Those red-and-blue police lights flashing in the rearview mirror send a clear message: You're in trouble.
It is the adult equivalent of being called to the principal's office, and dread settles in.
Lexington police officer Brandon Muravchick is not trying to inconvenience people, though. Muravchick works to save lives.
He took me on a ride-along Wednesday morning as a part of the national Click It or Ticket campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign runs through May 31, and police focus on seat-belt violations, a passion for Muravchick.
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"The seat belt saved my life," Muravchick said.
If just one person changes because he issues a ticket, that is another death prevented for Muravchick.
In 2013, he earned the Governor's Highway Safety Award for issuing the most seat-belt citations for the Lexington police department.
He doesn't issue tickets haphazardly, though. Muravchick ensures he is certain of the violation before the lights come on.
"If you can't tell, they get the benefit of the doubt," he said.
He likes to drive and watch, rather than park and stake out a spot. Driving gives him a better view.
It's pretty easy to spot a dangling seat belt. The tip-off from behind is the absence of a strap crossing between the side window and the occupant in question.
Peering in the side window offers obvious visual cues. Seat belts usually are not the same color as people's clothes, so when the seat belt doesn't pop out, that's a clue.
With traffic going the opposite direction, the seat belt is harder to spot, but Muravchick is experienced. He exercised quite a few sharp U-turns Wednesday to snag offenders in oncoming traffic.
For the 17 seat-belt violations he cited during a three-hour period, Muravchick's routine was always the same. He waited to radio in his location and the offender's license plate number before stepping out of the cruiser.
"Every traffic stop is different. You never know," he said. He has had seat-belt violations lead to drug busts or arrests for driving under the influence.
Most drivers, when pulled over, treat police officers with at least grudging respect, but cops have to be prepared for the angry driver who might pull out a weapon. Thus, Muravchick, like all officers, has to proceed with caution. He has two young daughters at home to protect.
I asked whether he was going to be on the porch in the future, scaring boys off with a shotgun. Muravchick chuckled and joked that he will be the dad with a mound in the backyard with a "first boyfriend" cross that he'll show potential suitors.
For now though, Muravchick's daughters are 8 and 3, and every night they say, "Be safe, and don't let the bad guys get you."
Muravchick does his best to follow his daughters' advice, but he knows danger is a part of the job.
Despite the risk, he loves his job. The variety keeps things interesting.