Over the years, I've read a lot of different tips on how to avoid a speeding ticket. Most of the items mentioned are common sense. However, like anything, even the most simple things can be forgotten or overlooked if we're not reminded of them. While there is no sure fire way to avoid a ticket if you're breaking your local speed limit, you can greatly reduce your exposure by employing some or all of the following pointers. Here's my pick of the top seven tips, if used wisely, can help to avoid recreating the scene below.
- Keep a low profile. Let’s forget about the fact that you’re driving a Porsche for a second, try to stay under the radar (pun intended). In other words, don’t draw attention to yourself by driving aggressively, flashing lights, multiple lane changes, etc. All it takes is one jealous driver in their beat up old Pinto to place a call to your local traffic control with a statement akin to, “Yeah, a black Porsche 911 just passed me at a little faster than the speed of sound. I think you might want to send someone out before this guy kills himself or someone else”. A call like that can ruin your day.
- Drive with the “flow of traffic”. Cops are looking for that one car going significantly faster than the others. If the speed limit is 65 mph and you, and everyone else on the road, are driving 72 to 75 mph then you’re in the “flow of traffic”. Yes, technically you (and those around you) are still speeding and do risk a ticket. The problem for the police becomes who to pull over? By driving with the “flow” you’ve automatically improved your odds of not being singled out.
- Follow, don't lead. Usually if you drive with the “flow of traffic” no matter their speed you’ll be safe from a ticket. In the event the roads your driving aren’t that crowded find just one other car going faster than you and fall in behind them. This way, if there is a speed trap, hopefully your leader will get nailed and you’ll keep going albeit at a slower pace.
- Be observant and look for brake lights. This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how often it is overlooked. By simply watching the traffic ½ mile to one (1) mile in front you have the ability to avoid any and all speed traps. Let’s face it, no one wants a ticket so the natural response to seeing a police car (on the side of the road or in a highway cutout) is to reduce speed by braking. When a whole group of cars suddenly brakes/slows at the same time you can be pretty sure that there is something of interest ahead of you. Adjust your speed accordingly. Even if it isn’t a speed trap, it may be some other obstruction or danger that requires a reduction in speed and your early observation will keep you out of harms way.
- Avoid the left lane. Lest we forget our early driver's education, the left lane is for passing only (that’s why they call it the passing lane). When you have to pass, use your blinker, move to the left and pass. Once you’re safely past the car in front of you move back into the middle or right lanes. Driving in this manner provides two benefits. The first is if a cop is coming from the opposite direction, they are more likely to be looking for speeders in the far left lane and have their radar pointed to that location. The second is you get some camouflage from any other speeders also on the road and driving in the left/passing lane. Let’s say you pass a cut-out with a radar trap set-up. The radar is going to bounce off the car in the left lane and return a signal on their speed, thus shielding you from a ticket (I know it’s a little thin, but it’s all about stacking the odds in your favor).
- Buy a Radar Detector. If you live in a state where they are legal, by all means get one. A good radar detector will set you back a few hundred bucks, but so will a speeding ticket (not to mention the additional charges on your insurance, etc.). If you can, buy one of the newer radar detectors that also include detection and location information for red light and speed cameras.
- Don’t speed. I know, this is a simple solution and not much fun, but for obvious reasons, it works.
These are the things that have worked for me over the years? Is there anything I should add to the list? Let me know what works for you?
Next week I'll talk about what to do in the event you do get caught speeding in your Porsche. Just because you're pulled over doesn't mean you'll be ticketed. A lot depends on how you look and act toward to officer pulling you over.
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[Post Photo Credit: Richard Faulder. Featured Image from slider via: NDavini at MadWhips]