7/25/2008

Some tips on how to avoid speeding tickets

I confess that I have used many of these methods in the past:

Find a 'rabbit'

If you can't find a pack of cars going the speed you'd like to maintain, the next best thing is to find yourself a rabbit -- a solitary driver traveling the speed you'd like to drive that you can follow discretely, about 50-100 yards back. If there's a cop using radar, hopefully the rabbit will trip the trap and get a speeding ticket, not you.

And if he brakes suddenly, you have just received your early warning in time to take defensive action.

Don't change lanes frequently, tailgate, drive aggressively

In addition to being rude and dangerous, you're just asking for a trucker or someone with a cell phone to call the cops and give them a description of your vehicle and license plate number.

Always use your signals and be courteous to fellow drivers. It's safer, and it will help you fade into the background. AOL Autos: Fast, fuel-efficient cars

Avoid the fast lane

Use the far left lane to pass when necessary, but try to stay in the middle lanes when possible.

Reason? If a cop is lurking in a cutout along the median strip (or coming at you from the opposite direction on a divided highway) the speeder in the far left lane is the one most likely to become the target. Drivers who get nailed with speeding tickets are often the type who rack it up to 10 or 15 over the limit and remain in the far left lane.

Watch for cutouts and modulate your speed accordingly

On many highways, there are cutouts in the median strip every couple of miles. Usually, you can see these in plenty of time to slow down a little bit in case there's a cop lurking behind the bushes ready to give you a speeding ticket.

Don't speed when you are the only car on the road

If you ignore this warning it's the equivalent of plastering a "ticket me!" bumper sticker on your vehicle. Even if you're only doing five mph over the posted limit, if there's a cop using radar, he's got nothing to look at but you.

Lonesome speeding is even more dangerous in small towns, where radar traps and aggressive enforcement by cops can be common. And never speed late at night. Drunk-driving patrols are heavy and cops are more inclined to pull you over for any offense in order to check you for signs of alcohol. Don't give them a reason.


If it's OK legally, get a radar detector

Yes, they're expensive (good ones, anyhow). But a one-time hit of, say, $300 for a decent radar detector is cheaper than even a single big speeding ticket and the higher insurance costs that will come with it. Radar detectors are legal in most states and well worth the investment to avoid a speeding ticket.

And finally, if possible, drive a nondescript vehicle

It may not be fair, but it's human nature to notice things that stand out from the crowd. Bright-colored cars, those with loud exhaust or other pimped-out enhancements are the cars more likely to draw a cop's initial attention than ordinary-looking, family-type cars.

Since the cop has to single out one car, which car do you suppose is the likely candidate for a speeding ticket? The bright yellow Mustang GT with 20-inch chrome rims? Or the silver Taurus?

If you do get pulled over while driving a fancy, high-profile car, your odds of getting a speeding ticket versus a warning have probably gone up. If you're driving a fast-looking hot rod, the cop is going to assume you use it and deserve a ticket more than the guy in a family-looking ride whose plea that he "didn't realize he was speeding, officer" comes off as more believable.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Mad Saint Jack said...

Kentucky has a license plate dedicated to a LEO memorial fund. I never received a ticket while I had one.

7/25/2008 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most obvious solution is missing from the list: Don't exceed the speed limit. ;-)

7/25/2008 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are all nice suggestions for avoiding getting pulled over. That's only half the battle.

The conventional wisdom on what to do after you've been pulled over is all wrong. I have 4 tickets, but pulled over almost 20 times.

First rule. There is merit in getting out of your car almost immediately. If you get out, he's likely to get out. If he gets out he's less likely to spend time looking up your driving record or filling out the ticket and giving you the "Sign here" greeting.

Second rule. Delay, delay, delay. Assuming you are not a criminal or a jerk this helps you turn from random stranger to a person. The more he/she connects with you the more likely he is to let you off.

Third rule. Do not lie, do not defend yourself, do not tell the truth. Say "Not sure". Don't accidentally give him any information that seals the deal in his mind. Your speeding needs to be a mistake, not rebellion.

Addendum to 3rd rule. When you "don't know" how fast you were going some cops like to prove a point by exaggerating your speed. If he gives a higher number than what you saw that you were going call him on it. Ask to see the radar gun.

Exception to 3rd rule. If you have a really good excuse, say it. Trying to be on time to your first day of work. (worked for me). Child being born.

7/26/2008 8:51 AM  
Blogger Rail Claimore said...

Living in Chicagoland (which is a police state in this regard), a lot of stretches of road have speed limits that change every 1/2 mile and/or have unreasonably low limits thanks to the number of municipalities around. I've learned intuitively to follow almost all these rules over the past couple of years. I did so when I was living down South, but here... it's on a whole different level.

7/26/2008 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Harry Schell said...

Cortesy to others and driving in the left lane unless to pass will help. Correlate speed and vision (an essential safety habit, anyway) and slow down if you can't see far enough ahead.

Also figure how much a difference your speed will make. DFW to Los Angeles is about 1400 miles, an extra 10% of speed, nominally 8 mph, makes up for a lot of time.

Even driving 100 miles, 10% more speed might be 10 minutes or less. Is it worth it?

My Subaru will cruise at 83 (10% over the speed limit) and use about 3% more fuel...that is a good trade sometimes.

7/26/2008 5:07 PM  
Blogger Junkyard Sam said...

Do you Republicans have no respect for the law? =)

What if we all start deciding on our own which laws apply to us and which ones don't?

As someone who I would assume has respect for our nation's police officers I would expect better of you Mr. Lott! =)

7/27/2008 3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don't change lanes frequently, tailgate, drive aggressively...In addition to being rude and dangerous, you're just asking for a trucker or someone with a cell phone to call the cops and give them a description of your vehicle and license plate number."

Don't forget to get a good look at the driver if you call someone in. I did so this past weekend because a driver passed me on the interstate on the right hand shoulder. It was especially terrible because there so happened to be a parked 18 wheel truck in the shoulder. I am lucky to be hear today.

7/29/2008 7:35 PM  

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