Ask A Cop: ‘How To Get Out Of A Speeding Ticket’
Talk Your Way Out Of A Speeding Ticket
Blue Lives Matter is an organization run by law enforcement officers, so we get a lot of questions related to police. One of the most common questions we get is about how to get out of a speeding ticket. The obvious answer is the unhelpful one: Don’t speed. However, we can offer a bit more advice than that. We’re going lay out the best ways to reduce your chances of getting a ticket if you are stopped for committing a violation. Keep in mind, this article is based on the opinion of a few officers and different areas may have different attitudes.
You may be wondering why police officers are offering advice on avoiding tickets. The reason is because tickets don’t necessarily need to be issued. Every day officers let hundreds of thousands of motorists go with only verbal warnings. You could get one of those verbal warnings.
The first thing you need to understand is that when an officer stops you for a violation, they already have a pretty good idea if you are going to be issued a ticket. Factors which will impact you getting a ticket are:
The Severity Of The Ticket Offense:
If you’re stopped for speeding 6 MPH over the limit, your odds of getting a speeding ticket are much lower than if you’re going 30 MPH over.
The Officer/Agency That Stops You:
Officers in some agencies may be too busy to write tickets. Some agencies may push their officers to write more tickets because the city wants more revenue. And some officers are assigned to traffic patrol and they are expected to write a large number of tickets. This all comes down to your area and luck.
How Many Additional Violations You Have:
If you get stopped for just speeding, you’re much more likely to escape a speeding ticket than if you also have expired plates as well.
3 Tips To Talk Get Out Of A Speeding Ticket
Because of these and other factors, your fate may already be sealed when you get stopped. However, there are still things you can do to sway the officer’s decision. This can go both ways; many people have talked themselves INTO a ticket when they would have otherwise gotten a warning.
1. Take Responsibility For Speeding:
Speeding tickets are generally issued to correct behavior. If you give the officer the impression that you have taken responsibility for your mistake and that you won’t be speeding in the future, the odds of escaping with a warning are much higher. This applies to all violations.
Bad excuse: “I wasn’t paying attention to my speed.” This is probably the most common excuse, people who say it are usually lying, and it doesn’t do anything to instill confidence in the officer that you will avoid speeding.
Bad excuse: “I didn’t know the speed limit.” Another common excuse that won’t help you. You have a responsibility to see and obey the speed limit signs.
Better excuse: “I spaced out for a second; I just looked down and saw how fast I was going. I know I was speeding, and I’m usually really good about watching my speed, and I’m so sorry.”
2. Make The Officer Feel Better About Your Interaction:
The better an officer feels about you, the better. Officers generally don’t like issuing fines to people and they feel a lot better about it if they know that the person they are ticketing is acting like a jerk, or touches on one of their pet peeves. Ticketing people who are nice often make officers feel bad, even if the ticket is deserved. If the officer hasn’t firmly made up their mind that you’re getting a speeding ticket, this is likely to sway them.
Be very nice and respectful to the officer. Smiling and being a little personable is also better than being stoic and formal, but don’t act too familiar like you’re just joking with your buddies; calling the officer “bro” or “dude” may not go over well.
A pro-law enforcement sticker, or blue line on your car may make the officer feel better about you and can definitely help their perception. Police are attacked enough, it’s refreshing to see open support. Just keep in mind, that if an officer would have had their mind set to ticket you anyway, the sticker is unlikely to sway them.
You can also have all of your paperwork ready to provide to the officer upon request. The majority of traffic stops involves people digging through their glove compartment to sort through the last five years of insurance cards and registration paperwork. If you have your latest paperwork all ready in an easily accessible spot, like your visor, then it will be a refreshing change over waiting five minutes for you to find your correct papers.
Along these lines, don’t use a smartphone for your insurance card. In my experience, the failure rate of logging into to these apps is over 50%. Almost nobody accesses their insurance cards in a timely manner. Electronic insurance cards may be legal where you are, but they are usually annoying, and may fail you when you need it.
This is also where a lot of people go wrong; they talk themselves into a ticket that they wouldn’t otherwise have gotten. Demanding to see the RADAR reading, arguing, rudeness, and claiming that the officer wasn’t following some law that you heard about on the internet are much more likely to result in a ticket.
3. Legally Carry A Concealed Firearm To Avoid A Speeding Ticket:
One of the oddball things that may help you avoid a speeding ticket is to legally carry a concealed weapon. Not all officers may agree with me on this, but allow me to explain:
If your hands are on your steering wheel, or even through your steering wheel when the officer approaches and the first thing you say is, “Sir/ma’am, I just want you to know I have a license to carry and I have my weapon on me,” (TIP: Don’t say, “I have a gun,” it may not be interpreted the way you intend it to) then this sends the message that you are likely a law-abiding citizen. At that point, the officer will have to make a decision if he’s going to hold onto your weapon during the stop, or leave it on you.
First, the officer is likely to appreciate being notified about the presence of a firearm. If the officer decides to hold onto your gun during the stop, it’s going to require extra work an cooperation on your part. The more things that an officer asks you to do that you cooperate with, the less likely you are to get a ticket. If the officer leaves your gun on you, then they may not want to return to their patrol car to write a ticket while they have an armed person in front of them. If the officer does need to return to their car, they may want to spend less time there and not waste time writing a ticket.
If you do have a weapon, don’t reach for anything until the officer asks for you to do so, and then state your intention as you do it. Keep in mind that you’re armed so the officer is on alert for danger.
Officer: Can I see your driver’s license?
You: My driver’s license is in my back pocket, is it OK if I reach for it?
Speeding Ticket Conclusion
You may not be able to avoid getting a speeding ticket once stopped, but if the officer’s mind isn’t set yet, these tips should drastically improve your chances.
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