How I Dodged a Speeding Ticket

Yesterday morning I had a brush with the law. I was late for a meeting, and was driving like a bat out of hell when I crested a hill and crossed paths with a local deputy who was headed in the other direction. If you’ve ever looked in your rear-view mirror and seen the long arm of the law hit the brakes and turn around, you’ll know the sinking feeling that I had at that moment. The good news (for me, anyway) is that I drove away without a speeding ticket.

How did I avoid a speeding ticket? Good question. No, I didn’t cry or flash him cleavage. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the former would’ve been met with laughter and the latter would’ve gotten me arrested). Rather, I kept my cool and tried to make the deputy’s job as easy as possible. As soon as he pulled me over, I rolled down my window, pulled out my wallet and put it on the dash, then shut off the car and put the keys on the dash. I then put my hands on the steering wheel and waited.

When he approached, he informed me that he clocked me at 65 in a 45 zone. Ouch. But I didn’t give him any B.S. excuses. (Late? Come on, we’re all late! All the time!) Instead, I was contrite, matter-of-fact, and apologetic. After running my plates and checking my license and insurance (I have a clean driving record, and everything was up-to-date), he came back and simply said:

“I’m going to give your license back and just ask that you slow down. You were going way too fast for this road.”

Whew! No speeding ticket, no points, nothing. While I can’t say for sure that my actions helped me avoid the speeding ticket, they certainly couldn’t have hurt. Given how quickly a routine traffic stop can turn ugly, I know that I’d greatly appreciate it if a driver went out of their way to make things as easy as possible for me — and I’d almost certainly look more favorably upon their situation if they did.

Then again, maybe I was just lucky.

18 Responses to “How I Dodged a Speeding Ticket”

  1. Anonymous

    Yeah I know the feeling.

    I have had my license for a little over 2 years and never had been stopped. I was always a little speed demon and was coming home from a day trip out of town with my boyfriend around 8 o’clock or so.

    He said he clocked me at 80 in a 55 (its a deserted road, but as everyone says above, be careful be careful) and I’m not sure what it was (my brothers active duty flag sticker, the “My Brother’s in the Navy” sticker, the “(My school’s name)” Ivy League Sticker, or the knee brace i had on, but he let me go and was really nice about it. My record is squeaky clean, and so, I feel your luck. i count my lucky stars and slow down now.

    And too, I did like everyone else said, rolled down the window, put the keys on the dash, kept the overhead light on, told him everything I was doing to unlock my glove compartment so that he wouldn’t have to ask what was going on. Had everything up to date and readily within reach for when he asked.

  2. Anonymous

    You can be clocked, no matter what direction you’re going in. And some new technology is weather independent. And be glad you weren’t in Montgomery County Maryland. They’ll try to bait you in to an argument. (first hand knowledge) and still give you the ticket

  3. Anonymous

    I think I’ve gotten stopped a total of 5 times since getting my license (I’m 27 now). Of the 5, 4 were for speeding, and only 2 resulted in my being ticketed.

    It definitely helps to be as cooperative as possible, but that’s not enough by itself. I’ve noticed that I’ve never gotten a ticket going to work or picking someone up from work. Both times I actually got a ticket, I was driving to something fun.

    Another clear pattern is that when I got both tickets, I was farther from home (and therefor would have a harder time contesting the ticket in court). When people contest tickets, it virtually erases the revenue that the jurisdiction would have received from the citation.

  4. Anonymous

    I agree although you got off with the ticket I don’t think that should be the moral of the tale. You got caught and let off but it could just as easily have ended with knocking a small child down. Try getting off with that on your conscience. Having said that faced with the same situation as you cheers for the advice.

  5. Anonymous

    Hey, at least you were speeding! I received a ticket for not having a seat belt on, but I had it on! The idiot didn’t see it I guess. $135 here in Texas for not having a seat belt on.


  6. Anonymous were just lucky here. 🙂 The chances of that happening in our county may be probably worse than the chances of winning a lottery.

    Here, folks usually get tickets (not verbal warnings…not written warnings) for going like 12~15 mph above limit…and no amount of good manners or clean records will avoid it. 🙂

    Drive safer in future. 🙂

  7. Anonymous

    You were just lucky. I did the exact same thing before–just cooperate quietly, don’t give any excuses or attitude. I had an absolute clean record up to then, no warnings, never even pulled over. Didn’t work, he slapped me with a ticket. And it just for going in the right turn/bike lane too early, not even speeding!

  8. Anonymous

    Just so nobody gets the wrong idea from a previous post, the technology for years has allowed radar “clocking” whether the officer is stationary, moving toward, or moving with the target vehicle. Now, the closer the angle of the radar beam gets to ninety degrees from the target, the less accurate the reading (resulting in a number smaller than the actual speed). Heavy precipitation is another factor that can distort a reading.

    Since these apparently were not factors pertinent to your situation, I believe you are correct that your actions and attitude resulted in your happy ending. Just because someone is stopped, it doesn’t mean they are going to get ticketed. Departments can require a certain number of traffic STOPS, but cannot legally require a certain number of citations be issued (quotas). While it certainly doesn’t work in every case, a driver’s attitude is one of the biggest factors in a decision not to write a ticket.

  9. Anonymous

    It sounds like the officer probably obtained the main objective, which was to get you to slow down in the future. A friend of mine who was a street cop before making detectives used to tell incredible stories about idiots who talked themselves INTO tickets (when she’d planned on giving a warning) by arguing and not doing what she politely asked them to do.

    If you don’t have to watch for pedestrians on country roads, you do need to slow down in case of slow-moving farm vehicles. Or deer. Or cows. Glad to hear you’ll be easing up on the gas pedal. Plus, you’ll be saving money by getting better mileage!

  10. Just for clarification, when I say that I crossed paths with a deputy, I didn’t mean anything other than he was headed in the opposite direction (so ‘passed’ would be a more accurate description). Moreover, this isn’t the sort of area where you’d ever find a kid or any other sort of pedestrian traffic (it’s a country road). In fact, the speed limit on that stretch is probably artificially low, as not far up the road the speed limit jumps up.

    Still, your point is well taken – I was obviously driving faster than I should have been.

  11. Anonymous

    I agree that YOU got off lucky, but it could have been a different situation for anyone at the top of the hill. It’s hit or miss, though, to get a lenient police officer. I also was very submissive when I was pulled over last year (hands on wheel, announce all my actions in advance, etc.), but I still got nailed with a heavy ticket.

    I drive slower now, but the road I got stopped on should be 15 mph faster speed limit (55, not 40). However, I still would have been speeding had it been 55mph

  12. Anonymous

    You probably didn’t get a ticket because he probably didn’t actually clock your speed. He probably just made an estimate. If he is moving in the opposite direction of travel from yourself, he can not clock your speed.

    That being said, your actions certainly didn’t hurt and while not all municipalities require any actual radar evidence (relying upon the officer’s word unless there is evidence to the contrary) I am sure he’d be less likely to want to ticket you by just assuming that you were going the speed that he stated.

  13. Anonymous

    Good thing that when you crested that hill doing that speed it was just a local deputy and not a kid on a bike.

    Be careful. A ticket isn’t the WORST thing that could happen in that situation. 🙁

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