You know the feeling you get when you realize you haven’t been paying attention to the speed limit and suddenly, from out of no where, there he is in your rear view mirror, lights flashing.
“Me? Is he after me?” Yep, he was after me!
I quickly pulled over and made sure I was pulled over enough to allow the Texas state trooper to safely walk up to my driver’s side window. I rolled down ALL the windows, turned off the car, quickly put the keys on the dash, and placed my hands on the top of the steering wheel. “Good afternoon, sir. May I see your driver’s license, insurance and registration please?” He asked from the passenger side window.
“Yes sir. I’m going to reach into my back pocket and get my wallet. Is that okay right now?”, I asked.
He nodded that it was.
“How bad was it?”, I asked. The confused look on his face told me I needed to re-phrase. “How fast was I going?”
“I clocked you at 67 in a 60.”
I sighed. “I guess I missed the change from 70 to 60,” I said, shaking my head side to side. “Here’s my license. I need to open my glove compartment to get the registration and insurance papers. Is it okay to open the glove compartment?”
He said yes, so I unfastened my seatbelt. I made sure I looked at the glove compartment as I opened it. “Here’s my insurance card and my registration. I’m in a company car so the registration will show my company’s name.”
“What company do you work for?” he asked. I told him and mentioned that I was heading to one of my stores in the next town, about 5 miles away. He said, “I think I’ve shopped there.” I smiled and said, “Thank you for your business!”
He thanked me for handing him the papers and walked back to the patrol car. I made sure my hands stayed on the wheel and I avoided looking in the mirror.
“Mr. Haynes, I’ve written you a warning. It doesn’t go on your record and it won’t have any effect on your insurance. Just slow it down, okay?”
I agreed and signed the warning. He gave me my copy and that was that.
I fastened my seatbelt, started the car, clicked on my turn signal, waited for a little traffic to pass, and slowly started back down the highway. The Texas state trooper did a u-turn and disappeared over the hill in my rear view mirror.
How To Avoid A Speeding Ticket
Warning: These ideas will not always work. I’m relating this information as ideas that might help you avoid a speeding ticket. Again, it will not always work but here are the things I did right:
1. I pulled over immediately. I didn’t gesture, ignore, or throw up my hands. I calmly pulled over as soon as I saw him in my mirror.
2. I made sure he could easily see inside my vehicle by rolling down all the windows. If I had been pulled over at night, I would have turned on the interior light.
3. I turned off the car and put the keys on the dash. He didn’t need to worry that I would speed off as soon as he walked up.
4. I made sure he could always see my hands and that I was never fidgety, shifting my weight, looking around the car, or acting suspicious. Police officers know that if you hold their gaze while you reach into a pocket or glove compartment, you’re probably reaching for something bad.
5. Respect. Respect. Respect. No sarcasm, no challenging tone of voice, nothing but extreme respect with lots of “yes sirs” and “no sirs.”
6. I asked him if it was okay to reach for my wallet.
7. I wore a seatbelt. Many times police officers won’t write you a ticket for speeding but still write one for failure to wear a seatbelt.
8. BEFORE I opened the glove compartment, I asked permission.
9. I was friendly and nice and didn’t avoid any questions.
10. Sure, I was speeding, but not by too much. You gotta have at least SOME idea of what the speed limit is.
11. I signed the warning without hesitation. Refusal to sign a warning or ticket is an automatic ride to the lock up. You are not admitting guilt by signing, only admitting that you promise to show up for court.
These are not guaranteed to work, please understand that. But I have avoided four speeding tickets out of the last five times I was pulled over by using these exact techniques. Avoiding that ticket saved me at least $120.
Why do these techniques work? I’m not sure but I think there couldn’t be a more dangerous occupation than walking up as a police officer to a vehicle you’ve pulled over, and wondering if your life will change forever in the next 2 minutes. Anything I can do in that situation to put the police officer at ease can only work in my favor.
Of course, the best tip is to drive the speed limit…or less!
[tags]speeding ticket, speed, police, respect[/tags]