Before You Pull Over: 5 Practical (and Legal) Tips to Avoid a Speeding Ticket

Speeding is something every driver on the road has done at least once in their years of being behind the wheel. Some of these violators may have been ticketed, some may have gotten away with it on more than one occasion. The point, though, is that it’s a common thing for motorists.

car speedAbout 41 million people receive speeding tickets yearly, which makes up about 20% of all drivers. Major states including California, New York, and Ohio make up the top states that issue the most driving citations.

While drivers are required to follow all traffic laws, sometimes, it’s not the case. Case in point, the statistics mentioned earlier.

With that, here are a few practical (and legal) tips to help you steer clear of encounters with highway patrol officers.

1.  Be aware not just of the road and the vehicle, but also with what’s happening around you. If traffic is moving slow, there’s a reason. Know the times and conditions where you need to reduce speed lower than the posted speed limit.

2.  Be ready for anything. Times have changed and technology is proving useful to everyone, including law enforcement. Speed cameras, dash cams, radars, and other speed traps can all be lurking somewhere, just waiting for you to speed up a few miles over the posted limit.

3. Keep calm and be quiet. Just present your license and registration, along with your insurance card. Remember that you don’t have to answer any questions, especially when doing so means admitting fault.

Tell them you’re asserting your right to remain silent, or that they need to speak to your lawyer. Remember also to do it in a nice, polite, and respectful way. Being a jerk or disrespecting authority will only get you in more trouble. Let your speeding ticket lawyer do the talking.

4.  Challenge every ticket. You have the right to due process, so it’s always a good idea to exercise it, especially if you think the highway patrol officer was being unreasonable or was wrong in interpreting the law.

5.  Argue your case. The judge will hear you out, but remember, they’re there as part of the revenue-collection mechanism that is traffic violations. Instead of focusing your defense on the fault of others, give them a reason to dismiss your case because you aren’t guilty.

The best advice is still to not go over the speed limit, but for those times when you forget to look at your speedometer and be ticketed, it is always best to know all your options.

About the Author

As a New York-based psychologist. Thelma Scott has conducted several seminars tackling adult autism.