On a road trip to California to visit family, my partner and I were stopped as we made the turn from I44 to I40 in Oklahoma City because I (allegedly) violated a city ordinance that required me to (as the officer put it) drive at the speed limit in the left lane. (Yes, that's what he actually said). As you make that turn the first sign you see is "through traffic keep left", so of course I stayed left, expecting I might have to exit left. After grilling both me and my partner about whether we were married (we're two men), asking us where we were going, whether we were employed, how long we were staying there, why we weren't flying there etc etc) the officer gave me warning ticket for "driving unnecessarily slowly". Interestingly, he commented that driving to California was "a long trip" and we would "probably be stopped two or three times at least". I told him I'd never been stopped before in my 40 years of driving, and thought that comment was a little strange. Four hours later, as we crossed the Texas panhandle, I saw a cruiser by the side of the road and signaled left as I moved over to avoid passing next to him. Within a minute he raced passed our car as if in pursuit of the guy ahead of us, then slammed on the brakes as if he'd discovered something, then pulled behind me and put his lights on. This time I was told I'd been stopped because my left front tire had touched the center line before my turn signals turn on (I kid you not - such a serious infraction requires police action!). Once again both of us were grilled about our trip, whether we were employed, etc etc. Both officers, I should add, were civil enough (other than the fact that asking about the details of our trip or our personal relationship had nothing to do with my alleged driving infractions). I was issued another warning. I can only conclude that the first stop resulted in the license plate of our rental vehicle being put into the OKC tracking system, and was then immediately shared with Texas. If so, this really should be of concern. Not only can this result in repeated harrassment, but as the article mentions, the police and government now have a vast tracking ability on the movements of Americans who drive. I'm only glad I was in a rental car. Frankly though, I won't be returning to either Texas or Oklahoma if I can avoid it. And I pity the person who rents that car next.
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