Did you know that every year allmost 34 million people receive a trafic ticket from a police officer? And it is important to tell that not many people deserve them and that the the pervasiveness of ticketing seems questionable, especially in light of recent research that proves that financial sanctions rarely deter motorist behavior. The value for this kind of tickets is arround 150$, so buy a simple maths: 34 millions ticket or 150$ dollars equals 5,1 billion profits for God knows who!
So, no one wants to get bustted, but do we really know how to avoid this? The most important way to avoid speed tickets, which every one should know is do not drive if: you have been drinking, taking drugs that impedes reflexes and judgment, also try to avoid driving on the highway in a bright-red convertible or in a vehicle with a missing tail light. But the most important think is to know your state speed/limit (you can find them here), this might help you to avoid speeding up.
Types of traffic tickets:
- tickets for moving violations: speeding, failure to obey traffic signs or lights, illegal turns, or doing anything else illegal while your Pinto is in motion
- ticket for non-moving violations: parking your car illegally (no advice in here, just maybe take your driving exams again)
First five steps you need to know:
- There are three types of speed limits: absolute, presumed and basic. Learn each one of this: the absolute limit is like this: if the posted limit is 35 mph and you are driving a mile over YOU ARE SPEEDING. The presumed speed limit means that you can legally exceed the posted limit as long as you are driving safely, this doesn’t mean that you can drive arround 150 mph. And the basic speed limits allows you to drive as fast as conditions allow and not considering that limit is posted.
- Do not forget that basic speed limits are different from a state to another, and according to this laws, usually give out tickets following an accident (even if driving under the posted limit).
- If you like to travel and go from a state to another, it will be a good ideea to study that state’s law. For example, if you are living in california, Arizona, Colorado or Conneticut you know that in here the speed limits are absolute on highways and presumed almost everywhere else. So if you are planing to travel lets say Pennsylvania, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas remember that in here all the speed limits are absolute, and in Texas and Rhode Island almost all are presumed.
- One of the best advice, and this one is something your mother told you when she first gave you your car keys is: "Drive safely and pridently!", and most of it do this in states and on streets presumed speed limits.
- We know every minute counts, but try to drive below the posted limits on interstates and state highways to avoid a speeding ticket in most states and when you don’t know the law.
What to do if caught...
Well it happenes, you might get caught! But, if so do not take your wallet out and pay! Fight in court! Do not simply accept the ticket and pay! The worst thing that can happen is that you will be convicted of you original offence. You can get a heftier fine and more points in court, but unless you were doing silly speeds, its unlikely.
Make the systems life HELL when fighting it. Think like this: how much will cost the system to prosecute you, then officer’s time, court’s time, prosecutor’s time. For 150$? Not worth it? So if you tell them you want to go in court, it is a good chance that the officer let you go. So, it is a good ideea to make it worse. But it is very important to decide for yourself judgeing by the officers temperament. Remember this: you are more likely to get let off by a normal officer (black hat, black uniform) than by a traffic officer (white hat, green overcoat). It is a cop’s job to catch you, but they do not like to add paperwork. So, if he ask you how fast you were going try one of this approaches:
- First think, and every one is doing this: I wasn’t speeding! I looked at the speedometer earlier and my speed was 50 mph (presuming the speed limit is 55 mph). This doesn’t mean you need to start an argument, but do not admint that you are guilty. Well, you are right this won’t prevent you from taking the ticket, but it will make your case stronger and in court you can tell the judge that you weren’t speeding, and the officer has to confirm that you were saying this then he caught you.
- I’m not sure! My mind was somewhere else! and if the officer insists, you can tell: "I guess I must have been otherwise you would not have stopped me", but DO NOT ADMIT GUILT.
- In the worst case, when a traffic officer stoppes you, be honest and admit guilt, you are going to receive the ticket anyway so no need to try anything alse. In this cae, off course you can forget about court fighting.
DO NOT ADMIT GUILT, but try something different from I have a plane to catch, I’m late for work, my house is on fire. All speed pacing police cars have to have their Speedo’s measured and certified. Only traffic police cars are done, and the Speedo will have increments of 1 mph’s. If you are stopped by a non traffic officer, and told that he/she followed you and you were speeding, simply ask as a matter of course when his Speedo was last calibrated. It is likely he will let you go since normal police (Beat) cars do not have certified Speedo’s, theirs is the same as mine and yours.
If the officer sttopes you and he wants your license NEVER SURRENDER YOUR LICENCE. Surrendering you licence at the roadside is an admission of guilt. Surrendering it at a police station later is just abiding by the law.
If you are given a ticket, study it carefully before leaving the scene. The officer will ask if you have questions about the ticket, and you will: DO NOT get cocky at the scene, you have nothing against the police officer, he/she is only doing his/her job. It is the system that you want to fight (legally off course!).