Sometimes, we all fall behind schedule, and the temptation is to drive to our destination as quickly as possible. However, this can wind up in a speeding ticket that will cost points on your driving record and possibly drive up your insurance rates. Here are some ways that can sometimes help avoid getting that speeding ticket.
The Don’t Stand Out” Technique
One of the strategies is the “Don’t Stand Out” technique. A good rule of thumb is to go with the flow and keep to the right when you are in unfamiliar areas, especially if you are from out-of-state. Do not drive aggressively, and keep your car clean, decluttered, and free of bumper stickers that are anti-police or pro-violence.
Avoid these types of things that draw police attention:
- Flashy after-market add-ons,
- Neon undercarriage lighting,
- Tinted windows,
- Cracked windshields,
- Missing headlights, and
- Anything that gives the impression that you habitually speed, break the law, or have something to hide.
Go With The Flow
A variation of the “Don’t Stand Out” technique is to be in a train of cars all driving at your speed.
- If you are all speeding, a patrol car is more likely to go after the lead car, giving you more time to slow down if you need to do so.
- Also, even if the first driver doesn’t spot the patrol car, the second one is more likely to see it and brake, thus alerting you.
- Another variation on that technique is to follow a car at your desired speed at some distance behind. That way if the car attracts the attention of the police, you again have advance warning to slow down.
Drive At A Constant Speed
A precaution for everyday defensive driving and not just to avoid speeding is situational awareness.
- Be aware that if traffic slows down, there’s probably a reason, and one of them could a patrol cruiser nearby.
- Whatever the reason, it will become apparent in short order, and it could be smart to slow down in advance.
Anticipate Traffic Events
In defensive driving, a good practice is to look 5 seconds ahead to anticipate traffic events. However, if you are driving at higher speeds, it’s even better to look 12 seconds ahead. That distance corresponds to the range of a police radar, and will give you time to slow down and avoid a speed trap.
Acknowledge Traffic Police Patrolling
Another strategy, if you’re going a little too fast, is to acknowledge an officer in a lurking cruiser in a friendly way.
- A former police officer says that a smart thing to do is waving to the officer, who might think that he knows you and will wave back. Or
- He might suppose that you’re acknowledging that you were driving fast and are letting him know you are slowing down.
- Either way, he could be happier to let you get by without pulling you over for a ticket.
Don’t Admit You Were Speeding
Another strategy if you are pulled over, is never to admit you were speeding. According to a former police officer;
- Don’t give the officer any ammunition in case you decide to contest the ticket in traffic court. The best response is noncommittal: “I see” or “I was not aware of my speed”.
- It’s also best to get through as quickly and politely as you can, without giving them any other impression than being nice and obeying their direction.
Keep Track Of Approaching Traffic Cameras
GPS navigation systems can download additional Points-of-Interest (POI) software that tells you when you are approaching stoplights with traffic cameras. Links to the software are available on GPS manufacturers’ web pages. Alternatively, you can spot where such video cameras are by their profile on or near traffic lights and memorize their locations for next time.
At the end of the day, the best strategy is “Don’t speed!”. It’s better to arrive late or to miss an event than be involved in an unpleasant situation on the road.