Nobody likes the idea of being pulled over for speeding. Depending on whether you are traveling on a city street or on an interstate highway, the cost of your speeding ticket can be significant. The issue is only compounded when you are traveling much faster than the posted limit. When you are pulled over for speeding, your best bet is to keep a cool head, admit that you were going faster than the limit and not attempt to play games with the officer. Doing so will increase your chances of being let off with a warning or at least make it more likely that you will receive a reduced fine.
If you haven’t already noticed that you were exceeding the speed limit, chances are you will glance at the odometer as soon as you see flashing lights in the rear view mirror. After feeling that first round of lurching in your stomach, face the fact that you are about to be pulled over. Calm yourself and begin the process of finding a safe place to get to the side of the road. To let the officer know you are looking for a good place for pulling over, turn on your signal light and use your breaks to begin slowing down.
As you wait for the officer to get out of his or her vehicle, take the time to remove your driver’s license from your wallet or purse. Since you already know that the officer will want to see it, having it ready is an excellent way to exhibit good will and cooperation.
Stay in Your Vehicle
Unless instructed by the officer, remain in the vehicle. The conversation can easily be carried out by rolling down the window and speaking through the opening. Attempting to exit the vehicle can be seen as aggressive and could lead to an unpleasant situation. Rather than doing anything that could possibly be perceived as a threat, remain fully compliant with whatever the officer has to say.
Conversing with the Officer
As in any other type of situation, keeping the interaction on a professional level is the best way to go. Don’t raise your voice at the officer and don’t make remarks that could be interpreted as sarcastic or condescending. The general idea is to keep the flow of conversation on a civil level.
The officer already knows you are speeding. The question is whether or not you were aware of the fact. If you honestly did not realize you were going a few miles over the posted limit, don’t hesitate to apologize and admit you were not paying attention to your speed. At the same time, if you had noticed that you were going faster than allowed by law, don’t attempt to sugarcoat the situation. Admit you were in the wrong and do so respectfully.
Many officers understand that people sometimes are less than attentive to the speed they are going. When the amount over the limit is somewhat small, there is a good chance that you will receive nothing more than a warning. This is particularly true if the officer verifies that you are not currently wanted for any other type of infraction and your driving record does not indicate that you are a habitual speeder.
Keep in mind that if you are more than a few miles over the speed limit, the officer may not have the option of providing a warning. However, the officer may be able to write the ticket in a manner that keeps the fine as low as possible. Don’t quibble over the amount. You already know you were speeding and running the risk of being cited for the offense. Accept the ticket gracefully, promise to pay more attention and then decide if you want to fight your speeding ticket or if you want to pay it.
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