So you’re driving along, pedal to the metal, when you suddenly see the red lights in your rearview mirror. Don’t panic! You can avoid a ticket. If you follow these simple rules, you’ll probably end up with a warning instead of a citation. We found this intelligence on MSNBC.
- Don’t try anything funny. Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous situations for police officers, so they’re naturally on guard. Just turn off your engine, roll down your window, and keep your hands on the wheel. Also be extremely polite, and only fumble for documents when asked. This shows the officer that you’re a law-abiding citizen, you’re respectful, and willing to comply. It also means they can relax.
- Turn your car into a blabber-free zone. In other words, say as little as possible. Otherwise you could end up shooting yourself in the foot. For example, if the officer asks, “why do you think I pulled you over?” Don’t say “cause I rolled through that yellow light, and I don’t have a valid sticker on my license plate.” They may have only stopped you for the sticker violation, and you’ve just handed them another reason to give you a ticket. And whatever you do – don’t argue! And don’t bother crying either. Neither of those work in your favor.
- Ask for a warning. It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you haven’t been pulled over in years. If your record is clean, the officer may just give you a break.
- But if you do get a ticket, your best option is just to pay it. But remember: paying the ticket means you’re admitting your guilt. So, if you truly feel that the ticket was unjust, fight it. Get a court date, get all the facts on why you think the officer was wrong - like a photograph of the tree that blocked the stop sign - and get ready to present your case.
- The top 3 reasons people get pulled over are: speeding, running a red light, and not yielding to a pedestrian. But if you do get ticketed, thank the officer. A driver who receives a ticket is 35% percent less likely to die in a car crash in the next 4 months.