Brake-checking a following driver is dumb, and you should never do it no matter how mad you are with the idiot riding your tail. If a cop saw someone do it to you, you’d expect them to be dealt with harshly, and rightly so. But in this video it’s a cop doing the brake-checking, and to make matters worse, the motorist behind is riding a motorcycle, and could easily have been killed in the resulting collision.
The footage comes from the man behind Florida-based YouTube channel Hyped Life, who was riding his 2020 Yamaha R3, an entry-level sports bike, in clear conditions when he came up behind a Dodge Charger belonging to the Florida Highway Patrol’s Davie district. The bike’s speedo is obscured in the edited video, so it’s fair to assume the rider is exceeding the speed limit, but probably not by much, and the footage shows he’s not riding recklessly.
Unaware that the Charger is an unmarked Florida Highway Patrol car, the bike rider closes in and prepares to overtake, before his Spidey-sense tells him to hang back. Unfortunately, he didn’t have Spiderman’s web shooting abilities to help pull him clear of what happens next. The officer lightly brake-checks the bike, before temporarily stepping off the brakes and getting back on the gas, but fortunately the biker is far enough away, and the road wide enough that he could take evasive action if needed.
But only seconds later the cop throws on his lights, and throws his weight down on the middle pedal again, right in the middle of the freeway. At this point you can see the view ahead and there’s no congestion down the road that might suggest the cop is going to perform an emergency stop. But he does, and just to double the danger element, having drifted towards the right lane, the patrol officer swerves left into the middle of the road, making it harder for the bike rider to work out which side to head down to avoid a collision.
Incredibly, the rider is mostly unhurt, although he does explain in a YouTube video about the crash that his back hurts when sitting for long periods, and of course the bike is trashed. The rider’s camera remains recording after the collision, and although it’s fallen off his head so we can’t see what’s going on, we can hear the interactions between the cop and the rider, where the cop asks why the motorcyclist was tailgating him, and expresses amazement that he didn’t manage to ride around the side of the Charger.
The YouTuber, who was cuffed in the middle of the freeway, but later released without charge, says he has been unable to discover whether the officer involved has been the subject of disciplinary proceedings. But we do get to see an extract of the police report, which says the officer had spotted the bike speeding and driving “recklessly” [FHP’s quotes] by weaving in and out of traffic.
It supports that the officer activated his lights and slowed the Charger down “rapidly, in an attempt to slow [the bike] down”, claims that the unedited GoPro footage proves the bike was traveling at 81 mph (130 km/h) as it approached the patrol car (though doesn’t explain at which point in the video that speed was reached), and says speed, and the rider’s slow application of the brakes, were the causes of the collision.
It definitely doesn’t list the fact that officer’s irresponsible decision to needlessly apply full braking force almost resulted in a fatality, when he could easily have just put his blue lights on while maintaining his speed and safely motioned the bike to the side of the road.
We’re not saying the biker is without fault. He was speeding, he glances away from the police car when its brake lights are lit, and he was probably riding too close. But he definitely didn’t deserve what happened to him, and claims he is looking for legal representation to pursue that matter. He also says his insurance company has already paid out and is trying to recover costs from FHP. Do you think the cop is wholly responsible for the collision or were both parties at fault?