Every year millions of traffic offenses are issued, being these, the tickets that generate the most income to the public coffers and therefore to the State. For motorcyclists, even a speeding ticket can increase your insurance cost for several years, and many violations can send your insurance sky high. Fortunately, many fines can be avoided by following the following guidelines.
Method 1 of 5: Drive Safe
Step 1. Obey the rules of the road
Don't break traffic laws and you won't be fined. Ignorance is not an excuse. Traffic laws also vary from state to state and sometimes from city to city; do some research if you are going to drive away from home.
Step 2. Practice defensive driving
Erratic or aggressive driving can make other people angry and put both of you in danger. Even if you don't break any laws, constantly changing lanes or accelerating too fast can attract unwanted police attention. Consider taking a defensive driving class.
Step 3. Use your seat belt
It is a law almost everywhere, do not give the police any excuse to suspect you and stop you.
Method 2 of 5: Invisible Management
Step 1. Don't stand out
- Maintain your vehicle. Broken windshields, burnt out lights, and other minor maintenance problems can all lead to a ticket.
- Look for alternatives. Being the person with a cell phone around your neck and a hamburger in your other hand is not a good thing.
- If you're buying a new vehicle, choose a flat-colored sedan over one that looks sporty, brightly colored, conspicuous, and / or custom-made. There are many models that have a modest style with elegant and confident proportions, excellent handling
- Don't cover your car with attention-grabbing stickers and / or controversial phrases, no matter how happy or angry the politicians make you feel. A cop can be a fan of a politician that you hate or love a politician that you hate.
- Remove the license plate frames and seller's stamps that can identify you as a foreigner. People who drive long distances don't like to go to court to fight or try to invalidate a ticket. Either way, do not cover your plates, you can be arrested for this infraction.
- Don't drive pig style. All windows must provide an unobstructed view for the driver.
Method 3 of 5: Beware of Cops
Step 1. Look for the most common ambushes
Check the road constantly to find parked cars and patrols on the road. You should not only look for the typical police car; some state police departments are mixing their fleets so that SUVs or sports cars are part of the patrol and get you in trouble. Some tips to distinguish these cars are:
- Find a ceiling light. Your brain must react to every red light that flashes on top of a vehicle.
- Look for a bulb on the driver's side of the vehicle. Only police vehicles can have these lights.
- By law, officers are not allowed to support any ideology, idea or any group in their cars. The vehicles are from the city, therefore it will be very difficult for you to find a patrol with a “Totally Princess” stamp on the bumper.
- Police badges are made different from the regular ones. In some cases, they will literally say EXEMPT. Find the style of license plates used by the police in your state.
- Pay attention to the brake lights, many vehicles have them in the top center of the rear window. The lights that go in the center of the patrols are longer because they work as blue and white. One clue is if the center light is visible but does not turn red when you brake.
- Patrols often have multiple antennas.
Step 2. Get a radar or laser detector
If you are going to drive very fast, a combination of radar and laser detectors will help you stop in time. Be careful: detectors are illegal in Virginia, Washington, D. C., on US military bases, and in many countries. They are not 100% effective and if they arrest you and the police see the detector they will not be exactly happy.
Step 3. Remember that you cannot always see the police on the road
It is wise to brake in places where they can hide such as on ramps, blind curves, or trees. And especially be cautious on stretches of road under repair or where speed limit signs are lowered. When you see a slowdown sign, be sure to brake before you reach it - the police know it's a good place to catch fast-going riders.
Step 4. Watch out for speed cameras
Many localities are adopting this modality where an automatic system takes photos of your plates and your face and a laser determines the speed. These systems are mounted on vans that are parked on the road or permanently in dangerous places, such as intersections where many accidents occur.
- These cameras also photograph vehicles running red lights or traveling in special lanes. You can usually see these cameras if you look carefully, especially if you travel that route frequently.
- You may be able to see exactly where the permanent cameras are placed in your town hall or via the internet.
Step 5. Be careful with other vehicles
The worst thing you can do after avoiding a policeman's laser is to meet another patrol on the road and fly past them. Be careful with every car in your vicinity.
Step 6. Look at suspicious vehicles if you can
You may see the trunk that separates the rear from the front or an officer's uniform.
Step 7. Know the roads you drive frequently
The police often choose the same places to hide; make a mental note when you see a police car parked on the road and be sure to respect the speed limit the next time you reach that point.
Step 8. Beware of multiple patrols
If you see another motorcyclist being stopped by a patrol, don't assume there are no moors on the coast. Brake to go the speed limit for a mile or two. It is common for police to set up speed traps in groups on a short stretch of road.
Step 9. Check your rear view mirror frequently
This minimizes the chance of a patrol catching you off guard. Also, if an officer stands behind you at night with his lights off, chances are he will stop you, be prepared to stop.
Method 4 of 5: Specific to fines for Speeding
Step 1. Where possible, drive at the speed limit
You have to know that the limit imposed applies for ideal conditions. Drive 5 or 10 miles per hour under the limit if there is rain or snow on the road.
Step 2. Stay out of the “fast lane”
Those who drive in the "fast lane" (almost always on the left) are frequently fined because they go faster but also because of the psychological effect: of appearing to go faster simply because they are in the "fast lane". In addition to the fact that most traffic laws indicate that you drive on the right unless you pass other vehicles, therefore, you can be fined for driving on the left.
Step 3. Go with the flow of traffic
If you're going to speed up, you're less likely to get a ticket if everyone else is doing it too. (In any case, if you are stopped for speeding, “going with the traffic” does not exempt you from being fined). It is very common that in areas with posted speed limits they are taken as a joke. If everyone goes to 80 in an area of 70, chances are you can avoid the fine, but if you play smart and go to 85 guess who they are going to arrest.
Step 4. Pay attention to other drivers, especially truck drivers
If you see a red light on top of the vehicle that just passed you, there may be speed traps out of your sight; Or a radar detector may alert the driver ahead of you. Trailer behavior is worth watching, particularly as trailers use radios to alert other trailers behind them. Additionally, drivers driving in the opposite direction can alert you with their lights of a possible police officer ahead.
Step 5. Find a guinea pig
Watch for someone going at the same speed as you and then let them drift away a bit and then pay attention to sudden stops or other behavior that indicates a speed trap is ahead.
Method 5 of 5: Being Detained by Police
Step 1. Be courteous and know the protocol
If you are stopped by a patrol, you may be waived the fine with a warning if you are courteous.
- When the officer approaches your window, greet them with respectful words such as "Good evening, officer." Don't use jargon. Use "officer" instead of "cop," and whatever you do, don't refer to them as cops. By following these tips you will look respectful and polite. The police officer may forgive you the fine because you don't look crazy and you look like a responsible citizen who made a little mistake.
- Don't start arguments, or act angry or belligerent, and don't make silly excuses.
- Be nice and you might get some pity. If you've already broken a traffic law, you won't get any good if you act like an idiot.
- Make the officer feel safe when he stops you. Police officers have a dangerous job and they know that a routine arrest can become life-threatening. If you make the officer feel comfortable, you will make his job less stressful and maybe he will let you go with a warning.
- Stop your car when the officer signals you to stop. Find a safe area where the officer can stand next to you and will not put his life at risk from traffic.
- Stop in a parking lot if you can; but always showing your signals to show the officer that you are not avoiding him. You can achieve this by turning on your turn signals. If you must stand on the side of the road, the right side is almost always safer for both parties.
- Park in a place where you can no longer advance. For example, stop in front of a wall. For the officer to park behind you without worrying about your escape.
- Turn off your vehicle and if possible remove the keys from the ignition.
- If it's nighttime, turn on all the interior lights.
- Stay in the vehicle. Do not make any movement during the arrest unless the officer instructs you to do so.
- Sit upright with your seat belt on and your hands on the wheel in full view of the officer. Do not move long before the officer reaches your vehicle or at any point during the arrest.
- The officer will ask for your driver's license, vehicle registration, and insurance card. Leave your hands on the wheel. Tell the officer where you have the papers and ask him for permission to take them. When the officer allows it, move slowly and deliberately take the documents. Avoid sudden movements that make the officer feel that you are going to draw a weapon.
- If an officer says you exceeded the speed limit, it's okay to respectfully ask them how they found out. If the officer says it was with a radar gun, tell him you can see it. Many officers inadvertently turn it off and your speed record is erased.
- If you get a ticket through a radar gun, you can check the officer's daily gun record. They may have to declare that they calibrated it before starting their patrol.
Step 2. Avoid admitting guilt (or not) when the officer asked you if you know why you were arrested, never admit anything, especially if you are going to go to court to legally fight your innocence
If you are fined, your admission can be used against you in court.
If you think you can get away with just one warning, try to be completely honest. The officer may appreciate your honesty and let you go with just one warning. It is a very difficult decision to follow, but do your best to analyze the situation and the officer's behavior and hopefully make the best decision
Step 3. Fight a ticket
If you can't avoid a ticket, consider going to court and fighting it legally. Sometimes just showing up indicates that you are more responsible than many drivers. Dress well and be prepared to argue in your favor without being emotional and with enough material or evidence that you can carry. Depending on the judge and the jurisdiction, the judge can help you in some way.
Step 4. Do not think that the officer does not attend when you challenge his decision to fine you
In some circumstances the officer may argue in your favor because he is paid extra to go to court. This can happen if you were courteous and respectful when you received the summons.
- Traffic cameras can sometimes be detected by radars. In many places, if your face is indistinguishable (by wearing hats or glasses) when your picture is taken, your fine may be waived in court. Many legal challenges have been opposed to automatic ticketing machines, many have been successful. If you are unlucky enough to get a ticket this way, you have a chance to go fight in court and win.
- Don't make absurd excuses; the officer has already heard them all and some of those excuses can turn into additional fines. If you say that you were going fast because of the slope of a hill, this excuse becomes another fine. "Distracted driving" is also growing as an excuse to fine.
- If you know the officer, you can try to call him by name casually in conversation. Chances are the officer will let you go this time. Always thank the officer you called by name. The policemen discuss these things when they return to their base.
- If you really have a medical emergency and need to get to the hospital quickly, continue to show respect to the officer, but ask him to escort you to the hospital.
- Remember, the officer is only doing the job you want him to do. You may not like it when you are on the other side, but they are important duties.
- Make sure in advance that you bring your driver's license, your insurance papers and the vehicle registration up to date in your glove compartment.
- Try as sad as possible. Don't tell any of your problems to the officer, just show the sadness on your face. It may be enough to leave you with a warning.
- If you belong to a Police Benefit Association, perhaps your membership will make you get rid of the fine. Your association exists to show support or appreciation to the officers and belonging to such involves some donation. Be discreet: keep your membership under the license when you pass it on to the officer.
- Do not lie. Officers do this many times a day and they know your body language.
- Look for tire marks on the road; This can show that drivers are braking to stop.
- The information in this article is not legal advice and neither wikiHow nor its contributors endorse breaking traffic laws. The best way to avoid being fined is to follow the laws.
- You have to know that in many jurisdictions, going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, not only counts as speeding, but also involves a court summons and is more expensive the fine.
- Being rude, obnoxious, or demanding never helps. Be respectful. Try to have a polite conversation with the officer.
- Don't threaten the officer with comments like "See you in court."
- Be careful if you try to seduce the officer to get rid of the ticket. Some officials may play your game and others may be offended and tougher on you for this play.