Every day, millions take the roads to travel from one place to another. During our regular commute, it’s not unusual to see at least one police officer making a traffic stop. The drivers who are pulled over might have made a minor traffic violation or something major. Whatever it may be, cops notice everything a person does after he/she is pulled over. Depending on the behavior of the person and the factors, the cops then decide whether to hand them a ticket which can cost up to hundreds of dollars. Americans pay somewhere from $3.75 billion to $7.5 billion in traffic citations every year. Cops from AskReddit gave their unique perspective for the fifteen best ways to get out of a ticket. Even though it might not work all the time, it’s still worth a shot.
1. Don’t have a bad driving record.
If someone gets pulled over, their driving record could be an influential factor in determining whether he/she would get a ticket. Cops check the driving record and if they already have a few tickets within the same year, they’re probably going to get another one. According to motorists.org, traffic tickets are a multi-billion dollar industry.
The industry has nothing to do with highway safety but has everything to do with money. An estimated 25 and 50 million traffic tickets are issued each year and assuming an average ticket cost of $150.00, the total upfront profit from tickets ranges from 3.75 to 7.5 billion dollars.
2. Think about how your car looks before you cruise round. Be considerate, polite and friendly.
Your car is a representation of yourself on the road. Depending on the condition of the car and whether the vehicle has any offensive stickers such as “I HATE P*GS” etched on them, the driver is sure to be pulled over. According to an ex-cop in AskReddit, always be nice and respectful. Cops are human beings inside those blue suits. Human beings are social animals and we have the tendency to treat people better when they treat us well.
When you are pulled over for a minor or major violation the officer takes notes of your attitude on the ticket that goes to court and throwing a fit roadside will never help. According to Jay Ruane, a traffic ticket lawyer from Connecticut, “Don’t huff and puff, roll your eyes, or imply for them to hurry up because you have more important things to do”. Most cops don’t like ruining your day, but they get paid to try to make the roadways a bit safer for our families and everyone else’s.
3. A polite little wave can go a long way.
We are human beings who make mistakes all the time. If you’re going 27 mph on a 25 mph zone and see a police cruiser, don’t slam on the brakes. This could not only increase your chances of getting pulled over but it will also put other drivers at risk. Let off the gas and allow the vehicle to slow, then wave at the officer. A polite little wave can register with the officer that you may know him, or that you have acknowledged your mistake and are slowing down. However, don’t be hysterical with the wave since the officer might think that you are high on something.
4. Do not try to pull a Reese Witherspoon.
The U.S. Constitution is the nation’s fundamental law. It codifies the core values of the people and is same for everyone including government officials from the President all the way down. They are also guaranteed the same protection under the laws and the same civil rights as are American citizens. Even if you’re an Oscar-winning actress, the law is same for you. In 2013, Reese Witherspoon threw a fit and pulled the fame card when her husband, Jim Toth, was pulled over and arrested for DUI. She refused to get back in the car even though the officer repeatedly asked her, earning her a disorderly conduct charge, to which she plead no contest and paid a $213 fine.
5. Do not threaten a cop and never say, ‘I pay your salary’.
When you threaten a cop, you are raising the chances of getting a ticket. Jay Ruane explains that it’s always a good idea to be courteous when you’re with an officer. No matter what, never ever tell an officer than you are paying their salary because, cops pay taxes too. Being condescending toward an officer makes it really easy for them to return the favor.
6. Always ask for a warning.
It never hurts to ask to cut you some slack. When you’re in a similar situation, be friendly and grateful. Appreciate their efforts to keep the roads safe and treat the officer with at most respect. Police officers do not have a quota to deliver a set number of tickets or arrests and it is illegal for Police Departments to enforce such rules on them.
So, the officers are at no obligation to issue a ticket for your minor violation. In these situations, you can ask the officer to let you go with a warning and he might just cut you a break. You can also assure him that it wasn’t in your best interest to break the law and depending on the type of offense and the nature of the officer, you might just get off with a warning.
7. Don’t admit guilt unless you broke the law.
One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. When a person admits that they were breaking the law, it makes things easier for a police officer to write you off. Your admission of guilt is just what the cops want to ink their pens. Instead an “oh gosh officer I had no idea” should suffice. Apart from that, pulling in the fifth amendment and pretending to know the law could also complicate things. Like Newton’s third law, for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.
8. Avoid reckless or aggressive driving.
Patrol officers look for numerous factors to determine if they should pull someone over or not. One such factor is reckless driving or aggressiveness on the road. Officer Luke Bonkiewicz of the Lincoln Police Department in Lincoln, Nebraska, explains that if someone changes a lane or turns without signaling, but there’s no other cars around, he often lets them off with a warning. However, if they see a person changing lanes close to other cars without signaling and potentially endangering them, he’s sure to write them a ticket.
9. Keep your eyes facing front and hands on the wheel.
As soon as you notice the police emergency lights pull your vehicle over to the right and stop immediately. You may have committed some minor traffic violation without realizing it or there could be some issue with your vehicle of which you are unaware of. Remain in your vehicle while the officer approaches and no matter what, do not exit your vehicle unless you are asked to. One of the main things you have to do is to keep your hands easily observable, preferably on the steering wheel where they can be easily seen by the approaching officer. Reaching under your seat or into your glove box for you ID or insurance details are actions that will cause the officer concern that you may be reaching for a weapon. Inform the officer that you ID is in this location and ask for permission before reaching into compartments to retrieve your papers.
10. Never try to bribe an officer.
Trying to bribe an officer is a terrible idea which is sure to get you in deep trouble. With today’s technology, dashcams in police cruisers, body cams and even badge cams are monitoring every move cops make. Most officers wouldn’t accept a bribe, but in many cases, they couldn’t if they wanted to. It is an offence to give, offer, or promise a bribe or other inducement to a police officer to try to persuade the police officer to neglect, or fail to carry out, his or her duties. While some people who have tried it got off with just a citation, many have been jailed or forced to pay hefty fines as much as $10,000.