You’re driving along the highway and all of the sudden you see those dreaded blue and red lights flashing behind you. You’re getting pulled over. Of course, the last thing you need is to get a ticket today of all days. Well, you’re in luck. We have some tips (courtesy of lifehacker.com) to help you at least attempt to beat the speeding ticket. Naturally, none of these tips are foolproof, but we’re betting that more likely than not, they will help you in a crunch:
1. Get your attitude right – Fighting with the police officer never increases your chances of leniency. You want him to like you. Prepare to achieve this goal.
2. Turn your car off, and turn the interior lights of your car on – Place your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and remove your sunglasses or hat. Some people even advise you to place your keys on the roof of your car as a sign of total submission. Never, get out of the car. The whole point of this is to take any unnecessary tension out of the encounter. You want the officer to be comfortable. Imagine the types of people and the dangers that most officers have had to deal with. Be just the opposite.
3. Be very polite and do exactly what the nice cop with the big gun says – Save your pleas until after the basics are finished. Many officers will never speak to you until after they’ve done the basics. It’s almost a litmus test for jerk drivers.
4. Once the officer has gotten your information, ask him politely if you may speak to him about your violation – If you know you broke the law, admit it vehemently and tell the officer that he was completely right for pulling you over. Honest officers will admit that there is a lot of pride in police work, and, if you can sufficiently satisfy the pride factor, sometimes officers don’t feel it necessary to punish you any further. The better you make the officer feel; the more likely he’s going to like you enough to let you go.
5. Ask to see the radar then ask a few questions – Many jurisdictions require that the officer allow you to see the radar. Don’t press it if the officer says no because that’s what a courtroom is for. But, at least ask, then ask a few more questions to show that you are watching. You might ask, “When was the last time your radar gun was calibrated?” or “Where were you when you clocked my speed?” or “Were you moving when you clocked my speed?” Do not ask these in an argumentative tone or sarcastic, know-it-all way. All that will do is make the pride in the officer fight you harder.
6. Plead your case – Once you’ve gone over some basics with the officer and developed a temporary rapport, ask for mercy. Make it sincere and let the officer know that it’s a big deal to you. Resist all urges to fight and get angry and simply beg as much as your dignity will allow. But, there is no reason to grovel.
If none of these work and you got the ticket, don’t worry, you’re not totally out of luck. We still have some great tips for getting out of that ticket that was issued to you, but we’ll save those for another day and another blog. In the meantime, if you’re on the road, always make sure you’re driving with insurance (it’s the law!!). For a free quote for SafeAuto, the state minimum car insurance company, visit our website at www.safeauto.com.
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