How to avoid traffic tickets
More likely than not, we've all been pulled over for some
"vehicular infraction". The question is - was it really
necessary? Many of the tickets issued could have been avoided by
just knowing the facts and blending into the anonymous buzz of
daily traffic. Here are some things to consider - hopefully
before you see red lights in your rear view mirror.
Make every effort to know and comply with basic traffic laws.
Get a copy of the driver's license manual from your state
licensing authority and review its contents.
Don't attract attention to your vehicle by having loud exhaust,
windows tinted too dark, etc. Anything that causes a police
officer to look at your vehicle will make it more likely he will
notice expired tags or inspection sticker, or other deficiency.
If your state has a mandatory seatbelt law; wear your seatbelt.
If you forget to put it on, don't wait until you see a police
officer to remember to put it on. This will only cause the
officer to notice you when he might not have otherwise. The fact
that you just put it on may not be enough to avoid a citation.
If he spots you without it on or sees you putting it on, you can
be cited. You might only get a warning for having put it on, but
this is a gamble. If the officer is working a special seatbelt
detail you can count on a ticket. DON'T CALL ATTENTION TO
Keep your vehicle in good condition, and all equipment such as
brakes, lights, etc. in working order. Burned out headlights or
tail lights just can't be missed at night. Remember; once the
officer has you stopped he can find other things to talk to you
about like the driver's license you left at home, or the
insurance card you can't find, etc.
Make a complete stop at stop signs. Your state may require you
to stop at a line or at a point, before entering the
intersection, where you can clearly see traffic. Either way, you
must stop. Make sure the intersection is clear before starting
out. Accidents at intersections with stop signs are "bought and
paid for" by the driver having the stop sign. This is true even
if you stop.
Be prepared to stop at yield signs if necessary. Unless you can
clearly see traffic, and know no vehicles are coming, treat the
yield sign like a stop sign.
Do not drive faster than the flow of traffic unless that flow is
below the speed limit. Passing other vehicles always draws
attention. It may appear momentarily that you are speeding, even
if you aren't. The police officer may quickly realize that
you're not speeding just about the same time he notices you're
not wearing your seatbelt, your inspection sticker has expired,
etc., etc., etc. By now you should be getting the idea: DON'T
CALL ATTENTION TO YOURSELF!
If you are stopped for a traffic violation, try to prevent or at
least minimize the damage. An officer may be assigned to a
certain location to watch for a certain violation due to
numerous accidents at that location. If you commit the violation
in question at that location your chances of getting out of a
ticket are slim. A short argument of the facts is okay, but
don't get carried away. This is especially true if have other
deficiencies you don't want noticed. Consider this: if you've
committed a violation, the officer is supposed to write you a
ticket. Depending on the circumstances, however, you may get a
verbal or written warning. If you jump out of the car with
verbal abuse, you will always get a ticket.
Don't rely too much on your radar detector. If you're the only
car on the road for a long stretch, or you're the first car in a
convoy of vehicles, you're going to be the target vehicle for
the radar unit over the next hill. The officer is not going to
let the "cat" out of the bag and leave the radar on continuously
for you to "detect". He'll have it in the "stand-by" mode. It's
warmed up, calibrated, and ready to go, but it's not emitting a
signal. He won't activate it till you come over the hill. Your
radar detector will beep at the same time the radar
automatically locks your speed on the digital display. Anyone
within a mile or so behind you with a detector will be warned,
but not you! Sometimes officers will leave the unit on and
transmitting, knowing that there are plenty of non-detector
equipped speeders to be caught, but don't count on this.
1. Don't get noticed!
2. Watch your speed!
3. Make complete stops at stop signs.
4. Keep lights in good repair.
5. Carry all required documents: Driver's license, title,
6. Don't have loud mufflers.
7. Don't have windows tinted too dark.
8. Don't carry oversized loads.
9. Don't overload vehicle with passengers, especially the front
10. Don't throw things from the vehicle.
11. Don't give the officer a hard time for doing his job.
12. If you think you been "locked-on" by radar, slow down. It
may not help, but it won't hurt either.
13. Police officers can spot expired inspection stickers,
license plates, and other deficiencies from a great distance!