cavalcade of suck-ups.
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Just a bunch of this shit, but cars.