I have written before about the ways being stupid will cost you money, one of which was speeding. In reality there are many more ways to get a traffic ticket than just speeding and I happened to find out a new one of them.
I was pulled over last week, not for speeding or texting while driving (please don’t ever do this!) but for neglecting to merge over, giving the officer on the side of the freeway a buffer lane…did you know that was law?
Me either, but here are a few tips to avoid that costly ticket like I am happy to say I did this go around.
- Be prepared!
- Stay Calm.
- Be Honest.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Go the extra mile.
I think one of biggest mistakes with previous traffic tickets was I was not prepared. I have always driven legally, license on hand, car insured and registered but I never kept good track of my registration or insurance cards. This just doesn’t look good and if the cop is going to give you any sort of a break, it will be here first before the traffic ticket. This time, I had all these things up to date and ready in the car.
Take it easy, really. If the officer sees you moving around in the car, or acting odd, he or she will probably suspect something more serious than a simple traffic violation. This will cause two things to happen. First, the officer may be more on edge when coming to your window which rules out any chance you can sweet talk your way out of a ticket. Second and far worse, you may be suspected of hiding something and when you are asked to “step out of the car” that’s never a good sign.
Honesty can go a long way in this situation. Police aren’t stupid and if you try to pull the wool over their eyes, you may just offend them and your chances of a warning ticket fly right out the window. Be honest about your situation, police are people too and may understand you were running a little late for your kids graduation and didn’t notice your speed, or you honestly didn’t see the speed limit change from 65 to 55. In my situation, I had no idea that what I was pulled over for was a law and I told the officer that, asking if it was a new law. He explained that it was new and was being heavily enforced to get the word out about it.
If you aren’t let off on the ticket, don’t take it personally. You might just land yourself in more trouble if you are confrontational or show aggression towards the officer. It’s best to just let it go, and look into traffic school or a plea in abeyance to get the ticket wiped from your record.
When I got my first traffic ticket, I was pretty upset so I did a bunch of research about ways to avoid getting a traffic ticket after being pulled over. Some of the ideas are pretty solid but some seem a bit too outlandish. I read suggestions to; turn your car off and set your car keys on your hood, visible to the officer; place both hands on your steering wheel.
The suggestions I wouldn’t take include dropping your keys out of your window, wetting yourself and claiming you were rushing to the bathroom or faking other illness. These may get you off, but they may just get you in more trouble.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a little story. Someone once told me of their friend that was driving the canyon roads and was speeding way over the speed limit. He got pulled over and when the office got up to the window of the car, he found a dog with it’s paws on the steering wheel and an older gentleman in the passenger seat, feigning sleep. The officer began to speak after a few minutes, and the old gentleman said, “I told that dang dog to slow down!” The officer laughed so hard, he could barely tell the guy he was letting him off with a warning.
That just goes to show you, creativity can go a long way.
Image by davidsonscott15 br>