Actual Cops Give Tips on How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket
Thrillist recently interviewed some police officers about how they deal with minor speeding offenses, and they offered up some tips for drivers (aside from DON'T SPEED).
Now, before we get started, this article is NOT encouraging drivers to speed, and it also does NOT mean you should take police officers or the law lightly. It's also important to note that all police officers are different people, and what works for one may not work for others.
Officers use their own discretion on whether to issue a warning or a citation when it comes to minor speeding (less than 20mph over), so a couple of police officers are giving some advice to drivers. Officer/author RJ Beam and New York captain Matt Episcopo are two seasoned professionals, with lots of experience in their fields. Here are their tips on what to do and what NOT to do when you get pulled over:
- When you pass a traffic cop, be sure to smile and wave - If you're going a little bit over the speed limit and you are about to pass an officer, smile and wave when you pass by. By doing that, you're acknowledging that you're paying attention and slowing down.
- Get out all of the required paperwork BEFORE they get to your window - You already know that you'll be needing your license, registration, and insurance, so why make the officer wait? There is a BUT to this though - Matt Episcopo says, "If you know your registration and insurance are buried somewhere, wait with your hands on the wheel until the officer is there. Communicate that it’s in the glovebox, and get permission before you start digging around."
- Avoid saying too much or too little - Rambling is unnecessary, and being short with an officer looks super suspicious. Don't make him drag information out of you.
- Don't have a radar detector - Police officers are trained to visually estimate your speed within 5mph, so a lot of the time they are catching you with their eyes before they flip on their radar. So basically, if you're speeding and then your radar detector goes off, you're pretty much screwed. Additionally, Matt says, "if you can afford a radar detector, you can afford a ticket."
- Apologize - Being humble and taking responsibility for your wrong-doing can never hurt.
- If you see the flashing light, put on your turn signal right away. If you hear the sirens, immediately pull over - When you see the flashing lights, putting your turn signal on indicates that you see the officer and you're looking for a safe place to pull over. On the other hand, if the siren goes on, RJ Beam says, "you should just pull over. A citizen might not feel it is a safe spot but as an officer, I might be happy with it."
- Attempt to make the officer laugh - If all you have are bad jokes, you probably shouldn't try this, but according to RJ, "If you can make me laugh, you might get a break."
- Do all of this BEFORE the officer goes back to his vehicle - Once the officer goes back to run your information, that's it. That's when they will decide whether or not to give you a ticket. And once they hand it out, there's no taking it back, so make a good impression right away.
A few additional tips: sometimes it DOES help to know another officer, and don't speed around the holidays, because then you're not getting out of anything.
I've only been pulled over twice in my life, but both times I have been a complete nervous wreck. If you're anything like me, it might be helpful to remember a few of these, just in case!
For the full article from Thrillist, click HERE.