Thirty-five years ago, middle school-age Mike Brucks realized he wanted to be a police officer. After graduating from high school he joined the army and became a military traffic cop on the million-acre Fort Bliss in western Texas and New Mexico. "It was a small-scale community, with slow speeds, and we would investigate accidents on- and off-post, in Colorado, New Mexico, and as far as Corpus Christi, anywhere a serviceman was injured or killed," Brucks says. After six years in the Army he joined the El Paso Police Department as a traffic cop. He retired last May after 22 years and almost 40,000 tickets, by his estimation, most of which he issued while riding Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson big-motor touring bikes. Here are some of his stories from the road and tips for motorists looking to avoid a ticket.
Besides speeding, which is the reason for most tickets, what's most likely to get a traffic cop's attention?
cell phones, red lights, and stop signs. I concentrate on all the
things that can cause an accident. There are some cops who write tickets
for expired plates, for having no insurance or registration, but you're
not going to crash because of any of that. I focused on safety
issues—that's what I like to do.
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