Roman: Like a good neighbor, I was there and gave this jingle-clueless motorist a pass


I’m always looking for ways to have fun on calls. Sometimes that includes quizzing people about their insurance company’s jingle or motto. It usually gets them to smile.

The other night I was driving behind a car as we approached a red light when it made a right turn without stopping. After I stopped the car, I contacted the driver, who was in his 50s, and asked him for his license and insurance. The man handed me his license and his State Farm insurance paper. I asked him about the red light and he admitted to running it.

I was on my way to a call at the time and decided to give him a chance, but I also wanted to have a little fun at the same time.

“I’ll give you a break if you can tell me State Farm’s motto,” I said. The man shook his head and gave me a confused look. “You don’t know it?” I asked with a disappointed look.

“No,” he replied.

“It’s from the commercial,” I said, but he only gave me a blank look. Apparently State Farm needs to step up their marketing.

“How about Allstate? Do you know that one?” I asked.

He shook his head as he said, “No.”

“How about Geico?”

With a nervous laugh he said, “No.”

“Do you have a phone?”

“Yes,” the man said as he took it out to show me.

“Google it,” I said as I pointed to his phone. He opened up the Internet browser and I had him type in, “State Farm like a good neighbor.”

A State Farm You Tube video came up at the top of the search. He clicked on it and a commercial started playing. The words, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” filled the car as the jingle played. The driver got a huge smile on his face as he recognized the commercial as he said, “Yeah!” He suddenly knew what I was talking about.

I handed his license back and let him go. The look on his face was hilarious after he figured it out. I bet he’ll think of me the next time a State Farm commercial comes on TV.

I bet he’ll think about me the next time he sees a red light, too.

Editor’s Note: John Roman is a traffic officer for an Orange County police agency who writes a blog, Badge 415. His posts focus on the human side of police work and safety tips. Roman, a cop for more than 20 years, has handled more than 5,000 accidents as a collision investigator. shares some of his columns.