Monday, December 1, 2008

No messing around when it comes to Obama motorcade

Shouldn't be a big surprise to most of us. I've heard some stories about impatient drivers attempting to pass the motorcade only to be suddenly stop by police. Be careful out there folks and on top of that read this piece by Jon Hilkevitch:
A few incidents have occurred in which Chicago drivers failed to yield properly to Obama's heavily armed caravan of Secret Service and Chicago police black SUVs and other vehicles ablaze in flashing lights.

It can lead to trouble. And offenders should not count on receiving a presidential pardon.

On Saturday night, the motorcade carrying the president-elect, his wife, Michelle, and a friend, Marty Nesbitt, was headed north on Lake Shore Drive en route to dinner at the Frontera Grill on Clark Street downtown.

A car pulled alongside the convoy south of McCormick Place, according to a pool report filed by a news reporter assigned to the Obamas. A Chicago police car quickly intercepted the vehicle and pulled the sedan to the side of the road.

It was not immediately known whether the driver was ticketed. But the incident serves as a warning that invading what security officials consider presidential personal space could be a fatal mistake.

"The security of the motorcade is paramount for us, so drivers should take these suggestions to heart: Slow down and avoid aggressive maneuvers, such as not acting courteously and attempting to get close to the vehicles and gawk," said Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren in Washington. "The challenge that driving in an aggressive manner poses to us is that we don't know if it is intentional or just curiosity."

In fact, the need for drivers to show deference to the presidential motorcade is more of an issue in Chicago than it is in Washington. That's because in the nation's capital, streets are completely cordoned off for the presidential motorcade, officials said. Other cities have different security protocols.

"Here in the district, the motorcade is the traffic. If the motorcade is moving, the traffic ain't," said Officer Andre Singleton of the special operations division of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington. "No one has access to the street the president is on except the president."

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