Speeding Ticket Review

We have all been there before, driving over that hill only to see the Po-Po sitting on the other side ready to pounce. Nobody likes to see the unexpected arm of the law. Your heart skips a beat or two, and your stomach drops. All this happens simultaneously while your foot moves from the accelerator to the brake peddle. The only thing worse is when you see those pretty flashing lights in your rear view mirror. Way to go speed-racer. Get ready for another ticket.

Nobody has ever liked to pay a ticket. In times when our economy is struggling, money is tight, and your job the next day is uncertain, people enjoy tickets even less. Not even I enjoy seeing those lights behind me. I know I don’t have extra money to be spending on citations, especially when I could be buying a Jack in the Box Sirloin Burger! Mmm yummy!

So, what can you do to get out of that ticket? I’m glad you asked. Let’s review your best options for saving some green next time you see the red and blues behind you.

I think it’s important to realize that there are still those fat, lazy, ignorant cops out there behind the wheel of patrol cars. These will be sitting in easy to spot locations and give you plenty of time to slow down. This wont be the situation very often however. Training and hiring standards have increased over the recent years. Departments are looking for intelligent officers. You probably won’t even see these types of cops hiding, and if you do, it will be too late. Don’t count on slowing down when you spot the cop. That really isn’t a likely scenario.

There are certain things that will guarantee you a ticket if you are stopped. The first would be a radar detector hanging from your window. As a kid, I loved these things. I felt invincible with one. As a cop, they pretty much just annoy me. It’s almost like I caught you cheating. Again, the lazy cop will sit there with his radar on all the time, giving you and your radar detector plenty of time to slow down. The good cops activate the radar and have your speed within a fraction of a second, meaning that money you spent on your detector was pretty much a waste, and you just earned yourself a big fat cheater cheater speeding ticket. If you are one of these people who have to have one of this things in your car, at least help yourself out by putting it out of sight when you get stopped.

Another sure way to earn yourself a ticket is being a smartass. I can assure you, as cops, we have the smartass area fairly well covered. Two smartasses in the same scenario isn’t a good idea. Don’t get me wrong here; there is a fine line between humor and smartass. We do appreciate humor, but proceed with caution. If you can successfully balance the difference between the two and get a giggle out of us, you are well on your way to driving off with a warning.

Something else that will turn things in a downward spiral is hearing that we should be out fighting real crime, or asking if there isn’t something better we could be doing. Let’s get this out on the table right now. If there was a bank robbery or a meth lab that needed busting, we would be there. There is no need to ask us or imply such. I promise, you and your speed mobile are the most exciting and important thing on our agenda at the time. If there was something better to be doing, we would be doing it.

Some of you may hate to hear this next one, but it’s true, so I’m going to let you know about it. You may be the most honest, humorous, non-radar detector, driver out there. It is possible to do everything right once you are pulled over and still have a citation as the end result. This will happen if your driving record takes more than three minutes to load and I have to scroll through multiple pages on my computer. If it’s obvious you haven’t learned anything from your recent citations, or continue to break the law over and over again, plan on getting another one. Sorry, but for those of you in this category, my best advice to you would be obey the law for as long as you can and put some space in your driving record. Accordingly, those of you with a clean record probably have the best chance of getting away with a warning. A good driving record shows that you don’t often put the pedal to the metal, or you are really good at talking your way out of a ticket. Either way, you are already off to a good start.

There are a few simple things that can help your case on the side of the roadway if you get stopped. The number one thing would be to wear your seat belt. We hate it when people aren’t wearing seat belts, and we will write you a ticket for it. We don’t like all the paperwork involved with traffic crashes involving dead people. People who don’t wear their seat belts often end up dead. If you aren’t wearing yours when we write you the seat belt ticket, it’s really easy to just add the speeding violation to the next line. Not only could it save your life, but it could save you money, soooo buckle up!

Don’t make us stand at the side of your car while you take fifteen minutes to rumble through your Les Schwab envelopes, recipes, and other random paperwork for your registration and insurance. Put your current registration and insurance somewhere easily accessible and be sure you have your driver’s license with you.

This next hint may hurt you or help you; it all depends on the officer and the situation. Personally, I respect honesty and often reward it. I realize there are people who may not know how fast they were going, and its fine to say that if it’s the truth. If I stop you for doing fifty in a thirty-five and you tell me you thought you were doing thirty…things aren’t going to turn out well for you. This isn’t a black and white type of thing, as every officer is different. There are times your honesty will only hurt you in court and still get you a ticket. The best option would be to have a valid reason you were speeding, but apologize and simply say I don’t recall exactly how fast I was going officer. I recently gave a warning to a motorcycle doing about 110 on the interstate because his female passenger had to use the restroom extremely bad. He said he was probably doing at least 120, and his wife had to go to the bathroom. I really appreciated him being honest, and would not have wanted to be on a motorcycle with a female who had to GO sitting behind me. The look on his face when I gave him a warning was worth it. I don’t know how many other cops like that are out there unfortunately.

Even if you did everything right to include pulling as far as possible off the side of the roadway, activating your emergency flashers, throwing the radar detector in the back seat, being polite and courteous, and having your paperwork ready without any sudden lunges into the center console, you could still end up getting a ticket. Many jurisdictions have traffic specific enforcement divisions and it almost takes an act of God to not get a ticket from these traffic Nazis. If this happens to you, here are your options. Pay the citation, which in Idaho will be $75.00 dollars if you were traveling 1-15 miles over the speed limit. $140.00 dollars if you were traveling more than 16 miles per hour over or $141.50 dollars if you were speeding in a school zone. Your other option would be entering a not guilty plea and going to court. I can tell you traffic court ALWAYS ends up on our day off. Although all states and jurisdictions are different, most of the time if the officer isn’t there, your case will be dismissed and you will win. I mean what the heck, if you show up and the officer is there, you can always just pay the ticket. That will only give you more time to save up some money anyway. Worst case scenario, it’s worth the gamble.

Even if you get out of your ticket, getting pulled over by Five-O is far from five stars. Speeding tickets earn one lousy star on the rating chart only because some of the revenue goes to good places.


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