Do you stop or do you GO!

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by ludo, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. ludo

    ludo Funster Life Member

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    Having read about the “Barcelona Bandits” and “Possible Bandits” threads, what is the answer? Do you stop or do you go and carry on regardless? :Eeek:
    In June 2010, in France, we were travelling north, towards Narbonne, on the A9 autoroute and approaching the A9/A61 intersection when a Police car drew alongside with twin tones sounding and blue/red lights flashing. He pulled in front of us and slowed us down to about 30mph. A sign on the roof of the Police car lit up and it said, in English, “Follow Me”. :Eek!:
    We seemed to have little choice but to follow. We discussed what to do while following the car and considered what alternatives we might have had. Was it a real police car? If it was what did they want? If it wasn’t, what would we do? There were really 2 choices! Either, follow, as instructed, or pull out and go for it. :Eek!:
    We had been travelling at only 55 – 60 mph, the van was new. Why were we targeted? :Angry:
    If we decided to run, what would happen if it was a real police car? We would probably be surrounded by other police cars further up the road, full of officers pointing guns at us. No doubt court appearances would follow.
    If we followed instructions and it wasn’t a real police car, what then? :Doh:
    We decided to take the latter choice but prepared ourselves to take whatever evasive action we could if things turned bad, including ramming if need be.
    We followed the “police car” for about 3 miles or so and it eventually turned into an aire which was coned off and had a sign saying “ferme”( closed). There was sufficient room between 2 of the cones for us to enter.
    As it happened we made the right choice. The aire was full of police/customs vehicles and there must have been 40 or so officers all armed to the teeth.
    We had to make declarations about what and who was in the vehicle and the van was eventually X-rayed, thoroughly searched and then weighed, (front and rear axles and then total weight). :Eek!:
    While the van was being X-rayed, I asked if I could take a picture and was told that I could. I have inserted the picture in this post.
    They kept us there for 70 minutes, doing what they had to do, and all was well. No contraband found and weight well within limits. They gave us a read out of the weights they had taken. I have to say that all the officers were very friendly and polite, although the entire process was quite frightening. :cry:
    So, if you are instructed to stop think carefully and be well prepared and for those who travel overweight, you may get stopped, we did!
    :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     

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  2. davanne

    davanne Funster

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    We had a similar experience in France about 10 yrs ago. We had left Biarritz and were travelling north on the N 10 when a customs vehicle told us to follow them.
    We were pulled into an area behind an aire fuel station.
    Rows of lorries lined up and a few motorhomes and quite a number of armed police.
    Have you been to Morrocco ? No we said He then checked our passports then waved us on our way. Very scary at the time. We had also discussed what do we do if it's not the police and customs? Fortunately it was.
     
  3. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I think the issue has always been unmarked cars "pretending" to be police and others trying to get you to stop under false pretences... If it was marked I would follow, but still be wary. In 12 years and passing Barcelona and Madrid many times, never had a problem But I am always thinking about it and try to be aware.
     
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