How To (Maybe) Get Out Of A Traffic Ticket

When a cop pulls you over, what you do and say in the next few minutes may well determine whether you get pounded with a ticket for the maximum fee or skate like a celebrity. It’s not so much about being able to talk your way out of a ticket — because let’s face it, the cop has probably decided your fate before he asks for your license — but avoiding digging yourself any deeper.

MarketWatch doles out some advice on what not to say to a traffic cop who’s pulled you over.

The instructions are simple:

*Don’t lie. — You know what you did wrong. There’s no need to sandbag when a policeman asks you how fast you were going. Insist you were doing nothing wrong and you risk implying you were pulled over for no reason.

*Don’t argue. — The cop isn’t looking for a debate. If you want to fight a possible ticket, save your argument for the judge.

If you have any tips on how to get out of tickets, please share them.

What not to say when pulled over by a cop [MarketWatch]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Culture says:

    In the US, hire a lawyer. It does not matter what the traffic ticket is for, you will get out of it. Of course, you will likely pay more than the ticket.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      You pay more for the ticket, but you ultimately save money when you figure in the increase in insurance premiums you would have paid if you didn’t fight it.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        I average one speeding ticket (10-15 mph over) per year. A couple years back, I got curious and got a rate quote without disclosing this information, and another (from the same company) a week later, disclosing the info. The difference for 6 months of comprehensive was, like, eight bucks.

        I was under 25 when I got the quote, so maybe I was already maxed out on how much they could screw me or something.

        • GuidedByLemons says:

          Comprehensive (which covers things like theft and vandalism) has basically nothing to do with your driving record. Liability and collision, on the other hand….

          • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

            Well…yes, but “comprehensive” includes things like collision. That’s why they call it “comprehensive”.

            • GuidedByLemons says:

              Absolutely wrong. Comprehensive is a type of coverage specifically for non-collision incidents. Collision coverage is completely separate from comprehensive.

              If you mean your total insurance premium went up a certain amount, say so. “Comprehensive” is a small subset of auto insurance coverage.

              • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

                Great. Was my original point ever in doubt?

                • GuidedByLemons says:

                  …yes? You stated that a coverage having basically nothing to do with driving history was unaffected by your driving history, a fact that is not remotely surprising.

                  If you’re saying your entire premium changed by 8 dollars when an insurance company found out about a ticket, then I simply don’t believe you. Maybe the quotes only differed by a small amount because of a mistake in one of the quotes, or they looked up your history for the quote where you didn’t tell them about the ticket, and some other cause is responsible for the change in the 2nd quote. One speeding ticket vs. a clean driving record normally has a huge effect on liability and collision premiums.

        • leprechaunshawn says:

          One speeding ticket per year? How have you not learned your lesson yet?

          • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

            Sure. I’m more than happy paying a $75 annual fee to spend 20% less time getting to the same exact destination.

    • tbax929 says:

      That seems a bit extreme. If you live in an area where you can take a traffic safety course for the first offense, I’d take that step before I went so far as to hire an attorney.

      The insurance hit isn’t that big for someone who has one or two traffic tickets over a couple of years. The ones who are constantly getting tickets are the ones who really see a rate increase.

      • camman68 says:

        I just put new insurance on a company vehicle. Three drivers are listed on the policy. The rate was $368.00 every 6 months until they ran our records. One board member had one speeding ticket in 2008. (The other board members have no tickets.) This raised the rate to $510.00 which is a 38% increase. State Farm.

    • Extractor says:

      That’s the fun part; Being able to be your own lawyer. All I need to worry about is possible court costs. Since 1986 I’ve won all, therefore no costs. My legal training- Paper Chase, Law & Order, all courtroom dramas, etc.

    • smo0 says:

      I’ve gotten out of every traffic ticket I ever received… save one…. and that’s because the cop was extremely nice considering I was doing over 100mph in a construction zone.

      When I rolled down the window, he was literally taken back that I was a chick and pretty much gave me a ticket for 20 over… 190 bux.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        I’d make sure I brag about that one. All you are saying is that chicks still don’t have a clue how to drive. 100 in a construction zone? Were you too busy putting on makeup or texting your BFF to notice the speed limit? I call BS on your story. 100 in a construction zone is at least double the speed limit and grounds for impound and arrest in any state. I don’t care how big your boobs are when you get pulled over for that. Double the speed limit and you are getting arrested. Take that from a cop.

        • smo0 says:

          LOL believe what you want. I was in a VW gti, it was late at night, no workers around.. really no other cars on the road. I really thought, “oh shit this is it, bye bye license.”

          In fact, I am an exceptional driver. He even admitted to having trouble keeping up with me.
          I like how you point out I must be a shitty driver when generally it’s the males who get tagged with speeding tickets. I’ve actually been complimented on my car handling capabilities…. by a cop!

          Sorry, do your statistics not compute? Fucking a-typical, douchebag male.

          • TheRealDeal says:

            Sorry smo0, but having a cop tell you that he was having difficulty keeping up with you is not a compliment given the context. That’s usually something they say to emphasize how fast you were going.

            Also, over 100 mph in a construction zone at night? Really? From your syntax and writing ability, you seem to be a smart cookie, but I certainly hope that you reconsider doing that again. Construction zones (at least around here) are notorious for being dangerous because of dips, bumps in the road, uneven pavement and lane shifts. I know how it is to be stuck on the highway and wanting to get done with your drive quickly, but I hope that you’re smarter next time.

            • smo0 says:

              Pfft it was like Gran Turismo. Where I live it’s always a “construction zone.” I’m not kidding… cones around perfectly, flat, brand new paved road…. there is literally nothing… the area I was in was a part of a major decade long construction project….

              I didn’t really speed much after that… I don’t drive anymore either, too many dangerous people on the road. :)

              • Tokarev_Makarov says:

                Can’t say that I still have a whole lot of sympathy for smo0′s situation, but speeders aren’t even the biggest menace… it’s the ones that speed and weave in and out constantly.
                All it would take to cause a horrific accident would be a slip of their steering wheel, an unseen patch of something slippery or a mechanical failure of their car. Not to mention someone making a *safe* lane change who gets blindsided by Mr. or Mrs. “I’m in a hurry.”

          • Smultronstallet says:

            I don’t care how good of a driver you are, 100 miles per hour is simply not a safe speed

            • aaron8301 says:

              Tell that to the Germans. They do it all the time, and the Autobahn has a lower accident rate than any US interstate. Speed isn’t dangerous. It’s what you do at speed that is.

    • Sudonum says:

      BS, I had a lawyer that was dealing with a different matter. I asked him to appear with me on a traffic ticket that I thought was completely bogus. I was still found guilty of “doing something to attract the officers attention”. That is literally what the judge said.
      Hiring a lawyer is no guarantee of winning the case, even in traffic court.

      • rockasocky says:

        To be fair, if you hired the lawyer for “a different matter,” he probably was not very well-versed on traffic laws

        • Sudonum says:

          It was still a criminal matter, and the comment still puts the lie to the statement:
          “In the US, hire a lawyer. It does not matter what the traffic ticket is for, you will get out of it. Of course, you will likely pay more than the ticket.”

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Different attorneys specialise in different types of case law. A criminal defence attorney is almost worthless in traffic court, and a traffic lawyer would likewise be nearly worthless in a criminal case.

            • Sudonum says:

              A traffic ticket IS a criminal offense, it’s an infraction. Just not on the same scale as a felony or misdemeanor. The courtroom procedures and rules of evidence are the same. California does not have attorneys who specialize in traffic court. If you want to fight a ticket there you have two options, go it alone, or hire a criminal defense attorney. Jeez, it’s not like the guy was practicing family law or wills and probate.

      • Robert Nagel says:

        A lawyer is no guarantee of getting out of a ticket. However, they are usually able to get the ticket either knocked down to something more palatable and non-pointable (if there is such a word).
        The court wants to money and no trouble. Therefore, they are amenable to changing a speeding ticket to a failure to have registration.

        • Sudonum says:

          This was changing a speeding ticket to “doing something to attract the officers attention” I didn’t know there was a law against that, I sure couldn’t find it in the CA vehicle or penal code. I guess it’s along the same lines of the Jack Nicholson quote “There’s only one law in this country, never do anything to show up a cop”.
          I was also once found guilty in a rural traffic court of “something over 55mph” and fined $5. What was the point? Putting points on my driving record I guess.

      • Puddy Tat says:

        That’s because your lawyers reputation was rather poor and the last case he won was 10 years ago on a DUI where HE himself plead guilty.

    • fair_and_balanced says:

      A lawyer means nothing.
      All they do is just talk to the prosecutor for you, you can get the same deals if you talk to the prosecutor.
      The prosecutors goal is to prevent it from going to trial so they will make a deal with you unless you have a lot of tickets.
      Your best thing to do is take any deals they offer for classes or say you will take it to trial until the prosecutor gives you a deal.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        I interned at my county’s DA’s office and worked in the “justice court” division where traffic tickets and misdemeanors were handled. We had “walk-ins” where anyone could come in to discuss their ticket with an ADA. Yes, some people were successful writing a letter on their own (this is my first ticket, etc.) or coming in to state their case, but that same letter on a law firm’s letterhead was much more effective. Let alone if an attorney showed up in person on your behalf. Maybe it was because most people are clueless as to how to be their own advocate in these matters.

      • mmcnary says:

        Unfortunately, that is not the case in KC. I had a judge tell me that in order to get a complaint amended (switched to a non-point violation) I HAD to hire a lawyer. The prosecutors will not work with a citizen directly. I thanked him for the advice, went out and hired a lawyer and the complaint was amended to excessive noise.

  2. Liam Kinkaid says:

    “Oh, officer, I’ll do *anything* not to get a ticket.” Then I bat my eyes seductively at him.

    Never seems to work, though.

  3. 451.6 says:

    I think cops will sometimes let you off if you don’t have any tickets. (And aren’t going twice the speed limit or doing other ridiculous things) I’ve gotten out of several speeding tickets just by apologizing and saying that I’ve never gotten a ticket before and didn’t realize I was speeding. They go back to the car, check my record, and give me a warning.

    Although one of those would-be tickets was a trap. I was going down a hill and there were overgrown bushes blocking the sign that would have told me the speed limit was about to drop ten miles. I got pulled over ten feet past the sign. [/grump]

    • MR. TheShack (SHORYUKEN!) says:

      I fought a ticket in court in a very similar situation. I photographed the area, and pointed out that I never had a ticket before. It’s a pretty simple concept that you accelerate slightly when you go up and then down the hill. I even slowed as I started to go over. He tried to ticket me as going 44 in a 40.

      I won.

      • tbax929 says:

        A ticket for doing 44 in a 40 is absolutely ridiculous. I would have fought that ticket, too, even if I’d been going 44.

        There was someone on a legal forum I was reading who got a ticket for doing 51 in a 50. Even the cops who are on the board agreed that was ridiculous! I mean, there’s no consideration given for the possibility that the speedometer could be off by a couple MPH. Crazy!

        • ovalseven says:

          Just last month I had an officer tell me that he allows a 5 mph difference between his radar gun and your speedometer, because they’re rarely the same.

        • physics2010 says:

          We’ve got a couple towns here in Texas that do that. One mph over gets them the same money as 10mph over basically. A speedtrap law on the books that was supposed to prevent small towns from doing this says that once ticket revenues go over a certain amount the excess has to be sent to the state. To get around this they keep the speeding ticket part very low, but jack up the administrative and court costs, which don’t get counted as ticket revenue.

          • tbax929 says:

            That’s insane. Thankfully, I only ever fly over Texas and never drive through it!

          • Bog says:

            Lucky in this state, traffic tickets have rates that are set by state statute. Doesn’t matter where you are in the state, a 10 over in Walla Walla is the same as a 10 over in Olalla.

    • tbax929 says:

      Now that we have speed cameras at almost every intersection, people in my city who’ve never gotten tickets in their lives are now getting them. I much prefer to deal with an officer in person who can see the situation than have some arbitrary ticket sent to me in the mail.

      The reason I mention this in response to your post is, those types of folks often didn’t get a ticket before because of having a clean record. Now they no longer do, and it sucks for them.

      • dangermike says:

        Speed cameras are ridiculous. Doesn’t the 6h amendment guarantee a right to for the accused “to be confronted with the witnesses against him”? How do you question a camera? A machine can’t determine what is prudent and just.

    • Difdi says:

      One of the towns in my area experienced a not so minor scandal some years back. It seems the local cops were extremely vigilant on this one very steep hill. It was almost impossible to stay under the unusually low speed limit when going down the hill, short of standing on the brake pedal. The cops wrote many, many tickets there, for even 1mph over the limit.

      The scandal erupted when it came to light that the chief of police had ordered his officers to not obey the speed limit on that hill to save wear on the patrol car brakes. And a city regulation forbade officers to use their lights and/or siren unless responding to actual official business that required haste.

      The situation came to public notice after someone followed a police car going down the hill, without lights or siren, and was then pulled over by the officer at the bottom, for speeding (~15mph over the limit). For months after that, all the traffic court judges threw out every ticket written on that hill, on the grounds that if the people who were sworn to obey the law didn’t obey it, they had no business enforcing it on others.

  4. tbax929 says:

    Politeness is key. I don’t get pulled over very often, but when I do I usually don’t get a ticket. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time an officer issued me a ticket. Being cute doesn’t hurt, either, I’m sure. I also have Veteran plates on my car, and I don’t think that hurts.

    I tend to use humor to diffuse a situation, so I’ll smile and shake my head while telling the officer something like: “Yeah, you caught me. I was going a little too fast”. I also use “sir” and “ma’am” when I address an officer.

    I dated a cop once, and he told me nothing annoyed him more than the excuses people would give him for speeding. They’ve heard them all before, so I’d recommend not even giving an excuse at all. Just apologize for it and, if you are issued a ticket, accept it. If you disagree with the ticket, fight it afterward.

    • Noadi says:

      A genuine emergency is about the only excuse you should ever use, cops are generally going to understand being a hurry if a family member is in the hospital.

      • tbax929 says:

        In general, yes, but we’ve all read the horror stories about people who were in a genuine emergency but ended up in an argument with the officer who pulled them over, thus ensuring they didn’t make it to where they needed to be on time anyway. Also, you need to understand what constitutes an emergency. It may feel like it, but having to pee is not considered an emergency, nor is it a good excuse for speeding.

        If your emergency is sitting in the passenger seat about ready to give birth or bleeding to death in your back seat, by all means, tell the officer!

        I was bitten by a snake and for some boneheaded reason decided to drive myself to the ER. Of course, I got pulled over. I told the cop what had happened, and showed him my fang marks. After chastising me for not just calling 911, he provided me with a police escort to the hospital.

        • Raekwon says:

          Yeah medical emergencies are legit but often it’s not worth wasting the time to argue. You can always suggest that you will take the ticket but ask if he can at least wait until you get to the hospital to issue it.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        Never tried it, but “I have diarrhea” probably works better than a vague medical emergency.

        It’s completely unverifiable (unless that cop reeeeeeally wants to wait it out), and a good cop will offer to drive or escort a very ill person to the hospital, which can backfire if you’re then guilted into saying you don’t need help with your medical emergency.

        A good cop also won’t care that you’re speeding to someone else’s medical emergency unless you’re a doctor or nurse.

        • sock says:

          I got out of a parking ticket at the local university for with the diarrhea excuse. $25 was a lot of money at the time. Of course, the excuse was true …

      • organicgardener says:

        Not here. I was doing exactly that, got stopped and he didn’t give a flying rat’s ass.

      • organicgardener says:

        Not here. I was doing exactly that, got stopped and he didn’t give a flying rat’s ass.

    • gianspi says:

      Fighting a ticket is damn near useless if you’ve already admitted guilt.

      • tbax929 says:

        Not necessarily. Sometimes you can just fight the points, which is what will end up you hurting you anyway. I have a friend who routinely fought points in court. He’d admit to guilt but ask that he pay the fine with no points.

        • hoi-polloi says:

          The police regularly camp at one intersection in my neighborhood and pull over people for rolling stops. The officer tells everyone to plead not guilty and tell the judge you’re worried about the points. They keep your fine, you don’t take a hit on insurance, and everyone walks away (relatively) happy. That’s exactly as it played out when I had my turn at court. There were probably better than 20 people from my neighborhood there. You’re looking at over $2,000, easy as pie. Why would they ever want to pull your license and give up a potential revenue stream?

    • Willnet says:

      My only ticket I’ve ever gotten was for going 10 over. I showed the officer my miltary ID and he thanked me for my service, shook my hand, and handed me a $250 ticket.

    • nonsane says:

      “I don’t get pulled over very often, but when I do”

      I drink dos equis

  5. Tunacrab says:

    If you can get a laugh out of a cop, you are probably going to get off. I’ve been pulled over more times then I’d like to admit. As long as you are polite and honest, they will show you a little humanity. An completely honest answer with a little humor is something most officers don’t see a lot of.

    “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

    “Yes sir. I totally blew through that light. Not even kind of. Red all the way. You got me”

    I’ve found the “You got me” line to be extremely effective.

    • tbax929 says:

      I agree. Humor is a great tool with cops. You still have a few who have absolutely no sense of humor, but that cop was probably going to issue you the ticket anyway.

      One time a cop pulled me over and was chuckling as he approached my driver’s-side window. I had no idea what was so funny (I certainly wasn’t amused at the time), but I laughed along with him and greeted him politely. He never did tell me why he was laughing, but he told me to slow down and sent me on my way.

      • TheRealDeal says:

        Generally if a cop (who is not one of my relatives) is chuckling when they’re coming up to me, I assume it’s because they remember that they can kick my ass and get away with it.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      Except Texas state troupers have their sense if humor surgically removed. Always polite though

    • dilbert69 says:

      That’s bad advice. You just admitted that you broke the law, and that admission can be used against you in court. The proper answer is, “No, officer, why did you pull me over?”

  6. jedsa says:

    ARGH! Misleading to bad advice.

    Yes, don’t lie and don’t argue but also don’t admit to anything, either! If you admit to speeding or texting or swerving or what not, you may have eliminated your only legal defense if the officer then goes on to search your car and finds drugs or if he thinks he smells alcohol and decides to take you in for a DUI.

    Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. If you admit committing an offense, it can and will be used against you if you end up in court because more serious charges are filed against you or even if you fight the speeding ticket.

    Don’t lie and don’t argue, but don’t admit guilt, either.

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      +1

      I encourage everyone to view the most useful video online, “Don’t Talk to the Police”.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

      • FrankReality says:

        I second the motion. watch the video. When you answer the officer, the shorter the answers the better, don’t EVER volunteer information. If you don’t know why they pulled you over, say “I don’t know.”

        The article also said to let the officer look in your glove compartment. Do NOT allow this, especially if the vehicle is used by other people – including your family members. Example – your son may have given a ride to a friend who left a joint in the glove box unknown to you. Surprize!

        I was stopped by an officer once for having an expired registration. I politely and truthfully told the officer that I didn’t know why he had pulled me over. He verbally abused me, provoked me and threatened me even though I was 100% cooperative, low-key and civil.

        After that incident, I’ve wanted a hidden audio recorder in my vehicle.

        • GrayMatter says:

          Unfortunately, in some states it is illegal for the driver to record the conversation, although the police ARE allowed to do it. Video without sound is almost always permissible. Illinois is, I think, one of these states. They base it apparently on the same law that requires that both sides of a telephone conversation to be aware of the recording.

    • tbax929 says:

      I respectfully disagree.

      If you’re not drinking and driving and have no drugs in your car, a search isn’t scary at all.

      I freely admit to the violation I know I committed and have never had an officer take it a step further and decide to search my car. I find honesty with them to be way more effective than lying, being defensive, or being evasive.

      If you’re not going to admit to anything, what do you say when they ask if you know why you were pulled over? Do you just say no to that? I would think that lie would assure you of getting a ticket.

      • jedsa says:

        You have the right to remain silent. It’s OK to use it.

        • tbax929 says:

          But isn’t the question posed about how to get out of a traffic ticket? You’re not going to get out of a traffic ticket without saying something.

          • You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

            “No, I don’t know why you pulled me over, officer, but since I’m sure we both have a long day ahead of us I’ll gladly take the ticket and be on my way, thank you.”

            Works perfectly fine. It doesn’t admit to anything, doesn’t give the officer a hard time and lets you have your day in court without really letting the cop know you’ll be fighting it.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          You have the right to remain silent…if you’re under arrest. Which you will be if you refuse to talk to the officer while they’re trying to figure out if you’re drunk (this counts as a portion of the field sobriety test, which in most, if not all, states, you HAVE to submit to when requested as a condition of owning a driver’s license).

          • zifnab0 says:

            First, you always have the right to refuse to answer questions that an officer asks you.

            Second, it’s only part of a field sobriety test if the officer informs you that it is. He cannot arrest you merely for refusing to answer his questions otherwise.

            That’s why you never speak to the cops. Cops can, and do, lie to judges. They can, and do, lie in their official reports. If you never respond to an officer’s questions, it’s much more difficult for him to get away with it than if you only answer some of his questions.

            The officer will write down EVERYTHING you tell him. Adding in another line is a lot easier than fabricating an entire conversation.

            • Megalomania says:

              Actually, driving on the road is “implied consent” for a lot of things; varies from state to state, but still.

            • bohemond says:

              It’s also important to know that nothing you say to a cop can be admitted in court in your defense or as exculpatory evidence. It’s automatically hearsay. Thus, when you talk to a cop, it can always be used against you but can never benefit you in any way if the officer has determined to ticket or arrest you. Silence is always the best option in any interaction with the police that goes beyond a simple traffic ticket.

            • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

              I’m not encouraging people to be overly verbose, or to admit wrongdoing, or something.

              But cops get a lot of leeway when there’s “suspicious behavior”, and I’d say a fair number of cops will consider your staring silently forward for getting pulled over for doing 33 in a 25 “suspicious”.

      • aja175 says:

        Ask the cop “why did you pull me over officer?” before he has a chance to ask you if you know why you were pulled over. You’re not lying, you’re not admitting anything.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I agree. I’ve been stopped quite a few times and have never received a citation (I’m 37.) I always admit my error. I show a lot of remorse as well.

      • user54 says:

        Nobody is going to search anything of mine for any reason without a warrant. And no, I do not move drugs. I have 2 times now not given consent to search, had dogs called and then be released. Just because they ask and you don’t have anything does not mean you should allow the search. Protect our rights, please.

        • tbax929 says:

          Nobody’s ever asked to search my vehicle. Of course, I don’t drive around drunk with the smell of pot reeking from my car, either.

          I wouldn’t be happy if a cop wanted to search my car, but I wouldn’t fight it either. Like I said, he’s not going to find anything in my car that’s incriminating.

          I wonder where you folks live that the cops are just randomly searching cars. I don’t think I know a single person that’s ever happened to.

          • Shadowfax says:

            How do you know that? Is the car in your custody and sight 100% of the time? Or do you drop it off for mechanical work, or have valets park it, or lend it to a friend, or maybe you bought it used? All of these scenarios can result in someone else leaving illegal materials in your car. And then what do you say to the cop when he finds it. “That’s not mine!” Yeah. He’s never heard that one before.

            • Rena says:

              It’s not entirely unheard of, either, for a cop to magically find something that was never in the car to begin with… though if you’re not giving them a hard time, it’s unlikely you’ll have to worry about that. Still, I’m not wild about the idea of consenting to a search without a warrant, even if there’s nothing to hide in there.

          • Sudonum says:

            Check this story out.
            http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20100925/NEWS01/9250315/-1/NEWS17/28-kilos-of-cocaine-found-in-stolen-vehicle
            1) Cocaine hidden in car.
            2) Car stolen, recovered, taken to tow yard, owner notified
            3) Owner never recovers car, tow company seizes car for unpaid storage fees.
            4) Tow company owner gives car to daughter, police discover cocaine in car.

        • BytheSea says:

          They have the right to search your car without a warrant with probable cause. Like if you are acting high or have open bottles.

        • Jon Parker says:

          And don’t show him your receipt either!

    • Tunacrab says:

      Not lying while not admitting to anything is damn near impossible. If you really really effed up, like drunk and holding a bag of coke, yeah, you should probably shut up and call a lawyer. If you had three beers and were going 7 over the limit, I dunno, I would probably roll the dice and be honest and forthcoming. That’s just me though. If the cop wants to breathalyze you, he will, regardless.

      • jedsa says:

        If you had three beers and were going 7 over the limit, then the best course of action is to keep your mouth shut. There’s a decent change of getting breathalized, and who knows if the reading will be accurate or not, whether you’ll be over the limit, etc. Rolling the dice isn’t worth it.

        Yes, if the cop wants to breathalyze you, he will (or he will at least ask, you can refuse and face the license consequences for your refusal), but the result may or may not be admissible depending on whether your lawyer can attack the reason you were stopped. Was the radar working properly? Was it properly calibrated? Can the police prove it? Were there other cars on the road? Could the radar reading have been thrown off?

        If the grounds for the traffic stop are shown to be unfounded, anything that follows may be thrown out as the fruit of the poisonous tree. If you admitted your guilt, however, that might be game over.

        • HoJu says:

          As a recent juror on a drunk driving case, my take on the breathalyzer is this- take it only if you are TOTALLY positive that you will pass. If there’s any doubt that you may fail then refuse it and let your lawyer handle the rest.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            I’m not sure about elsewhere, but in the State of Georgia, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test at a traffic stop is grounds for immediate suspension of your license, impounding, and possible mandatory jail time.

            • TheRealDeal says:

              Based on what law? I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think that the penalty for refusing a breathalyzer includes “possible mandatory jail time.” All that will happen is that they’ll suspend/revoke your license. (I live in Georgia)

    • dreamfish says:

      How exactly do you handle such a situation? Continuing to claim you didn’t think you were speeding when they show you their speed measuring device or simply refusing to answer their questions is unlikely to help your case.

      • gianspi says:

        “Officer, I cannot confirm nor deny that.”

        And then you get a ticket.

      • runswithscissors says:

        Just play the “unsure” game:

        Officer: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
        Driver: “I’m not really sure officer”
        Officer: “I clocked you going 60 in the 50 zone back there”
        Driver: “I see.”

        etc. You don’t lie, you don’t refuse, you just play semi-dumb.

      • dangermike says:

        Not true at all. Seeing that a device of unknown precision and accuracy showing a reading that is above some arbitrary limit that may or may not be justified by proper engineering research and surveys of the area in no way proves that you were driving in an unsafe manner. And if they can’t produce items showing the full chain of logic from the establishment of a speed limit by scientific data to the proper calibration, maintenance, and use of their equipment, they will have failed to prove their case for the court. If the court finds you guilty despite deficiencies in making the case, you can and should file an appeal.

      • Erik Hughes says:

        You don’t have to say anything. Be polite and follow any orders that the officer gives you, but if he asks you something that could be incriminating, all you have to say is “my lawyer has advised me not to answer any questions from the police”.

    • goodfellow_puck says:

      Gotcha! Next time I take my crack rock for an outting, or decide to drink myself silly to make the ride home more fun, I will NOT tell the cops! Does logic really work at the time you’re fucked up?

    • Difdi says:

      Admitting to speeding is not the same thing as consent to search. It doesn’t, by itself, generate probable cause for a search. And none of the various BS reasons an officer has to compel a search (thought he smelled pot, thought he saw a weapon, etc, and oddly enough none of which turn up in the search) require that you admit to anything at all for them to be used against you.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Bear in mind that the threshold for a search warrant on your vehicle is *amazingly* low. It isn’t quite “he refused to let me search,” but damn close.

    • ktetch says:

      http://flexyourrights.org/busted BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters

      http://flexyourrights.org/10_Rules – 10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

  7. Nobby says:

    Do nothing memorable during the traffic stop. When your court date approaches, request that it be reschedule. By doing this, your are increasing the odds that the cop won’t show and the details of the incident will become a bit blurry with time if he or she manages to show up.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      I’ve had a cop fabricate an entire set of circumstances when it got to court. They don’t remember jack-$#|t since they deal with so many people. The prosecutor just pointed out he had 14 years on the force and the judge rubber-stamped it. My mouth was hanging open. How can you defend yourself against that?

      • Dukebruno says:

        Around here, nearly every traffic stop is documented with audio and video. 30 seconds before the cop hits the overhead lights the system starts recording using up to 3 cameras simultaneously. The officer wears a wireless mic that transmits everything back to the car. If you are arrested, a camera records everything that you do in the backseat of the patrol car. When the patrol car pulls into headquarters, everything is uploaded to a fileserver.

        The cop can go back at any time and review the video and audio. If s/he is scheduled for court you bet your last dollar that the video was reviewed as a memory refresher.

        Attorneys can also request a copy of the audio and video during the discovery process. It’s funny how quickly a defendant’s allegations will change (“The cop was disrespectful.” I certainly never called him an a**hole”) when the video is produced.

    • sn1per420 says:

      I’ve had to deal with a municipality where you don’t get a proper court date; you get a mandatory pretrial meeting, where they offer you a “plea bargain” where you can admit to an offense which carries a fine 3x of the ticket, but no points (every moving offense in NJ carries points on your license). If you don’t take the offer, they give you a court date (don’t let you choose the date), and you have to show up on that day to defend yourself.

      Basically, they require you to waste two full days of your time to actually get out of a ticket, ensuring that most people just take the “deal” and don’t bother fighting.

    • Sian says:

      cops get paid overtime to show up in court, and who doesn’t want overtime pay, especially when it takes you away from a dangerous unpleasant job?

      trial by written declaration though, the cop gets nothing for his effort. Between myself and my friends, 3 traffic tickets were dismissed when the cop didn’t submit paperwork on his own time and dime.

  8. KillerBee says:

    From the article:
    “He looks straight at me and says, ‘You know, officer, I wasn’t even paying attention. I just had the best date of my life. I just met my future bride. I’m just on cloud nine right now.’

    “The guy was completely serious,” Koep said. “How are you going to write that guy up after that? Who makes that kind of stuff up?”

    Unless of course, you get a cop with absolutely no soul, which happens to me more often than not. I was on my way to the hospital to see my wife the day after she had her transplant surgery when I got pulled over. 65 in a 55. Told the cop where I was going and why, had Donate Life stickers all over the back of the car and a vanity plate that reads “1KIDNY”. That heartless bastard still gave me a ticket.

    • sn1per420 says:

      Are you implying that there are cops out there who aren’t complete assholes? Maybe it’s just NJ, but I can honestly say that less than 0.01% of cops care about anything other than exercising their power over others.

    • The Waffle says:

      I know what you mean, I got pulled over once, I had just picked up my drunk friend from the bar so she wouldn’t drive home and was on my way back to my place. I stopped at a stop sign for “too short a period of time.” Apologised to the cop, and then informed him as to what I had done tonight. Since I was tired and not 100% paying attention to things.

      Instead of understanding the cop calls for backup, I end up having 6 cops harrassing me telling me to turn down my stereo (which was actually off at the time) and treating me like a criminal because I didn’t stop at the stop sign long enough. Went to court, and the case got thrown out.

      • Extractor says:

        As long as your car got to a velocity of 0, you stopped. I do millisecond stops but all at 0moh. Ill fight that one and thats probably why it was tossed. No law says how long you have to stop other than stopping.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Actually, yes, many jurisdictions have laws requiring that your vehicle come to a complete stop and remain stopped for a set period of time. If you come to a stop and immediately gun it, you may as well have simply ignored the sign.

  9. heart.shaped.rock says:

    Hate to break it to you but my cop friend tells me that 99% of the time, the cop has decided if they’re going to give the driver a ticket before he even get outs of the patrol car. Your behavior could change his mind from no to yes, but yes to no is nearly impossible.

    • jennsters says:

      My husband, a cop, seconds this. He also said that of all the tickets he gives 90% of them changed from a no to a yes because the driver was an a**hole.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      I believe I’ve had a yes turn into a no… The cop pulled me over going 74 in a 55 at 5am. I was in my saturn coupe, driving my fiancee to work with my 2 year old son in the backseat. He pulled me over, told me that he clocked me at that speed and I just said “Listen, i’m running on fumes right now– my gas light is on, and the gas pump I usually use after hours to get gas is down and not accepting cards. I’m just trying to get to the next town up (which was 3 miles away) without running out of gas in the pitch dark. I don’t want to be stuck in the middle of winter, in the dark, on the side of the road with my 2 year old son while he walks to get us gas. So please ticket me if you are going to but if you could be quick I’d appreciate it because I can’t idle my car and keep the heat on without gas.” (this was ALL true)

      He looks everything over, sees my inspection sticker was 5 days overdue and just gives me an inspection sticker ticket. In the corner of the ticket, he wrote 74/55… and I knew that he planned on giving me a speeding ticket but decided to be nicer and just give me the lesser of evils for being honest.

      • bennilynn says:

        You use gas more efficiently if you’re going 55 rather than 74.

        I never speed with my nieces or nephews in the car, not like that, especially not when it’s dark outside and that early in the morning when other drivers can have trouble seeing you or have their reaction times slowed as a result of not being quite awake yet. That’s ridiculously unsafe. You definitely should have gotten a ticket for that.

        • macruadhi says:

          that’s not always true, a fellow hooked up a complicated series of sensors and found that about 75 mph was more efficient than anything below.

        • jason in boston says:

          Hi, 1960 called. They want your information back.

          It depends on the car type, fuel type, gearing, tire size, engine rpm.

        • Extractor says:

          Not necessarily. My SS gets better mileage at 80 than 55, although try driving it at that. Police seem to target vehicles that shouldnt be driven faster and with a higher center of gravity. The top 10 vehicles stopped were SUV’s. They dont even bother to stop me at 80 but a Hummer at 80 is dangerous and the police realize it.

          • hansolo247 says:

            Agree, in my S2000, I have never, ever been stopped. Except for the time where I blew a rear light fuse replacing my stereo…and I got let off for that.

            Also, my car has extremely short gearing (6th ratio ~1:1, final is 4.1:1). At 55, I’m at 3000rpm, at 75 I’m at 4000 RPM. Though it sounds high, the engine is more efficient there, as the torque peak is 7500 (though it is nearly flat past 3K and has a 2nd peak at ~4K) and the power peak is at 8600. I get the same mileage at 55 as I do at 80.

  10. marcusdiddle says:

    I’ve been pulled over 26 times in my driving career, and have had zero speeding tickets. Honestly. I have gotten one ticket for no seatbelt, and one for no front license plate. But zero speeding tickets, or even warnings for that matter. The only advice I really have is to be polite, courteous, and as friendly as possible. Turn off your radio. Have your docs ready. Answer their questions. Make the stop quick and painless for them, and they’re likely to do the same for you.

    • tbax929 says:

      I completely agree.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      By “have your docs ready,” you mean have them in an easy to reach place, right? I’ve always heard that when you get pulled over you leave both hands on the steering wheel, at 10 and 2, so the cop can see them at all times when he/she’s walking up, that way they can see you’re not going for a gun.

    • Tunacrab says:

      I agree, except for the have your documents ready part. Most cops get nervous when the driver is fiddling around in the glovebox. Just keep your hands on the wheel until he asks you for that stuff.

      • Sarge says:

        yes, especially at night…..nothing will get a cop’s attention more than you fumbling around in your glovebox where he can’t see your hands…….

        shut the car off, turn the radio off, put both hands on the steering wheel until he gets to the window….THEN go for your paperwork….

    • KillerBee says:

      You are one lucky son of a bitch. I’ve been pulled over many times, always polite, always respectful, always with my hands on the wheel with docs in hand. I’ve gotten a ticket every single time. Maybe I need to try a different deodorant?

    • heart.shaped.rock says:

      26 times??? Your driving must be pretty bad to attract that kind of attention from the police! I’ve been driving for 25 years and I’ve been pulled over a grand total of three times, all for having a light out and I’ve never received a ticket.

      • Difdi says:

        Or maybe his car is red. In a lot of places, that seems to be enough to get pulled over, regardless of speed.

        • marcusdiddle says:

          Actually, the majority of those were in a yellow car :) 1985 Mustang convertible. There were many occasions when I ended up chatting with the officer about the car, which invariably led to a “well take it slower from now on, ok?”. But I definitely consider myself fortunate and lucky.

    • Tokarev_Makarov says:

      I keep my hands on the wheel, make eye contact with the officer, wait until docs are requested, and then calmly say, “OK, my license and registration are in my wallet in my pants pocket, and my proof of insurance cards are in my glove box. I’m going to get them for you.”

  11. dark_15 says:

    “Yes sir/ma’am”, “No sir/ma’am”, and “Here you go sir/ma’am” are all I say when I get pulled over. It’s kept me relatively ticket free (save for the first time I got pulled over).

    • macruadhi says:

      I’m sorry, he/she’s not earned the respect from me to refer to them as Sir or ma’am, even if it does cost me a ticket.

      • El_Red says:

        This is just a polite way of talking. Basically, be polite to everyone.

        As to ”not deserving”. You’ve never met this human before. So as well be polite. Police officers deserve same respect as any human around you.

      • Rena says:

        It’s wise to speak as politely as possible to someone in that position, whether you want to respect them or not.

      • Extractor says:

        Considering my vehicle has military reserve plates and I am an officer, although retired, I address police as officers. Never sir or maam, too militaristic. The plate puts them at ease somewhat and the first question asked is if I have any weapons. Same with CBP in Detroit and Windsor.

    • stevenpdx says:

      I’ve always heard it’s better to use “officer” instead of “sir” or “ma’am”, because it shows that you respect their position.

  12. Sndtrkman says:

    Honesty definitely works in both diffusing a difficult situation and showing the officer that you did make a mistake.

    The first time I was pulled over was when I was on my way back to work from lunch. I wasn’t paying attention and almost blew a stop sign. Just my luck too since there was a cop just in that area and after I went thru followed me and pulled me over. She walked up to me and I proceeded to just tell her the truth and that I was truly sorry for it. Luckily for me, she said that she had a date that night and that writing up reports about tickets is too much so she just let me go with a warning. I definitely was lucky that day and made sure to pay attention more and try not to get pulled over ever again.

  13. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    I’ve been driving for 24 years now and I’ve never been stopped for speeding. Of course, now that I’ve posted this, I’m sure to be stopped the next time I’m on the road.

  14. PhilFR says:

    No advice for a pull-over, but for those annoying traffic camera tickets:

    If you and your spouse/partner each drive a car, register person A’s can in person B’s name and vice-versa. Then if person A gets a camera ticket, it will be sent to person B, Person B can get out of it by stating (quite legitimately) that s/he is not the person in the photo. (There’s usually a form to contest camera tickets in this way.) They’ll ask person B if they know the person in the photo, but s/he is under no legal obligation to provide that info.

    • tbax929 says:

      I don’t have an S.O., but I toss those camera tickets right in the trash. In Arizona they have to serve you in person; the ticket they mail is useless. So you just don’t answer your door for a few months, and you’re in the clear.

      I’ve only had one such ticket, and the officer only came one time to serve me. I just ignored the doorbell, and he went away. Never heard another thing about it.

      • FrankReality says:

        Don’t know about AZ, but some states will issue a bench warrant for unpaid fines. Someday you may be stopped for a traffic violation, they’ll pull the records, see the bench warrant for the outstanding fines. The LEO will give you a free ride to the jail and maybe tow the vehicle and impound it if the fine total is significantly high.

        Not a good thing to have happen on a Friday night when it may be difficult to get a lawyer or someone to bail you out. You will have to pay for the tow and the night’s impound fee too. Last, you still may have to appear in court.

        The legal system really doesn’t appreciate scofflaws and has its ways of dealing with it.

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      I believe that in at least one state, the law states that the ticket is still valid unless you turn in the driver.

      Or your car was reported stolen before the time the picture was taken. Can’t remember what state that is….or maybe it’s the UK.

      • weave says:

        It’s like that in Delaware. You have to sign an affidavit who was driving if not you, and then you can get out of it, but the ticket will then be mailed to that person instead.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Those tickets are issued to the owner of the vehicle, not the driver. That is why they do not give any points with them.

      Does not matter who is driving. The owner of the car is responsible. If the owner was not driving, they should know who was and can get them for the money, but they will still go after the owner.

      • tbax929 says:

        Wrong (at least in my state). They can’t force you to tell them who was driving.

        • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

          That is true, but it is the owner of the vehicle who is responsible and they have to pay since their car was was in violation. No points to the driver. But, at least in Maryland and Virginia, they can refuse to renew tags for unpaid camera tickets since they go with the car.

          They can not refuse to renew a drivers license for just that reason, they do not know who was driving. But they do know who owned the vehicle at that point and go after them.

          • tbax929 says:

            That’s not true in Arizona. Laws vary wildly from state to state. But I’ve been through this a few times personally, and I’m an insurance agent who has had lots of clients who’ve been through this as well. I do know what I’m talking about, with regard to my state.

        • shepd says:

          This is definitely 100% YMMV. I would be amazed if the offense isn’t attached to the car instead of the driver, quite honestly. There’s plenty of offences that are, like parking tickets or fixit tickets, so some simple copypasta of regulations is all that’s required.

          In states where you have to be served in person, does that include parking tickets? I imagine it doesn’t, in which case, why don’t those states simply apply the same regulations to their red light cameras? Odd.

    • jrwn says:

      I think the only way to get out of that is to declare your car stolen.

    • TacoChuck says:

      I don’t remember where it was, perhaps the UK, but kids were printing out fake license plates and taping them over their real plates and then tripping speeding or red light cameras to get people tickets, teachers and the like. They eventually got to the point where they would borrow a similar car and print out pictures of the people’s faces to hold in front of the drivers face like a mask so it was very difficult to get out of the tickets.

    • MauriceCallidice says:

      Have you done this successfully, or are you taking a wild guess here?

      The way traffic-camera citations are set up in many states is as a civil penalty to the owner of the vehicle, and the owner is liable to pay them regardless of who was driving.

    • macruadhi says:

      Or, in the case of my car, I have the license plate/fuel door, so I could just go around with it down and my plate is unreadable. To save on being pulled over for an obscured tag, just put a solenoid on the plate so it goes up and down at the push of a button.

    • Sudonum says:

      And in my state, if the person who received the ticket (registered owner) refuses to name the driver, then the ticket stays with the registered owner.

  15. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I acted pathetic and like I was about to start crying and I got out of a ticket. I had two possible citations coming my way and the cop let me off. My big boobs may have had a bit to do with it as well.

  16. FrugalFreak says:

    way to avoid a ticket: buy a 1977 Black Trans Am with T top

  17. evnmorlo says:

    Create a false news report that there is a shooter at school nearby and play it through your car speakers when the officer approaches if the NYPD and USMC bumper stickers don’t work.

  18. Mcshonky says:

    while I haven’t read the article the lessons I learned long ago were:
    Don’t mouth off…… save your bad ass for another time because you’re bringing a knife to a gun fight.
    Don’t answer the question “Do you know why I pulled you over?”, it is a trap/trick question because answering implies you know you did something wrong. Your answer should be NO! because you don’t know why you were pulled over, you don’t read minds, do you?
    You may have been pulled over because your car fits the description of a BOLO – Be On Look Out or some other reason.
    Don’t be obsequious, be courteous and don’t try to slip a “yes, ociffer” or other mind F word play in your communication.
    Never consent to a search.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyokKFIecIo&feature=channel
    If you a regularly pulled over by the police “for no reason” you may want to install a camera in your grill to document your driving and another in your cabin to document the interaction…
    For you guys that are Big, or Black or Brown hands on the wheel, turn on over head light, do not squirm or reach for your wallet.
    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

  19. Mphone says:

    I also suggest if you are going to fight a ticket. Find out what shift the officer works and pick a time for court that is the most annoyance for him. If you have that option. I have been able to do this a few times and the cop never showed up. He was a night cop and I had a 10AM Court Time. He was asleep. I got off.

  20. StrangeEmily says:

    What if they’ve already decided you’re going to give them trouble and are ready to attack you even if you’re not going to argue or lie?

    For example:

    Me: “Is there a problem Officer?”
    Officer: “I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM! DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!?!?!?!?” (*insert yelling like a wild lunatic*)

    Maybe he was having a bad day? Or should what I said not be allowed to listed as something to say to the police after they pull you over?

  21. Rocket80 says:

    Of course be polite but I think admitting any wrong-doing is foolish – then you have absolutely no case in court if he decides to cite you. You are not legally obligated to answer any of the questions so you can just say “i’m not answering that” or “i’ll save my defense for the judge”. And I have no problem lying to cops, they are legally allowed (and in fact encouraged) to lie to you.

  22. goodfellow_puck says:

    This is the advice I’ve always given others. It has gotten me out of just about every speeding ticket I’ve been pulled over for. Don’t lie, don’t argue, be polite, be upbeat. It’s amazing how sticking to those rules have made a gruff officer go straight to happy and joking.

    If you think the ticket is wrong (or you just like testing your limits) go to court. I’ve had friends get out of them simply by showing up and finding that the officer that ticketed them was not there to challenge it. Instant dismissal. I wouldn’t suggest feeding the judge an excuse line either, though.

  23. BannedInBrittan says:

    the Don’t lie advice is contradictory to the don’t talk to the police video on youtube.
    I just play dumb. No officer I don’t know why you’ve pulled me over.

  24. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    My biggest tip is to remember that the officer has no clue what he’s walking into and he wants to leave work alive that day.

    When you get pulled over, pull over as soon as you safely can, and put on your 4-ways/hazzards. Don’t turn on the interior light(it may seem like you are looking for something), if it’s dark, the officer will probably have your car lit up with his light and also have his flashlight, so if you need to find something, they’ll be helping. Lower your window down 1/3 so you can hand stuff in and out. Turn off the engine, but keep the key in the position that lets you lower/raise the window if need be. Put your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2, and wait until the officer walks up and has a chance to look at the inside of the car to check for anything/anyone that can harm them. Let them walk up and give the standard intro they have to do. Stay calm, don’t get upset, and use sir or mam(You’re more likely to be perceived as calm and less threatening that way) when answering questions. Announce ALL your movements(reaching for wallet, reaching in the glovebox, etc…) and perform them slowly(this keeps them calmer and not on edge).

    Even if you don’t respect them, remember that they are probably videotaping/audio recording you, and acting calm, respectful, and helpful, it will go far should you ever need to fight something in court, especially if they act unprofessionally. Also, allowing them to not feel threatened goes a long way to getting on their good side, and can help them cut you a break because they’ll perceive you as a possible normal law abiding citizen.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Both windows on my driver’s side won’t open. I sure hope if I get stopped I get someone reasonable. I would have to get out and that might be hard to explain.

  25. jrwn says:

    I have heard of people demanding to know when the speed camera’s were calibrated last. You can also demand to see the code so you are able to have it “reviewed” by an expert or ask that the police programer take the stand and testify to how valid the coding is.

    I don’t know if this will help you get out of a ticket or just make you look like a jerk, but your in court already..

    • Extractor says:

      I got pulled over i a 25 mph zone and I was doing 25. My radar detector was screaming before I left my garage and I knew he was hiding down the street. As I came closer, he began to move his car and i stoped to allow him to. H e indicated for me to go ahead and the turned on his flashers and did the usual routine. Came up to the window and asked if I knew why i was getting pulled over-”No”. Well I clocked you at 35 in a 25- “No, My radar detector was screaming beefore I left my house and I saw you down the street hiding and was gonna wave at you”. I also told him that I tell everyone that the interstates are speedways but the surface streets are speed limit only. He stated that he was going back to the station to have his unit calibrated. Good move on his part since I was only doing 25.

  26. crazydavythe1st says:

    *sigh* being a 22 year old male driving a sports car, you NEVER get out of speeding tickets. Still, I’ve gotten out of a couple of other tickets for less severe offences.

  27. HowdyHowdyHowdy says:

    Okay, so one time I got pulled-over and the first thing I did was start crying. The cop was a real asshole, but I didn’t cry because of that, I cried because my husband and I were broke. I couldn’t bear to think of paying for a ticket when we were struggling so much. The cop I guess felt bad for me and let me go. His tone of voice even changed and he was try to calm me down. :D

  28. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Whatcha got in the trunk?
    Oh… You don’t wanna look in there.

  29. ogunther says:

    I’ve been stopped/pulled over about 7 or 8 times in my life and have only received two tickets…both of which were for speeding (when I was younger and, in fact, was speeding).

    I’ve always been overly polite to the officers pulling me over, make sure I keep my hands on the wheel at all times (unless retrieving information the officer specifically requests such as driver license or registration) and do not argue. Of the 5 or 6 times I was pulled over that were not for speeding, most were for traffic issues that were kind of a grey zone such as merging into another lane without having my blinker on long enough or crossing too many lanes of traffic in too short of a distance.

    Some of what I believe has kept me from getting tickets are:
    - If I was not aware what I had done was illegal I informed the officer of that fact but never argued that my ignorance excused my behavior
    - Fully acknowledged what they pulled me over for, only offering explanations of my actions if asked for one
    - Made sure to show them respect by always refering to them as “sir”, “mam”, or “officer”
    - Made and kept eye contact
    - Answered as honestly and truthfully as possible all questions asked of me (I understand some of the replies stating to never “admit” to anything but I’ve never been in a situation where I have been pulled over after drinking nor had anything in my car that would look bad in a search)

    Sometimes the officer has been polite, sometimes they have been rude or aggressive but they have always taken my information, gone back to their cars (presumably to check to see if I have any outstanding tickets/warrants) and come back to let me off with a warning.

    One time an officer even gave me a 15 minute lecture, then let me go with a warning and proceeded to pull over the very next car behind me without even returning to his vehicle (I was on an off ramp). I felt bad for them because I’m guessing there was no way that officer was letting two people off in a row, as bad of a mood as he was in.

    Anyway, the way I look at it, I’ve done enough stuff in my life that actually deserved a ticket, I just assume I’m going to get one when I get pulled over and come to peace with that. If I get let off with less than a ticket, I feel extremely lucky and thank full.

  30. mrscoach says:

    No, you don’t always know what you were doing wrong. I was pulled over in May, and to this day don’t know what I did. I had slowed down for the town, then even further for the school zone, I wasn’t on the phone, I wasn’t driving in the wrong lane. He told me I had pulled over too far when I stopped in some extended shoulder, but other than that I never found what he was pulling me over for. Considering I saw 3 Sheriff vehicles a DPS truck within 100 feet, I think something was going on. He asked me what I was doing in town and where I was going (it’s a small town). I politely informed him I was driving back into town from working in the school in the next town over and was heading to my house. He had my license, with my current address, and still asked me if I lived in town. “Yes, sir, in the school housing just over there.” He finally let me go.

    If he had given me a ticket I would have complained more, but part of it might have been that I was driving by where they were currently having a junior high track meet and there were a ton of out of town people driving on the road.

  31. nacoran says:

    If it’s just a 2 pointer, go to court like you are going to fight it. They will usually take a plea for failing to obey a traffic signal. You pay the same fine but it’s not a moving violation.

  32. Yentaleh says:

    Having epilepsy and playing on the sympathy of my disorder has always gotten me out of a ticket. (except once, but it was later dismissed.) I can’t drive so my husband does, but by distracting the officer asking him to turn off or slow down his patrol lights, he comes back and feeling sorry for me. gives us a warning and sends us on our way.

    Btw make sure and follow the first rule. DON’T LIE. Every cop I’ve come across knows what to look for with regards to people who have epilepsy, trying to fake it, makes you look like a fool and you are guarenteed a ticket and/or jail.

  33. Bill610 says:

    Does anyone else find the whole “frightened kitten with a deadly weapon” thing a bit much? I mean, if pulling people over entails such a deadly risk to the heroes who are out there raising revenue for the municipality, then maybe they ought to let the person above who was ticketed for going 51 in a 50 zone pass, just in case he might be a deadly ninja assassin. And if they’re really so scared when someone takes their hands off the wheel that they might shoot them, then maybe they just don’t have the right stuff to be out there with a gun and a badge.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be courteous, and behave in a manner that’s not threatening, but listening to the advice from the law enforcement people in the article, you don’t really get the sense that they’re public “servants”, do you?

    • benisfire says:

      I get the sense that you don’t know what you are talking about Bill. I would advise you to contact your local law enforcement agency and request a ridealong. All your questions will be answered.

      Yes it is a risk to stop traffic violators (and no, no one is going to be stopped for 1 MPH as your condescending hipster comment says) but it is worth it. Have you ever had to help clean up pieces of an innocent child’s brain from the road because someone (presumably a smug ahole like you) doesn’t believe that traffic laws apply to them?

      There is risk in everything the police do but it is worth it because the job is necessary. Like I said, educate yourself and you won’t sound like such a tool.

      • Bill610 says:

        Yes, it’s true that everything that a police officer does entails risk–just like everyone else on the planet. The policing profession is not the most dangerous work out there; statistically it barely cracks the top ten. And I didn’t post the “hipster” (sorry, I’m way too old for that, but thanks for trying!) comments about people getting ticketed for 51 in a 50. I was referring to a post by tbax929, who said, “There was someone on a legal forum I was reading who got a ticket for doing 51 in a 50. Even the cops who are on the board agreed that was ridiculous! “; other posters concurred.

        My issue isn’t with peace officers–many of my best friends are current and former police, and I work in a field closely related, so I understand the work. I also work in a profession where I need to have a lot of contact with strangers in difficult situations, so I do relate to the fear aspect of pulling over a car.

        My concern is with the current “us vs. them” law enforcement mindset in which “them” is everyone outside of law enforcement and government circles. A perfect illustration of this is this quote from Lt. Fran Healy, special advisor to the Philadelphia police commissioner: “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second.”

        It is that mindset that endangers both the public and the police, and it is that which I object to.

  34. dark_inchworm says:

    I sure wish I had been honest and polite during my stop a little over a month ago. For those of you who find great joy in reading confessions of an idiot:

    I entered a park – a 100% taxpayer-funded park that’s “closed” from 11 PM to 5 AM with gates wide open – at about a quarter after midnight to feed the stray cats, since I’ve become something of a cat fanatic recently. Within maybe a minute of entering, a cop in the middle of the place flies toward me to give me hell. I was feeling pretty lucky – I thought I’d only be hassled for entering the park and subsequently dismissed, and would not be troubled for the small quantity of marijuana I had on myself.

    (Cue dramatic music.)

    Unfortunately for me, I can never be calm when pulled over no matter what I have or haven’t done, it seems (no, really) – after giving me the most hilariously puzzled look in history upon hearing that I was there for the cats, the officer had me step out of the car and did not hesitate to ask if I had any drugs. I said no, but was starting to get a little rude at this point – NOT a good idea of course, but I found it hard to fight being super-jaded that I couldn’t go into this WIDE-OPEN PUBLIC PARK for what I feel is a noble purpose. He asked for consent to search the car, and I said yeah, sure, I’ll be surprised if you find anything. I stupidly figured this would distract him from the small amount in my pocket.

    The kicker: My passenger brought his big green pot/paraphernalia box, and I somehow did not notice this at any point during our previous endeavors. Needless to say, my plan backfired pretty damned quickly.

    The other kicker: When I did eventually have to purge my pockets, I was soon informed that carrying three bags of the stuff, no matter how small, can easily net me an intent to resell charge. Somehow, in all these years I’ve been doing the stuff, this never dawned on me. I just smoke it. I also happen to find myself in several scenarios where I purchase from multiple sources in a day.

    The other kicker: I happened to have a cat with me (not retrieved from the park) that I was going to relocate that night, and I had to hold this enormous cat without any sort of a break for the better part of an hour because the backup cop called to the scene is allergic to cats.

    Lessons learned include: be honest, stay out of that park no matter how absurd its mandates are, an asshole civilian with something to prove butting heads with an asshole police officer with something to prove can only end poorly, and I make poor decisions – especially when put on the spot.

    We’ll see how this plays out on Oct. 5.

    (Another interesting note: I managed to dodge arrest by begrudgingly volunteering to participate in working against a dealer. I am not a fan of this character, though I really didn’t want to be branded a “snitch” or have to deal with the stress/danger involved, either… so I found myself in an even crappier situation. After a week and a half of false starts and poor planning, the officers never chose to get back in touch with me. Peculiar. I was told by a sheriff in a far-off district that this was very illegal, though I did not bother to research the truth behind that or validate whether this applied specifically to his district.)

    (apologies for what essentially turned into a blog post)

  35. nallanos says:

    this article was lame.

  36. Pheo says:

    I knew a guy that said the best way to get out of a ticket is to pretend not to have your license with you but then to provide your memorized drivers license number. I guess the officer will be so wowed at your awesome memory that you’ll only get a warning.

    • CookiePuss says:

      I like to recite the entire US Constitution word for word in my Thomas Jefferson voice and then start making balloon animals. They always get a kick out of that and invite me to all their family BBQ’s after that. Then they give me a speeding ticket. :(

  37. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:
  38. oldgraygeek says:

    When I was a cabbie, the local cops taught me How To Behave During a Traffic Stop.

    Pre-stop preparation: Keep your registration and proof of insurance in the ashtray, or somewhere else that you can get them without taking your hands out of sight. That is NOT the glove compartment, folks. Bonus points for having your wallet out and in plain sight before you drive past that speed trap, so your hands never need to go to your back pocket.
    Oh, one more thing: The officer’s name is “Sir” or Ma’am.” Remember that.

    1. Remember that every police officer has one recurring nightmare: being shot in the face during a traffic stop.
    a) The moment you realize that you will probably be pulled over (you just passed a cop on the median, and he lunges out into traffic), move calmly but immediately to the RIGHT SHOULDER and stop your car. Open the windows. Turn on the inside light if it’s dark. Shut off your engine.
    b) Put your hands on the upper left quadrant of the steering wheel and LEAVE THEM THERE.
    c) Tell any passengers to sit still and keep their hands in plain sight.
    2. When the officer comes to your window, keep your hands on the wheel. When he asks for your paperwork, slowly take the registration & insurance card from the ashtray. If necessary, tell him/her “My wallet is in my right back pocket. I need to take my hands out of sight to get it… is that OK?” If so, take it out SLOWLY.
    (Those steps alone usually prevent tickets, or get them reduced to the minimum penalty).
    3. “Do you know why I stopped you?”
    “Yes, [sir/ma'am].” and nothing more.
    4. After they tell you what you did, own up to it.
    5. Take it well, and be polite. People lie to cops and treat them like crap ALL DAY LONG. Surprise them by not doing that, and you’re ahead of the game.

    (Step Zero: Buy a used Police Interceptor, and drive it… I haven’t been pulled over since I got mine).

  39. Cantras says:

    My brother got pulled over. Cop walks up, my brother rolls his window down and immediately holds out his license and insurance out, “Oh my god, you are the person I *most* want to see right now. I’m so lost. How can I get back to the highway?”

    Yep, no ticket for that.

    • Clumber says:

      That worked for me once too — and I was totally terribly lost and had started speeding in the hope that I would get pulled over before I died lost in the bazillion identical cornfields…. I was so happy to see the cop that I almost hugged him… and I am NOT AT ALL a hug type.

  40. Caffiend says:

    My good friend’s dad was a traffic cop. He gave me this advice that has served me well.

    Pull over when it’s safe. Don’t pull your license or registration until he asks for it. Put your hands on the dash board and wait until he approaches. Roll down the window and be polite. Don’t lie. Don’t make up any bullshit excuse. Cops have heard them all. Do not admit you were speeding.

    I’ve gotten out of a handful of tickets with this advice.

  41. MountainCop says:

    Lame? Maybe, but still good advice. Now, from my point of view as a traffic cop… (using the ‘you’ figuratively)

    1 – Your attitude has a lot to do with whether I cite you or warn you. I don’t want your money, I want your compliance with the speed limit (or whatever). I also don’t really want to arrest you. Past a certain point, depending on the violation, you probably won’t get a warning. An example would be 53 in a 30 (distracted driving). I actually want to talk with you before I decide what will get your compliance in the future – a warning or a citation. I actually do try to be understanding – and fair. Keep in mind though, deliberate acts get cited. Passing in a ‘No Passing’ zone is my favorite. So is tailgating. Both mean your being impatient – which has caused some horrific accidents that I’ve had to go to. They do NOT make my day.

    2 – Being an insulting smartass is the number one way to get cited. The ‘Do you know who I am?’ is a classic. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t but I’ll find out very soon. So is lying – it really does insult my intelligence. I may not be the brightest bulb in the room, but my college degree tends to put me high on the list. Showing me disrespect for my position is something that I (and every other cop) really doesn’t like. I may be only part time, but I do it because I love the job and I care what happens to the people I’m sworn to protect. My other full time six-figure job actually pays for my part time job stuff.

    3 – When I approach the car – hands on the wheel and interior lights on please. When I stop you, I have NO idea why you were going so fast. Late for work? Fight with the wife? Just robbed a bank?

    4 – Please – when I am talking, you are shutting up. Interrupting me and telling me ‘I’m on my cell phone’ (and it has happened) is just plain dumb. And in most states, it’s called interference with a police officer or a governmental operation. Also, I don’t ask you why you think I stopped you. I already know – and it’s a leading question that tries to get you to admit guilt. What I appreciate is when I approach the car and take a fast look around, look me straight in the eye and say ‘Good Officer. Then I will introduce myself, and tell you what you did that gave me probable cause to pull you over. If I’m in a talkative mood and it’s applicable, I may ask if there was any justifiable reason why you did what you did. You may even tell me voluntarily. Bear in mind, that is ALSO a leading question. I will tell you before I go back to the car whether I will warn you or cite you. I will also ask you if you have any weapons in the car. Be honest. I just need to know where they are. I won’t confiscate them for the duration of the stop unless you give me a reason to.

    Oh, and I really don’t want to talk to your passengers. Had one stop where the guy was driving and his wife answered all the questions. After she answered the third question, I finally ( and politely) said “Ma’am, were you driving the vehicle?” “No.” “Then, ma’am, I want that to be the last thing you say.” Kinda felt sorry for the guy – so I gave him a warning.

    5 – Honesty pays off. If it’s minor like 39 in a 30 or you immediately slow down when you see the second sign, etc., and you voluntarily admit it, chances are you’ll get a warning with me. Being polite also pays. Being OVERLY polite raises my spidey-sense to high level.

    6 – If I do cite you, it’s for a reason, and believe me, I have my ducks in a row. The court will get a complete report of the stop from me – along with a checkbox of your attitude. The judges do read them, especially the attitude part. I also automatically send my duty log sheet that states when I checked the calibration of my radar unit – which will be before and right after I stopped you. Along with my certification as a Radar/Lidar Instructor. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. But I always get paid for court time.

    7 – I will always treat you with all appropriate courtesy and respect. Even if I have to arrest you. Yelling and screaming at you for no reason just escalates the situation – which is the LAST thing I want. If I use my ‘command’ voice, I have a very good reason.

    8 – I always assume that I’m being recorded in some manner. You should too.

    9 – Never consent to a search. If I have probable cause to search, I may ask out of courtesy. Feel free to refuse – I will note that you refused, which may come in handy in court. But if I have PC, I don’t really need it.

    10 – Sometimes I am required to take a certain action (arrest on a warrant, for instance). Yelling at me telling me you know the law really won’t get you anywhere. Believe me, I understand things are not going your way… but if you cooperate and understand I’m doing what I have to do, I’ll do whatever I can get you through it with the minimum amount of stress and BS.

    All that being said – above all, I try to be fair and to use common sense.

    And yeah, the Chris Rock routine is hilarious!

    • MountainCop says:

      actually, that should be ‘Good (morning, afternoon, evening), Officer’

    • Extractor says:

      When Im stopped, I assum that you have a videocamera on your dash and are wired for sound. The time between your lights goind on and your introduction at my window is when i prepare my defense. I dont really have too much trouble since all my cars have Militry Reserve Plates and a #14 Tony Stewart sticker on my bumbers. I have had no points since 1986 and have had several accidents due to others lack of concentration. I have been stopped at different times for the following speeds with only warnings; 124mph, 87 mph, 85 mph. Top speed on my car is 170 but Ive only had it up to 138 and that was before I had 100 hp added to it; couldv’e gone faster but I was approaching traffic.
      Cities want to keep the money and not send it to the state so I always waive my informal hearings and make an arrangement with the city prosecutor for impeading or blockading which doesnt show up anywhere.
      The only question I get with regards to the plates is whether i have any weapons.
      I was bummed out the few times I had the right to go whatever speed I needed and no cop saw me. My hand was cut and I had a turnequet on it and the other time I had left my mother in law’s late and she called when i was 6 miles down the interstate that her husband had just died. I called 911 and called time of death at 11:45pm.
      Going to an coming from Canada is a breeze with those plates too. And I only needed to argue with an officer once whenhe made up a charge tht I never heard of before. Started yelling at the prosecutor about it and quickly was offered impeding. Still got no idea what “Driving in a Dangerous manner” is when I followed all the traffic laws.

  42. copwriter says:

    1. Pull over immediately. If the cop wants you to stop someplace else, he will tell you so over the vehicle’s PA system.
    2. When you stop, roll down all the vehicle windows (unless the weather is terrible), turn on the interior lights if it’s dark, and keep your hands in plain view–on top of the steering wheel is best. Tell everyone else in the car to do the same. Shut off the radio and put down the cell phone. Don’t unbuckle your seat belt (don’t try to fasten it if you weren’t wearing it in the first place).
    3. Don’t get out your wallet, registration, etc. until the officer is at your window. Tell him what you’re reaching for and where it is before you get it.
    4. Your call on whether you admit to the violation or not. Whatever you say, don’t argue. You can do that in court. At the side of the road, Mr. Officer Is Always Right.
    5. In re the comment about never having had a ticket before: don’t lie. If the officer has an in-car computer, he can check your driving record.
    6. No matter what, be polite. Even if you get the ticket, the words “polite and cooperative” in the officer’s citation notes (which the judge or prosecutor will probably see) have never hurt anyone in court.
    7. If the officer asks to search your car and you don’t want him to, respond with something like, “I’d prefer you not search my car. Am I free to leave?” Whether or not you are “free to leave” is a critical factor in whether a search is consensual or otherwise.

  43. BoredOOMM says:
  44. momtimestwo says:

    The 24 year old inside of me keeps hoping that one day I’ll be pulled over by a handsome police officer, but I’ve never been pulled over and I’m 43, married and have 2 kids. But I can keep dreaming, right?

  45. phobos512 says:

    “*Don’t lie. — You know what you did wrong.”

    I’m going to have to disagree with this one. I was pulled over in the middle of the night leaving my girlfriend’s apartment to run to the nearby convenience store. I was told I had “run two stop signs”. First, I hadn’t even passed through two stop signs. The streets in her area alternate corners with stop signs in opposite directions. After expressing my shock, the officer demands I explain what I was doing in the area. Since when is what I’m doing someplace any of their business. Probably cause, ever heard of it? Finally, he inquires as to where I am going. I explain, and he repeats it back to me, and tells me they’ll be keeping an eye out for me. Then, he just lets me go. No warning, nothing. Just a veiled threat and I’m on my way. Um, wtf? I was fuming!

    And this is to say nothing of the officer up the street who lets his three dogs roam the neighborhood unrestrained in direct violation of our city’s leash law.

  46. AntiNorm says:

    The easiest way to not get traffic tickets?

    Obey traffic laws.

  47. katras22 says:

    When I did an internship with the local police department and rode patrol, a ticket was guaranteed if you cussed the officer. It really all depends on the officer’s mood that day and if they feel like doing the paper work (which there is hardly any). Telling the truth and being polite can help, but it really depends on the mood and how new the cop is to the road. Rookies are usually very eager to write and give out tickets, so no degree of politeness may help with that.

  48. johnva says:

    It’s really easy to get out of speeding tickets: don’t speed excessively.

    I’ve only gotten one traffic ticket in my life, and that was when I was 18. It’s not that hard to avoid them if you just make an effort to be a good driver and obey the rules. I do speed sometimes, but I always keep it under 5-10 mph over on rural interstates and 0-5 mph in urban areas. It’s scary to me how people think it’s a routine thing to get a ticket and go to court: if you’re routinely having that happen to you, then perhaps you should reevaluate your driving behavior. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run, and might save you or someone else’s life. You almost never need to be somewhere so quickly that it’s worth endangering lives over. The fact that we think reckless, aggressive, impaired, and distracted driving is “normal” is why 30,000-40,000 people still die on our roads every year despite the fact that our cars are safer than ever.

  49. SuperBK says:

    This is a takeoff on Chris Rocks “How not to get your you know what kicked by the police”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8&feature=related
    1. Don’t Lie
    2. Shut the F up
    3. If you have to give a friend a ride, get a white friend
    4. Tell your friend to shut the F up
    5. If you listen to rap music, turn that sh*t off
    6. Stop immediately
    7. Be polite, stay in your car with your hands on the wheel
    8. If your woman is mad, leave her at home.

  50. SuperBK says:

    This is a takeoff on Chris Rocks “How not to get your you know what kicked by the police”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8&feature=related
    1. Don’t Lie
    2. Shut the F up
    3. If you have to give a friend a ride, get a white friend
    4. Tell your friend to shut the F up
    5. If you listen to rap music, turn that sh*t off
    6. Stop immediately
    7. Be polite, stay in your car with your hands on the wheel
    8. If your woman is mad, leave her at home.

  51. ctmurray says:

    There is a YouTube video from a lawyer and former policeman that convinced me you should also not admit to the police any possible infraction, since your admission will be used against you, should you decide to fight the ticket. So if they ask “do you know how fast you were going?” you should not comment. You have the right to remain silent and I think you can do so without offending them or bringing into question their judgment.

  52. sopmodm14 says:

    i feel that if there’s not 0 % crime, then they have other important things to do.

    a cop giving tickets for speeders, is one less patrolling the streets

    they say that speeding kills, but fatalities occur regardless if there was an officer on the highway (if there was an accident and there was cop on the highway, should they get fired for not doing their job and keeping ppl safe, even if there was a single accident ?)

    if the govt really wanted ppl to obey speed limit, why does the avg car go more than 2x the limit ? (shouldn’t it be illegal)

    nascar drivers go 100+mph, and they don’t get into accidents (unless distance b/w vehicles are almost touching)

    with my experiences with officers, they weren’t there when my house was burglurized, yet were conveniently there 2x when i has going slightly over the limit, pinched 11 and 12 mph, clear roads, clear skies……..saw my perfect record, raped it, then treated it like a business transaction …… i love NYS

  53. Darkneuro says:

    I’ve always gotten out of tickets by being completely honest with the cop.
    Going 80 in a 45 mph zone? “Yes, sir, I was pulled over for speeding. I was listening to the radio and got lead foot. The song? Authority Song. Really.” Turned up the radio, the song was just finishing. He laughed, said I made his day and let me off with a warning.
    Ran a stop sign? “I’m sorry officer, I was in the middle of a sneezing fit-” I really was “-and blew right through the sign. Do you have a tissue? Oh, here’s my license and registration and insurance.” He asked if I was OK, told me pull over next time, apologized for not having a tissue and let me go.
    Honesty is the best policy… Well, that and *trying* not to do something stupid.

  54. durkzilla says:

    Keys on the dash, drivers side windows rolled down, license and registration ready, and hands on or through the steering wheel.

    Be polite, follow instructions, answer questions honestly and be civil.

    And NEVER make an officer chase you.

    I got out of a ticket simply by pulling over before the patrol car rounded the corner – I saw him hit the lights as I went by – 10 miles over the limit. There was a bend in the road and I just pulled over and waited for him. He had to lock up all four wheels to stop in time, and I think he was so amazed that I just stopped and waited that he gave me a warning and sent me on my way.

  55. TardCore says:

    I just got a ticker this past week for the first time since 1995. Idiot local sherriff wrote me for 65 in a 55. But the hilarious and pathetic part was when he passed me going the opposite way he slammed on his brakes, executed a Dukes of Hazzardesqe 180 turn in front of traffic both behind him and going the opposite direction, speeds up to 80-90mph just to give me a ridiculous joke of a ticket. And they wonder why a large part of their communities don’t give them any respect? That clown might have killed or injured somebody with those antics and then he has the balls to lecture me on speeding!

    • benisfire says:

      Have you had hundreds of hours of training on emergency vehicle operations? Chances are based on your comment you would not have “respected” the profession anyway. Be an adult, don’t speed and pay your fine within 30 days or your license will get suspended.

      • TardCore says:

        Listen, I have actually had EVOC training but that is beside the point. The 8 other cars in the immediate vicinity of this fool DO NOT HAVE that training and that ridiculous manuever could have easily led to a serious accident. I was not driving recklessly, I was not a felon evading, there was simply no reason for that sort of reaction from that cowboy. Further I am regularly on the highway with these same cops that are also cruising along at 65+mph, and that is why cops get such little respect.

  56. partyone says:

    I had just completed chemotherapy so I was 100% hairless. Just started radiation therapy so i had these tattoos on my chest and permanent marker. I was driving my friends new used car up to Maine when we were pulled over. The officer wanted me to get out of my car and walk to his in the pouring rain. The officer took a glance at me my license and asked me about my tattoos for radiation. I told him the truth. Officer gave me back my license and gave me a warning.

    Now I am sure it helped that it was raining, I was hairless, red chested from the radiation, and the tattoos. But I feel honesty helps. Although a little sympathy does not hurt.

  57. FilthyHarry says:

    Humor can work. IF you’re funny. A friend was driving me home one night, she had a busted tail light. We’re both over 30. Cop pulls us over, she rolls down the window and I say from the passenger seat “Officer, I swear to god I thought she was over 18!” He laughs, lets us off with warning.

    Other than that, make no excuses. If you’re right, fight it in court.

  58. Nikose says:

    Follow the tips here- and challenge the ticket. Don’t even hire a lawyer. Just challenge the ticket, get a court date. Costs you nothing; Officer who issued the ticket has to show up, or it gets thrown out of court. The officer would have to take the day off work to come and face your contest of the ticket, and people don’t like getting unpaid time off. Challenged tickets are usually safe way off.

    This is based off Ontario Traffic laws, though. I may be wrong.

    • HoJu says:

      In MA the cop does NOT have to show up. The dept sends a rep for all the cases that day and the court magistrate treats that person like the cop.

      • outis says:

        In some states the ticket itself is classified as a witness against you, so it’s not going to work unless there are glaring errors like wrong make or color.
        As for the cop not showing up, my father used to be a cop and at least here, he got overtime for testifying in court.

  59. Bkhuna says:

    Here’s a novel approach: Obey the laws.

    Now why didn’t we think of that before?

    • TardCore says:

      Obey archaic and arbitrary laws? I don’t think so.

      • AntiNorm says:

        Anybody who thinks that traffic safety laws are archaic and outdated doesn’t deserve to have a license. Period. Sure, they’re (ab)used for revenue in some places, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t needed.

  60. ranidan says:

    My brother pretends he has diorrhea. It works every single time.

  61. BytheSea says:

    Call him sir, don’t argue, don’t offer any extra information but agree with whatever he says.

  62. CyGuy says:

    From the linked article:

    “Don’t lie, either. Cops are trained to note the human characteristics of lying, including twitching and looking to the left, and they know the right questions to ask to suss out the truth. “

    Um, not to be picky, but is you are sitting in the driver’s seat and the cop is talking to you through the rolled-down window, wouldn’t you HAVE to be “looking to the left” in order to have a polite conversation?

  63. HoJu says:

    Last time I was pulled over on a busy main road I pulled onto a side street to stop. The cop asked me what business I had on the side street and I told him I didn’t want him to have to get out on the busy street.
    He thanked me and didn’t give me a ticket even though he REALLY should have.

    Being considerate helps too.

  64. Venty314 says:

    Your action/behavior prior to speaking to an officer in a traffic stop is just as, if not more important than, anything you say when you see the cop’s lights flash in your rear view mirror.

    1. Pull over as soon as possible in safe area. Make sure to use your turn signals to let the officer know where you are headed.

    2. Once you are stopped, put it park and take your foot off of the gas. No brake lights, lets the officer know that that the car is no longer in gear and that you aren’t waiting to take off as soon as he steps out of his vehicle.

    3. Turn on your flashers/emergency lights.

    4. Turn on your interior light, even if it’s the middle of the day. It may help the officer see inside your vehicle if your windows are tinted.

    5. Roll down all of your windows, especially the rear ones (if you have automatic windows). Again, this helps the officer assess what/who is in the vehicle as he approaches on foot.

    6. Turn your stereo off.

    7. Turn off your engine.

    8. If you are wearing sunglasses, take them off. More than anything, this is a sign of respect for anyone you having a conversation with (regardless if they are an officer).

    7. Keep your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock so he can see them as he approaches.

    8. If you have a Concealed Handgun/Weapon License, inform the officer immediately after he requests to see your license/insurance/registration, even if you are not carrying a weapon. Not all states require you to inform the officer that you have a license if you are not carrying a weapon, but they will find out after they run your driver’s license (or maybe even your license plate), and you don’t want to make them feel like you are keeping anything back.

    Clearly tell the officer about any movements you take inside the vehicle BEFORE you make them. If they ask for your insurance/registration, tell them where they are located and then slowly retrieve them. This is especially true when reaching for your wallet/drivers license that may be in your jacket or in your back pocket.

    These simple steps help put the officer at ease and keep you safe if he is on edge about anything which may make your verbal personal defense strategy more effective.

    I have followed these steps and have gotten many more warnings than tickets.

  65. microphish says:

    I got pulled over in my community for an expired tag. I got out of it because my 10 year old freaked out in the backseat and the cop became more concerned about his reaction than my expired tag.

    He ended up giving my sons stickers that looked like badges and needless to say, I got my tag renewed as quickly as possible. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as paying $25 for an annual tag. The “check engine” light was on which is an automatic fail at the emissions testing center (required for tag renewal). $400 later and two new oxygen sensors……….I got my tag.

    But the cop was nice enough to give me the second chance.

  66. MrsFuzz says:

    I’m a police officer in a major metropolitian area. For me personally, and for most officers (unless they’re traffic cops; traffic cops MUST write tickets, so they’re going to write you probably no matter what. The difference is, if you follow these rules, you’ll probably get by with a minor ticket instead of a major one), the following guidelines will more than likely keep you ticket free:

    1. BE POLITE!!!!!!!!! Greeting your officer with “Why the bleepitybleepityblank did you pull me over??” is probably not going to make your experience very nice.
    2. Have all your paperwork in your car (driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance if required).
    3. When the officer inquires if you know why you were pulled over, be honest! I look for just 3 things on a traffic stop: Proper paperwork, a polite person, and a person who says “I know what I did wrong, I’m really sorry, it’s because…..” Admit to me you were wrong and apologize, and unless you just did something really dangerous, you’re going to drive away clean.

    Lots of great advice in this article. Arguing is for court, not for on the street. Feel free to politely voice disagreement or ask for clarifications about the situation one time, but then let it drop. Admitting what you did wrong just shows that you don’t think you’re “too good” to follow traffic laws, it isn’t (and can’t legally be) held against you in court.

    Oh yeah….Crying almost never works. :D

    • MountainCop says:

      1 – Actually I don’t HAVE to write tickets… but if someone is doing 55 in a 30 and I give them a warning, I’d best have a good reason…

      2 – No, I don’t have a quota. First off, quotas are definitely illegal. And I’ve never had a quota – my chief informed me that I can write as many as I want.

      3 – Believe me, swearing at me will tend to ruin YOUR day.

      4 – One of the most irritating things you can do during a traffic stop is to sort through 5-10 years of registrations and proof of insurance cards you have stuffed in that mess you call a glove box. And if you do have it in a container/folder, please take it out or I will ask you to. The first and last time I took one inside a container (State Farm gives them away), I found her mad money… a $100 dollar bill. I IMMEDIATELY handed it back to her and asked her to hand me the registration and insurance only.

      5 – I don’t do roadside debates. As much as you may disagree with the concept, during a traffic stop or any other matter where I’m the cop, I am in charge by law.

      6 – Yeah, we are human too and we do appreciate a funny situation – especially since we see so much that could never be funny.

      7 – And crying will NEVER get you anywhere with me – regardless of your gender.

      My $0.02 and your mileage may vary…

  67. shepd says:

    Don’t lie, but don’t be a fool and let the cop write in his notes “Driver admitted he was going 120 km/h in an 80 km/h zone”. Instead, when they ask you why you were pulled over, respect the authority, but be only as evasive as required to NOT admit you did something wrong.

    For me, that meant when I was asked “Do you know how fast you were going?”, I answered “Hmm, I’m not sure, but I’m sure it must not have been right–you must know what it is.” He then said “I followed you doing 125 km/h.” And I said “Wow, that’s too fast”.

    You’ve given the cop the attitude he likes, but you’ve also not admitted to doing anything other than not monitoring your speed closely, which isn’t an offense (where I am). You did admit that 125 km/h is too fast (which in the zone I was in it would be) but you didn’t admit *you* did it.

    This attitude saved me when I got a ticket for following too close after an accident (my fault). The officer wrote it up for me and asked if how the accident occurred. I claimed I was fooling with my radio. She put that in the notes. She hadn’t witnessed the accident. The crown said that because I never admitted to it, and the officer didn’t witness it, they couldn’t successfully prosecute and they dropped the charges. Perfect! Don’t worry, insurance still raped me, so all you that hate me now can stop licking your chops.

  68. StarVapor says:

    If you were stopped by a cop using radar, don’t argue with him about it during the stop. If you decide to fight the ticket in court you should ask:

    1. Was the officer certified to operate radar/laser? Does he have the certification
    card with him in court?
    2. Is the radar gun licensed with the FCC?
    3. Has the radar gun and tuning forks passed its yearly certification?
    4. Is there an operator log of the use of the radar gun?
    5. Is there a calibration log that each officer must use to log in their calibration
    reports at the beginning and at the end of their shift?
    6. Does the officer understand “target identification” and the Cosine Angle Effect?
    7. Was the officer’s air conditioning fan, radio or other device interfering with your
    car while he was targeting your speed?
    8. Is the officer aware that that microwave tower, power pole transformer or other
    electrical device in the area during your violation could interfere?
    9. Was the audio turned on, on the radar gun to identify the Doppler radar and did
    that audio signal match the display speed?

    • MountainCop says:

      Not arguing is a very good idea – save it for court. That’s why the judges make all that money.

      This list looks like one I saw on one of the ‘anti-speed limit’ sites. It’s interesting that they forgot to mention a few things:

      1 – One of the first things I do when I have a new officer assigned to me is take him or her through my Radar/Lidar class. And I certify them if they pass the written and speed estimation test. And yes, I have my instructor certification.

      2- If the radar/lidar gun wasn’t certified by the FCC, it would be illegal to sell it in the US. They’re not licensed – they are certified. Usually under Part 15. And almost all units are certified by the IACP labs – and must be if they are purchased with Federal grant funds. A state government can also certify units.

      3 – The radar/lidar guns only need an initial certification. The tuning forks are tested once per year. Both of these are usually done by the state. Also, the units have a test mode that is performed when the calibration is verified (see below).

      4 – Operator logs are also our duty logs. Each officer will document when he/she verifies the calibration of their unit. Radar – when going on shift and after EVERY traffic stop. Lidar – at the beginning and end of shift, since you need to stand at a fixed spot and illuminate a known object at a known and measured distance.

      5 – See #4.

      6 – They had better or they don’t pass the class. Number one is ‘If there is ANY doubt, do not cite them’. Also, the Error of Cosine ALWAYS works in the driver’s favor. Example: If I clock you at around 26 MPH (actually 25.98) at a 30 degree angle from the beam, you were actually going 30. Under 10 degrees, the error is negligible (less than 1/2 MPH). Target ID is actually easy. Speed enforcement officers must be able to visually estimate the speed of an oncoming vehicle to within an average of +/- 3 MPH. THAT is the probable cause for lighting up the radar. My officers must pass a documented exam doing exactly that – stationary AND moving. Those exam sheets go to the court.

      7 and 8 – Yes, vehicle and external electronics can interfere with the reading. Units now are shielded and filtered to reject almost all spurious signals. But it does rarely happen. And I’ve measured rain at 41 MPH – snow at 27. Not too much interferes with 10.525, 24.150 or 33.4 to 36 gigahertz (X, K and Ka radar bands). Lidar is different (pulse detection and ranging versus Doppler used by radar).

      9 – All our officers are trained to have the audio ON and to listen to the output. They have to state that in their report, or the ticket gets tossed.

      In addition, one of my favorites is the ‘engineering study’ that ‘requires’ the speed limit be set at the 80th percentile of the speed measurement of all traffic traversing the target road during a given time period. Sounds good – but here in my state, it is specifically permitted by state statute for any municipality to set the speed limits in their jurisdiction to whatever they deem proper.

  69. SabreDC says:

    I just find that it is a lot easier and quicker not to speed, drink and drive, use my cellphone when driving, etc. You’ll find that when using these tactics, you won’t get tickets nor will you waste 15-30 minutes that can be used more effectively elsewhere.

    Works 100% of the time. Try it sometime!

  70. TheSurlyOne says:

    If you’re willing to invest some time and effort, getting a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can help you get out of most tickets….especially if you’re wiling to lie about your job.

    My mom has been a school bus driver for 26 years, which requires a CDL (at least in Georgia). She has been pulled over for traffic violations (speeding, taillight/headlight out, running a red light, rolling thru a STOP sign, illegal lane change and other ‘minor infractions’) at least 8 times in the last 15 years. She has NEVER been issued a ticket. As soon as they see the CDL, they usually ask her why she has one. She tells them she’s a bus driver and most of them let her go at that point with a verbal warning. If they don’t let it go at that point, she asks them to please let her go with a warning because she could lose her job if she gets a ticket. It always works….

    I finally got my CDL about five years ago (although I’ve never driven anything larger than an SUV and have no plans to do so). I’ve lied a few times by saying that I’m a bus driver, but my conscience can handle that better than the price of a ticket PLUS the residual increased insurance premiums for three to five years!!!

  71. baristabrawl says:

    I always show my chest, but since I’m guy that usually just gets me tased.

  72. anewmachine615 says:

    OK, good story opportunity.

    So I was 17, already a half-hour past curfew, and booking it home from my girlfriends (she lived about an hour away at the time). I was halfway home, at about 12:30 in the morning, when I hit this nice long straightaway that goes on for a few miles. So I decide to go a bit quicker, and then a bit quicker. I end up barreling down the roads at speeds roughly double the posted speed limit, with my little Corolla shaking and rattling as a sign that perhaps I was going too fast. So then, some jerk in a white SUV pulls out in front of me, doing the speed limit. He’s probably a quarter-mile off, but I’m coming up on him quick, so I pop out in to the fast lane, and then glance over. Yeah, there’s a giant Sheriff’s shield on the door. I slowed down and started to pull over before he even put his lights on.

    Anyway, being 17 and never having been pulled over before, I start to freak out. “What do I need?” I ask myself. “License and registration!” So I get out my license… and then the cops see me reach into the glove box and grab *something* (my registration). Apparently they presume it’s something unsavory, which TBH I would too, given the gun ownership rate, time of day, and speed I was going. They approached my car from the passenger side, both of them with weapons unclipped, the one in back with his hand already on his service pistol. They opened my door and shined a light in my eyes… and saw a scared, tired 17-year-old. I think they were so relieved I wasn’t some crazy hick with a drug problem to hide that they decided to give me a warning and tell me that I should slow down, or I was liable to hit a deer.

    And that’s how I got out of my first ticket: by scaring the cops. Definitely not recommended, BTW.

  73. bohemond says:

    Keep in mind that, after the ticket is issued, cops make notes of what you said so it can be used in court if it comes to that. So if you think you might be fighting the ticket, do not admit to having gone above the speed limit or having done whatever else you’re being ticketed for. Let’s say you’re pulled over for doing 80 in a 55 zone. When asked “do you know how fast you were going?”, your first instinct is to compromise with the cop and say something like “Maybe 60, 63.” You’re hoping that if you admit to going a little fast, the cop will compromise and let you off. But if you say that, you’ve just admitted to speeding, and now it’s only a question of how much you were speeding. There’s no way you’ll win that in court.

  74. sp00nix says:

    One time i got pulled over for a burned out head light. It had JUST gone out while i was on the TP and he pulled me over half a mile after i got off. Even tho i had one in the glove box he still gave me the ticket. Since i still had a few miles until i was out of NJ i stopped and replaced it, then he pulled up and asked me to jump some ladies car. What a dick.

  75. DJ Nihil says:

    The best advice I can give anyone to get out of tickets is not to be a resident of Detroit, MI or anywhere in southeast Michigan.

    If you are pulled over, you WILL get ticketed.

    http://detnews.com/article/20081118/METRO/811180402/Cops–jobs-tied-to-ticket-totals#ixzz0zzcmjl5N

  76. stormyknight says:

    This article from Car and Driver is the best I have ever seen on the topic: I believe it has saved me at least 2 speeding tickets:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/08q2/busted!_what_should_i_do_now_-feature

  77. Blious says:

    There is a line not to cross but one that needs to be walked to if you want to get out of a ticket

    Simply admitting guilt and not saying anything else rarely will get you out of a ticket

    Striking up a small conversation is always best….but be careful not to say TOO much as it can be obvious what you are doing

  78. Chipzilla says:

    NEVER tell a cop what speed you were doing when he/she asks “Know what speed you were doing?”. They’re waiting for your admission of guilt.

    DON’T TALK TO POLICE! FULL STOP.

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/6wXkI4t7nuc

  79. ash says:

    Be polite but why admit to anything?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
    Good video on why you should not talk to cops.

  80. xmarc says:

    In most cases tickets are not a real safety issue. They’re revenue generators and essentially a tax. I just don’t believe when I’m told that cops are not required to meet a quota.

  81. xrmb says:

    When the cop gives you your court date, call the court and ask for a different date. I was lucky twice (10 over speed limit) getting a different date where the cop didn’t show up (because it wasn’t worth to just show up for me?) I still had to pay court fees, but no fines, points or anything.
    And the other two times I went to court and the cop was there. First time driving school, second time fine was lowered to one over limit… but again, they always get me for 10 over the limit.

  82. benisfire says:

    Ok. I am a police officer. Here is how to get out of a ticket.

    1. Do not commit traffic violations
    2. If you do get pulled over, do not argue with the officer. We are WAY too busy to trump up traffic charges. There is zero incentive at all to randomly pull you over and accuse you of a traffic violation. Many drivers are NOT informed on traffic laws and may not know that they have committed a violation, nor know that what they have been doing since they started driving is a violation. A great example of this is turning right on red. That IS running a red light, there is no distinction. Officers attend formal training to learn to use equipment such as LASER and RADAR and are trained on the minutia of traffic laws.
    3. ALWAYS FOLLOW ANY AND ALL DIRECTIONS FROM THE OFFICER WHEN THEY APPROACH YOUR CAR. Traffic stops are THE most deadly situation that the police face. If he tells you to roll down your back window, keep your hands visible etc…just do it.
    4. Do not interrupt the officer. Many of us have a planned scripted approach to when we pull you over. This prevents problems down the road in traffic court because I know exactly what I said if I say it every time. I say “I am officer X from the X Police Department. The reason why I pulled you over is because you failed to come to a complete stop at the stop sign at the intersection of X Ave and Y St. Do you have a lawful reason for not coming to a complete stop?” The very next words out of your mouth will often determine whether or not there will be a ticket at all, or a ticket for a lesser (less expensive) offense. Remember, there is no incentive whatsoever for an officer to pull you over and trump up traffic charges. You ran the stop sign, deal with it. None of us is perfect. I have received a ticket for the same offense several years ago and I paid the ticket. It is very irritating to have someone call into question your integrity (which is how I look at it) when they tell you that what you just observed did not occur. Just take responsibility.

    That is the second best way to get out of a ticket, after not committing the violation in the first place.

    All this BS about flexing your rights and all that…good luck with that because you are going to have a very expensive and time consuming ticket(s) on your hands. It is a traffic violation and the officer is doing his or her job. There is nothing that the public complains about more than what they perceive as lax traffic enforcement (that is until they are the one who is stopped).

    Remember, the goal of traffic enforcement is to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities. If that can be accomplished through verbal warnings that result in voluntary compliance with traffic laws that is great…those people get warnings. The ones who have a bad attitude, accuse the officer of making up the violation or who are otherwise not able to convince the officer that they intend to follow traffic laws will be issued financial incentive to improve their driving through a traffic citation.

    Drive safe.

  83. crazydavythe1st says:

    There’s a lot of bad advice on here. Here’s some good advice: being honest does not mean that you should admit that you committed some offense. If you get a real asshole cop, that can be used against you as a confession of guilt. I guess there’s an off chance that admitting guilt to an officer would get you out of a ticket, but I wouldn’t count on it. In most cases around here, the cops practically have the ticket half written before they even get to your window.

  84. bananaboat says:

    Last time I was pulled over for speeding I was asked why I was going so fast. My reply – stupidity? The cop laughed and let me go with a warning.

  85. f0nd004u says:

    If you accept that you did something wrong, there’s no way you can fight the ticket in court. Don’t argue, but tell him that you didn’t know how fast you were going.

  86. Dalsnsetters says:

    As was said above, politeness is very important. My brother (who isn’t the brightest bulb in the box) lives in a private condo community across the street from a junior high school (this is in the L.A. area). One day, he was pulling into his parking lot and saw a cop sitting in the parking lot while the junior h.s. was letting out. My brother, being the anti-cop guy that he is, says to me “This is private property, he can’t be here! I’m going to say something.” He was seriously pissed. So he pulls up to the cop and says, real snotty, “This is private property and as a resident, I want to know why you are on private property.” (I’m looking for a hole to crawl in to…..) The cop points over his shoulder to a sign that says “Traffic laws enforced” and says “See that sign? That sign says that the owner has given me the legal right to be on this property to enforce the traffic laws.” That happened exactly one year ago this past Friday. Since then, he has gotten three tickets in his direct neighborhood. He calls me up, whining about it. I just laugh at him. It’s one those “I told you don’t mess with the cops Billy!” situations.

  87. OIFVet says:

    If your breaking the law, you are breaking the law. That right there is admission to your own guilt.

  88. Deon49er says:

    I will respond to a cop, as they act towards me. I am not scared of any cop, i do not give respect or show respect unless its given to me as well. I have many times, reminded them that they are a “Public servant”..” that i am the public”.. that they should remember that.. it’s my money that feeds & houses their families.

  89. MountainCop says:

    “MarketWatch doles out some advice on what not to say to a traffic cop who’s pulled you over.”

    My first choice would actually be:

    “What’s the matter, officer? Dunkin Donuts closed today?”

  90. theblackdog says:

    I actually broke this advice, but I didn’t get ticketed. The officer stopped me for “running a red light” and it was likely one of those borderline yellow lights that turned red right as I was entering. Now I wasn’t doing it because I was trying to speed through it. I was close enough to the intersection when it went yellow (Baltimore has short yellow lights) that even if I stomped the brakes, I still would have been partway into the intersection and blocking traffic.

    So when the officer told me that I had run the red light, without even thinking about it I said “I did not think I could stop safely in time.” Otherwise I was my very polite self. I got a written warning and was informed by the officer that he keeps track of these so I had better be on good behavior.

  91. vdragonmpc says:

    Please, there is no talking your way out of a stop today with the small towns trying to fill budgets. I was stopped in a hilly area of a highway Sunday. 12 over. I knew I had my cruise set at 65 and told him so. He was taken aback when he saw that my inspection was current (he wrongly thought it expired). I had also renewed my plates and license. I guess I was lucky on those. But 72 in a 60 on the highway in the middle of nowhere is a bit sad. No one was on the road at all. Nobody. I never saw the guy anywhere until I saw him doing 90+ to catch us. Yes 90 as if I was doing 65 he would have to exceed the hell out of the limit to catch up that fast from a stop.

    Alas its the end of the month no chance of a warning and the town is a sad small bump in the road. I seriously have little respect for the officers in these areas. Too many run ins with ‘revenuers’. Should I bring up the wife’s ticket for speeding in a school zone in July? Yes no school in session and she was inside the zone and had no idea the lights were flashing. Officer enforcement knew though he nailed her for 45 (the limit) in a 25 (when flashing). Judge laughed and said she should watch it over there they look for reasons to ticket!

  92. JohnJ says:

    Once I was obviously speeding, at 3AM, in a small college town. The officer said “Do you know how fast you were going!” I said “No”. I got off with a stern lecture, because he didn’t have his radar turned on.

    It’s true about the police sometimes being scared. Once I got pulled over, a few days after a local officer was shot and killed. I had to get my wallet out of my briefcase, in the back of my van. While I was getting my wallet, the officer was visibly nervous. It really creeped me out.

  93. Zeniq says:

    “When those headlights go on, it’s best to pull the car to the right, stay in the car, turn the interior lights on if it’s dark and put your hands on the steering wheel.

    Don’t make any quick movements, and don’t turn to grab your purse or put your hands in your pocket or under your seat to retrieve your license — until the officer instructs you to. Then, do it slowly.

    Don’t move to open the glove box either, until directed. And do that slowly, too. Let the police shine a light inside the box before you reach in. Many criminals hide guns in glove boxes. “

    Yes, because many criminals hide guns in glove boxes, EVERYONE must act like a criminal with a gun in the glove box.

  94. Jim says:

    Only been pulled over 3 times in my life (2 speeding, 1 rolling stop) and have used the exact same line every time: “Sorry officer, I had my head up my ass.”

    I have always kept the hands on the wheel, moved slowly and told the officer my insurance card and registration are in the glove box and offer him to shine the light in so he can see what I’m doing. I work at a university that turns out lots of police officers, so I know a lot of them, and they react well to politeness and honesty, and their B.S. meters work. Very well.

  95. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Another couple of tips:

    If you have tint on your windows, lower ALL windows (weather permitting). If the officer has a clear view into your car, his threat level drops dramatically.

    If you’re a smoker, put out your cigarette, but do NOT throw the butt out the window.

    Hands at 10 & 2, engine off, keys on the dash, hazards on and DON’T MOVE until you’re told to do so.

    Doing those things have helped me during the ‘Side of the Road Disco Light Show’ many times. One cop asked why I had all my windows open in sheeting rain, to which I replied: “My windows are tinted, and if I were in your shoes, I’d be nervous walking up to a car I couldn’t see into.” That alone got me off the ticket.

  96. Yo Howdy says:

    Purchase a driver’s ed car with two steering wheels. Always drive with a passenger in the other seat. If you ever get pulled over for speeding, each of you say to the officer that the other was driving. It is impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either of you was operating the vehicle.

  97. peebozi says:

    Anything you say can be used AGAINST you.

    There’s nothing in there that says they may use something you say for your benefit…your words are meant to be used against you and only against you.

    Always be on guard when talking to a cop…they have quotas to meet and donuts to eat.

  98. peebozi says:

    I’ve found that pulling myself over after i blow by a cop is a courteous touch that the pigs appreciates. been pulled over probably 50 times in my life and have only received 10-15 tickets.

  99. NumberSix says:

    “i beleive I was driving at a speed and in a manner that was safe for the conditions of the road.”

    That is the only response to “do you know how fast you were going?” Maybe you look like a smart ass, but it does not build his case against you.

  100. Felrond says:

    #1 Pull over right away in a safe place; don’t make the cop follow you 200 yards but also don’t stop on a dangerous curve or on blocking traffic.
    #2 Get all of your documentation out and ready for the officer.
    #3 Roll down the window before he gets there so he can easily smell inside the car. You have nothing to hide so make eye contact, and talk directly to him so he can smell your breath.
    #4 Keep your hands in sight; up on the wheel or out the window is good, particularly at night. Sets their mind at ease and they are more likely to feel relaxed.
    #5 Be pleasant, smile, act mature.
    #6 If invited back to the cruiser, keep an eye out for paperwork or computers laying around and try to work in your amazement at how much paper work they have. The following line has gotten me out of at least 2 tickets that I know of: “Man, my buddy is a cop with and he says that 75% of his time is filled with filling out forms and shuffling paperwork… is that really true???”

  101. Clumber says:

    Have an adorable dog with you – helps if a rarer breed. Now com’on – take a look at Ramona over there ..

    I once got out of a really stupid ticket (not speeding) when I challenged it, went to court, the judge asked me to wait in his office while he got a coffee…. While waiting I noticed his office was just covered in winning show photos of several gorgeous Akitas. When he returned we spent about 30 minutes talking showing dogs and various venues and judges, and maybe 15 seconds dismissing the ticket against me entirely. Honestly, the ticket was really really undeserved and the officer in question made some really stupid comments to me when writing the ticket (and of course I took notes as soon as the officer went back to check my record) so perhaps having showdogs in common had nothing to do with it… but it sure didn’t hurt either.

  102. kaltkalt says:

    Don’t ADMIT to breaking the law, jeeeez. And IAAL. Don’t be a dickhead, don’t be argumentative, but if the cop asks you how fast you were going, don’t admit you were speeding. ISay you think you were going the speed limit, you were just keeping up with everyone else, or just “no.” There’s no way to know exactly how fast you were going at the very moment the cop decided you were speeding. And don’t assume the cop is pulling you over for speeding. If the first thing you say to the cop is “yeah I know, I was speeding” before he even says anything, you’re a true moron.

    This is good advice, but it’s also predicated upon the notion that cops won’t lie in court. Unfortunately that’s a false predicate. They’ll commit perjury and say you admitted you were driving 81 in a 65 as easily as they will eat a donut. So the best you can do is hope you get the rare honest cop, and act accordingly.

  103. SolidSquid says:

    ianal, but I remember reading somewhere that you shouldn’t sign the ticket (and aren’t required to) if you intend to dispute it. In some places, signing the ticket is essentially signing an agreement/confession that you were doing x, where x is what the ticket is for (this is why it wasn’t required). Not sure how this would vary between states though

  104. spamtasticus says:

    Say nothing. Period. Smile and take the ticket then fight it in court. I’m sure this is posted already but here it is anyway:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

  105. infected says:

    Here’s a thought.. don’t break the law. I know that everyone does, but there are some of us that really try hard to be a great driver.

    Here’s another thought that will not be popular: If you break the law and get caught, man up and pay the price. I’m perturbed that people are so anxious to weasel their way out of everything and skirt the responsibility.

  106. Zibodiz says:

    Lose your insurance documentation. The cop will think you’re lying and don’t actually have insurance, and you’ll get a $400 ‘no insurance’ ticket. Then find your insurance documentation and take it with you to the courthouse. They void your ticket, and you get off scott-free. It’s worked for me twice, and once for my cousin. Of course, I wasn’t lying to the officer… I genuinely couldn’t find it. But hey, it worked out in my favor, right?