You see, Americans spend between $3.75 billion to $7.5 billion in traffic violations every year!
Isn’t that something?
Now, let’s see what the average ticket costs… $152.
And this includes fees and all. Now, the variations you see in rates will have to do with the degree of these offenses and also the laws of the state where these offenses occur.
But that aside. As to the theme of this article. I would say that the best way to avoid getting a ticket would be to do the right thing.
Yeah, simple eh.
But simple doesn’t always mean easy. If it were, then the world would be a lot smoother.
So in reality, we would instead look at how you can get off with a slap on the wrist like — a warning, you know.
You see, believe or not; most police officers don’t derive joy from giving you traffic tickets.
Just like you punish your kid for bad behavior and not for fun. You just want your kid to be a better human being.
Rewarding great behavior and disapproving of the undesirable one helps mold that kid into a healthy individual.
You can look at that parent/child relationship as similar to the one our government has with us citizens.
Do the right thing consistently enough, and you find yourself at a favorable level in society.
Do the opposite, and you could experience hell here on earth.
But I digress.
So, with that being said, I’ll add that a lot of cops are human. (Bad apples are everywhere).
But the majority have feelings and can empathize with you. But you only get that when you listen carefully to what real cops have advised you to do in these situations.
1. Records Can Be A Great Advocate.
Now, let’s go down memory lane for a sec.
You remember how the well-behaved kid in the class would get to have a bad day and not get as much stick as Johnny the restless would on his most behaved day?
Now, Johnny could point that out as an injustice, but that is a discussion for another day.
Now, back to the present, sitting tight as the officer in blue approaches you.
You were speeding over the limit, and you suspect that is the reason you have been pulled over.
Either of these 2 things would happen.
You get a warning or a ticket.
The chances of the former dramatically increase if you have a clean record.
Yes, you have derailed, but that is unlike you (at least your record shows that).
And a warning could be very adequate in this situation.
And there you go.
To the next…
Just thought to add this.
You see, when I talk about a good record am not talking about having 2 citations.
That is already a bad record.
Yes, it is. You think that is a little too harsh?
Well, let me grace you with these facts.
You see according to a website, motorists.org, the police dishes out 25 to 50 million traffic tickets a year.
But the amount of licensed drivers on the road are about 196 million.
Now do the math.
You can see that this a situation of so many people, so little defaults.
Soooo… how many citations did you say you got on your good record again?
2. Drive decently.
A video below would help you see just how much empathy an aggressive driver gets from the cops.
You see, getting thrills of the road should only exist in race tracks, nowhere else.
3. Don’t go down without a classy fight.
Don’t just admit guilty.
Yeah, I said it.
You see, pleading guilty makes the cops’ job easy. Don’t go down easy.
Now, don’t be cocky with it either ( I said classy fight for a reason). This is a delicately poised situation.
Outrightly lying the officer is only going to mean more trouble than you were trying to evade in the first place.
But then again, you aren’t in court with a bible to swear by either.
So, instead of blurting out all your transgressions once the officer arrives, maybe just say something like “I suppose it’s possible that I might have been speeding.”
4. Mom said you were special, but that one person’s opinion.
There is a fine line between self-esteem or confidence and being a jerk. Remember the golden rule. Whatever you put out into the universe you get back. I risk sounding woo-woo, but this is a very practical law in life (Yes, yes, I know that this isn’t the case every time, rules have exceptions). But try being rude and you get that back — even when you are right.
So when you are dealing with cops, being respectful does help. Jay Ruane who is a traffic ticket lawyer from Connecticut echoes this sentiment.
He says “Never tell a police officer that ‘I pay your salary’ because, well, so do they, because they pay taxes too.”
Acting like a prick will not get you out of the problem. Don’t talk down to an officer. You only make a case for a similar treatment dished out to you.
Be nice, and you could be let go with a warning and not a ticket.
But then again, cops aren’t monolithic. For some, no amount of courtesy excuses you out of your traffic transgression.
One such cop, Bonkiewicz has said that although he does appreciate being nice, he tries his best to stay on the issue at hand which is the traffic violation.
He says “I appreciate the civility and politeness, but I try to remain objective and focus on the violation.”
He continues “Conversely; I do not write tickets based on a poor attitude. If somebody is a complete jerk, but their violation doesn’t meet the objective criteria for a ticket, then I give them a warning and let them go, even if it’s difficult.”
So be warned, abstinence is still the king of avoidance.
5. Ask, and it shall be given unto you.
This is usually underrated when it comes to dealings where one thinks the stakes are high.
But you would be surprised how this works like magic.
Being friendly and warm could set the stage to for the green light when you ask for a warning.
Cops aren’t really obligated to issue tickets. So just ask, after all, it could go one way or the other.
A win or rejection and life goes on. So try.
But as I stressed before, that doesn’t work for all cops.
“For me, no [it doesn’t work],” Bonkiewicz says. “But for other officers, yes … especially if the violation is minor.”
6. Join the blue team.
Although Bonkiewicz says that he doesn’t expect—or give ”professional courtesy” to other public workers.
That’s how it’s supposed to work: Equality before the law, regardless of your occupation.
However, he says that some police will let their off-duty colleagues get away with minor infractions.
“I hear about it all the time,” he says. “And the worst people are those cops/EMTs/nurses who demand a warning.”
He argues that this just dilutes the officer’s authority.
“I was once stopped by an officer from another agency for speeding (11 mph over speed limit), and although I had to advise the officer that I was a police officer because I had a gun next to me, I did not say anything more,” he says. “The officer issued me a ticket, I wished him well, and we both left.”
“It sucked getting a ticket, but looking back, I feel really good about that interaction—that’s how it’s supposed to work: Equality before the law, regardless of your occupation.”
But that is more an idealistic view of the world and not reality so…
7. Have an occupation of selfless service
An NYPD Transit Bureau cop says “One of my suggestions is to try to quickly fit in that you are a working man or woman—and even better if you are in public service,” “We tend to think twice about giving a serious fine to someone in a similar position as ourselves.”
We can’t put his name here since he asked to remain anonymous.
So which professions or occupations apply?
As I said in the sub-head, any job that offers selfless service to other people.
If it benefits the community or even the police, then you are on the right path.
The officer goes on to say, “My father was a foreman on a town highway department, and it was nearly impossible for him to get a ticket.”
He goes on to say “Officers would envision him or someone he works with helping tow their patrol car out of a snowbank on a cold winter night.”
“So mention you are on your way to or from work and say where it is. If the officer asks what you do, now is your chance to tell them—and [you’ll fare] even better if you work with police officers in any way.”
8. A greeting goes a long way.
So you are just above the speed limit, and you see a cop. Don’t brake as that can be seen as reckless driving.
But instead, release the pressure on the gas pedal as your car slows down.
Then you wave at the police officer. There is a chance that the cop would understand that you acknowledged your mistakes and you are trying to do better.
Remember that they are human too.
9. Treat them like human beings.
Just as stated at the beginning of this article, treat them like humans, and there is a high chance that they would reciprocate.
Ruane, the lawyer, chirps in “Always be nice and respectful,” says Ruane. “Police make note of your attitude on the ticket that goes to court, and throwing a fit roadside will never help.”
The NYPD cop says this “Don’t huff and puff, roll your eyes, or simply for them to hurry up because you have more important things to do.”
“Most cops don’t like ruining your day, but we get paid to try to make the roadways a bit safer for our families and everyone else’s. Don’t minimize that.”
You see that?!
Cops notice your attitude! And attitude doesn’t get you anywhere.
10. Don’t Bribe
Talking to Urbo, Ruane discloses… “One trick I have seen work multiple times is to tell the police officer that the only reason you were speeding was because you had to go to the bathroom.”
And this all makes sense. Everyone has been in similar situations at some point in time in their lives.
Just don’t exploit this and make it some type of way to bribe your way out of the situation.
Most wouldn’t even succumb to your bribe
and even if they wanted to, they just can’t as they have recording equipment all over them.
Recording everything that they do. These tech support equipment include active badge cams, dash cams, etc.
“[Bribing is] a truly terrible idea,” Bonkiewicz says. “Do not offer money [or anything else] to an officer. That’s a huge aggravating offense, and I guarantee I will write you a citation if only to document that I did not accept the bribe.”
11. Traffic ticket? Don’t Panic!
You see. You could do all this, and still, it won’t just be your day.
But that isn’t the end of the world my friend. There are many ways to handle the issue.
You could still come out of all this with your records not becoming deplorable.
Or having your auto insurance scare you.
If the ticket is expensive or you are bothered by your record, then you may have to get a lawyer.
“First off, prosecutors won’t negotiate with a layperson. They will simply make an offer, and you then have to take or leave it,” Ruane tells Urbo. “A lawyer can go back and forth because that is what they do with every type of case.”
It’s like having a friend ‘on the inside.’
Also when you have a lawyer, you could be exposed to other options you had not considered in the first place.
Like “community service in exchange for the ticket being dropped, or taking a driver retraining class,” this all comes from Ruane.
“A lawyer can pitch your defense in a way that a prosecutor would be receptive,” he says. “Some prosecutors and judges prefer you to immediately admit you did it. Others will give you a break only if you do not agree you did it. A lawyer would know best how to pick the right way to defend you with the prosecutor and judges involved to get you the best deal. It’s like having a friend ‘on the inside.’”