Our minds are pretty much 99% made up before we make contact with the driver. Every once in awhile you can tell someone is having a really shitty day and maybe decide not to give the ticket. Just don’t be an asshole, you have no idea how often someone who wasn’t going to get a ticket ends up getting one based on their attitude or arguing with me and vice-versa. Also alot of the time when people make small talk and have somewhat of a conversation it humanizes the people were dealing with and makes it harder for us to give someone a ticket.
Cops are people too we have feels. TL;DR having an attitude pretty much guarantees a ticket.
I have been pulled over 8 times without receiving a single ticket and most of it was due to the fact that I attempted to appear as non-threatening as possible and made small talk with all of them, even as far as asking how their their night is going.
I also respect what they do and understand that a ticket is my fault, not their’s. I think that changes my attitude quite a bit.
1) Keep your hands on the steering wheel throughout the entire encounter (shows care and concern for the officer’s safety, and trust me, we really appreciate that)
2) Turn on your dome light (if its night time)
3) Don’t stare at the officer in your side view or rear view (we notice this everytime, it looks suspicious and some officers will be more on the defensive)
4) Know where your registration and proof of insurance is so you are not fumbling to find it (shows responsibility and courtesy). I recommend getting a small portfolio to keep it in. Print that new insurance card every time you renew!
5) Ask permission to remove your wallet to retrieve your DL and your registration (again shows care for the officer’s safety). You can say something like “My wallet is in my back right pocket, is it okay if I pull it out to get you my driver’s license?”
6) Most importantly, take responsibility for your actions. Don’t make up a bullshit excuse as to why you were speeding, we have heard them all. Something like, “yeah, it’s possible I was going a little over the limit, I thought is was keeping with the flow of traffic” will suffice.
7) This should be a no-brainer, but don’t have an attitude. Passing the “attitude check” is a minimum prerequisite if you don’t want to get a ticket.
When I see people do this on a traffic stop, I assume the person is responsible and punitive measures are not necessary. This person is capable of correcting their actions after receiving a verbal warning. After all, the intention is to get people to obey the speed limit to keep everyone safe, not to make money for the government through fines.
Another thing to keep in mind, If you get pulled over by state police/highway patrol/trooper, your chances of getting out of a ticket are slim. Their primary responsibility is more traffic enforcement and less crime prevention. Even if you have a good attitude or have some clever excuse for your actions, they will likely stick to the letter of the law and issue you the ticket. These police officers get credit from their agency if they have good “stats”.
If you get pulled over by a city/county/town police officer, you have a better shot of “getting out” of a speeding ticket. Most of these officers are doing speed enforcement as probable cause to pull you over and uncover a more serious crime (drugs, weapons etc.). Assuming you don’t have any other reason for the officer to question your integrity, your best route is to admit responsibility for your actions and be polite.
My Dad used to be a traffic cop in London, he once became the hero of his station when he pulled over Katie Price and she gave the ‘Do you know who I am?’ card. He just acted like he had no idea who she was, and treated her like he would any non-celebrity, and he had already decided he was giving her a ticket when he saw who it was. They even gave him a small joke award, a little trophy labeled ‘Legend of Knightsbridge’.
Traffic stops are the most dangerous things for officers. I think its something like 55% of officers are killed on a “routine” traffic stop. As a county police officer a majority of my traffic stops are just to try and find someone with warrants for their arrest, narcotics or something else.
Treat me as you wish to be treated. I’m just doing my job.
Also, ask me politely for a warning, if you aren’t doing 60 in a residential and weren’t driving recklessly, a simple,”Would you consider giving me a warning?” worked many times…my dept counts warnings toward my monthly quota. As for admitting guilt, if you are getting a ticket, and say, “I wasn’t paying attention, the speed got away from me,” I’m going to write that in the notes section of the ticket for when I testify. Again, that’s my job.
Things NOT to say.. Do you know who I am??? My tax dollars pay your salary!! I know the chief/the county executive/a judge Don’t you have anything better to do? Shouldn’t you be out catching real criminals? (if the general public knew how often a simple traffic stop led to the arrest of people with felony warrants, they might be a little less annoyed by traffic stops)
Be the child of a police officer and you’re pretty much golden, at least within the city your parent works for.
Not a cop, but never admit to speeding because then they have to give you a ticket because you admitted guilt. Source I have 1 judge, 3 lawyers, and a paralegal as very close friends.
This is a specific scenario, but i had a friend who was going the opposite direction as the cop was. Cops flips a bitch, pulls him over. He asked for radar proof from the officer, as you can only gauge speed without radar if you are BEHIND or NEXT TO someone. It is also impossible to GET accurate radar while moving. So he got out of that ticket instantly because i guess people usually accept the ticket, never questioning a cop. That same cop kept pulling him over for the next year, claiming he had illegally modified parts in his car over and over. The bitter cop did not stop this until he got a new car. So be warned, there may be a downside.
Just the other day, I made really good small talk with the police officer. In fact, both he and I smiled in our conversation. Then he walked back to his car and came back out with a ticket.
He told me to have a nice day. :(
I got my ticket significantly reduced while speeding on the highway. I was driving down a hill on the highway, and the cop pulled me over doing 85 in a 65. This is felony reckless driving in VA. I just apologized for what I did, I told them I wasn’t used to driving in hilly terrain (I was living in Florida at the time), and we had a pleasant conversation about Florida. The sheriff used to live not too far from where I lived. We were just shooting the shit for a while. He knocked the ticket down to a much lower speeding ticket (I think it was 78 in a 65), and that was it. If he booked me for the full ticket, I would have gotten a felony charge and would have to go to court in VA (I was still living in FL).