Speeding tickets are no fun – they are a preventable waste of money and can can hurt you in other ways as well. Speeding tickets and other traffic violations can cause you to pay higher auto insurance rates, or you could end up with a suspended license if you get too many points on your license. The following tips can help you avoid a speeding ticket and the negative consequences associated with it.
How to Avoid A Speeding Ticket
Rule #1 – Know the lay of the land
Right around the corner from my house lies a classic speed trap: There is a school located at the bottom of a hill with a church adjacent to the school. The church has a long parking lot and there is a spot at the end which is covered in shadows. It faces the bottom of the hill and is the perfect spot for the police to hang out and wait for gravity to work its magic and catch unsuspecting cars speeding through the school zone.
I’m normally very careful about that hill, especially when the school zone light is flashing. Fines for speeding tickets in school zones and construction zones are much more expensive than a standard speeding ticket.
Rule #2 – Pay attention
But one day last week I wasn’t paying attention like I normally do and I noticed I was going about 32 in a 25 as I was nearing the bottom of the hill. I quickly pressed the brakes and looked up just in time to see the police car pulling to the front of the church parking lot. Traffic stops can be dangerous for policemen, so I almost put on my blinker and turned into the church so he would be safer. I figured being up front might lessen the blow and I might get off with a warning.
Rule #3 – Never volunteer information that could hurt you
But I thought twice and decided against it. He didn’t turn on his lights and didn’t make eye contact with me. He easily could have motioned me in to the parking lot if he wanted me to pull over. So I kept driving and he pulled out right behind me. I figured I was done in at that point and almost pulled in to the next housing unit. But again, I didn’t want to admit anything. For the next two miles the cop was right on my tail. I continued looking back to see if he would motion me over, but I saw nothing to indicate he wanted me to pull over. But I was still nervous. This continued for another mile until the road split from a two lane road to a 4 lane road.
I pulled into the right lane behind a van and the cop followed me! By this point I’m just ready to get it over with. I waited through the longest red light and when the light turned green I saw the flash of the police lights in my review mirror. I was done for.
Except I wasn’t. The policeman gunned the accelerator and quickly pulled in front of me. It turns out the driver he was after was the van in front of me. The van was a little ways in front of me coming down the hill by the speed trap, so I couldn’t tell how fast it was going. I’m sure the van driver was a little disappointed to be pulled over so far from where the event occurred. But I felt lucky.
Rule #4 – Avoid speeding
When all else fails, the best way to avoid a speeding ticket is to avoid speeding in the first place. This may not be the advice many drivers are looking for, however at the end of the day, it’s not worth risking your life or that of another person to get somewhere a few minutes sooner. There is a reason for posted speed limits and staying within the bounds of the law is much easier than trying to avoid the penalties of breaking the law. Not only that, but driving the speed limit significantly reduces your risk of being in an auto accident.
Rule #5 – Safety in numbers
Let’s face it, this is a situation where there is definitely safety in numbers. If you keep your speed within 5-10 miles an hour of surrounding traffic, you are less likely to get pulled over. Logistically, police officers can only pull over one car at a time, therefore driving in a pack of cars that are going the same speed makes you less likely to be a target. More specifically, travel in the middle of the pack, therefore you are not the first car tripping the radar or the last car to pick up when the group has passed by.
Rule #6 – Find a lead driver
If you must speed and want to reduce your chances of being ticketed, be on the lookout for another driver who is traveling at the same speed as you. Let that driver take the “lead” and follow behind at roughly 50-100 yards. This is not a foolproof plan, but it does allow the opportunity for the lead driver to get the attention of the police officer. If the lead driver hits the brakes hard with no changes in traffic, it is a good sign they have spotted a police officer and you too should slow things down.
Rule #7 – Don’t draw attention to yourself
Driving aggressively, changing lanes frequently or tailgating are sure signs of not only an inconsiderate driver but a dangerous one as well. This alone will draw the attention of the police.
Rule #8 – Invest in a radar detector
When legal to use, radar detectors are clearly the easiest way to avoid a ticket. The initial investment might cost a couple of bucks, however the money you save in speeding tickets can be well worth the purchase price of a good radar detector. Make sure you understand where radar detectors are legally allowed to be used before making your investment.
Do you have any tips for avoiding speeding tickets?