Watch out for the 'trail car'

Just yesterday, we were having an internal discussion here at PoliceOne and something came up which spurred me to offer what is perhaps an obvious tip. Well, obvious to some, but possibly less than obvious to others.

When conducting a traffic stop on a solo motorcyclist who may appear to be a member of a motorcycle gang — the most observable indicator being the display of “1%” as an element in the three-piece patch on the back of their jacket — watch out for the presence of a ‘trail car.’

“A trail car is used to transport additional weapons and used as a means of distracting an officer — or officers — away from bikers they may pull over,” said one colleague as he explained the term to another member of the PoliceOne team. 

A trail car may drive by at excessive speed or drive recklessly — imitating a person driving while drunk — in an effort to lure the officer away from a stopped biker who might be wanted, be carrying drugs and/or weapons, and whatnot. The trail car driver may blow past the traffic stop at very high speed in order to draw the officer into pursuit — thus springing free the biker who may have warrants.  The trail car driver may attempt to do a “buzz by” on the traffic stop, distracting the office for just a fraction of a second — just enough time for the motorcyclist to launch an attack. 

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