Speeding is the most commonly committed crime in America. You probably did it at some point today on your way to the office or while you were dropping the kids off at school. Speeding is so common that many police officers don’t stop cars unless they are egregiously breaking the speed limit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be pulled over for going just a few miles per hour over the posted limit. We’re not going to sit here and tell you never to speed, but if you are going to do it, here are five tips to keep in mind to avoid getting a speeding ticket.
Speeding Ticket Tips
Here are five tips to remember throughout the process of getting a speeding ticket.
1. Don’t Be The Fastest – A little speed is usually fine, but you don’t need to be the guy who speeds in the left lane, tailgating other commuters and forcing anyone not matching your excessive speeds to move over. If you have a half hour daily commute on a 65 mph road, the difference between going 78 miles an hour and 70 miles an hour is a total of four minutes. Saving four minutes isn’t worth it, because a cop will likely let you go at five miles over, but you’re an easy ticket if you’re 13 mph over the speed limit. Waking up five minutes earlier can save you the need to speed.
2. Pull Over Safely – If you end up seeing the blue and red cherries in your rearview window, put on your right turn signal and safely make your way over to the rightmost lane. Trying to “shake” the cops or pulling over in an unsafe location is only going to make things worse. Quickly but safely move to a safe location, pull over, and put the car in park.
3. Kill Them With Kindness – Don’t let your frustrations from the day or from the traffic stop boil over into your interaction with the officer. Being rude or abrasive is the quickest way to get a ticket. The officer is looking for a reason to give you a ticket, so there’s no need to give them a reason. Be polite throughout the interaction, and you may find yourself let off with just a warning.
4. Don’t Admit Anything – Now, you want to be polite and forthcoming when talking to the officer, but again, the cop is looking for a reason to give you a ticket, so don’t admit to any wrongdoing and give them that reason. Oftentimes drivers aren’t even aware that they are admitting that they committed a crime. If the officer asks “Why are you speeding,” or “Did you realize you were going 75 in a 65,” just reply with a polite non-admission of guilt. “I was not aware, officer,” is a great line. Even saying “sorry” can be construed as an admission of guilt, so stick to simple answers that don’t admit guilt.
5. Be As Non-Memorable As Possible – In the event the first four tips failed and you end up with a ticket, try to make the whole interaction with the cop as non-memorable as possible. If you want to challenge the ticket in court, the officer is going to have to describe the events from memory. If you remain polite yet forgettable, it’s not going to be easy for the officer to remember the exact details of the case. If the officer can’t properly recall the traffic stop, a good traffic ticket attorney should have no problem getting the case thrown out.
Brett Appelman is the owner and managing partner at Appelman & Associates, a criminal defense law firm located in Aurora, Illinois. His firm specializes in criminal matters, traffic citations and family law. If you run into trouble just west of Chicago, give Brett and his team a call.