Let's face it, if you own a Porsche the chances are better than average that at some point you will get pulled over for speeding. I know, I know, you were only on the go pedal for a minute, you just wanted to feel that pulse quickening acceleration or hear that sonorous sound of your exhaust. Maybe you were unfairly profiled for driving a Porsche. Whatever the reason, most of us are bound to get pulled over at some point. If you don't know how to avoid a speeding ticket, in the first place, then how you act and what you do after being stopped will play a bigger role in the outcome than what you did to get pulled over.
First Step Toward Beating a Speeding Ticket: Set the Police Officer at Ease!
Most police officers will tell you the most dangerous type of calls they respond to are those involving domestic violence. The reason is they simply don't know what they are walking into. Making a traffic stop is a very close second. The officer can get some information by running your plates, but it's no guarantee that the person behind the wheel is the same as who the car is registered to. They have limited visibility into your car, they can't always see your hands and don't have any idea why you were speeding. How you react as the police office approaches your car plays a huge roll in the outcome of this event. While a well trained officer is never going to let their guard down, you can help to relax them, even just a little. After being pulled over you might consider doing the following:
- Don't make any sudden movements
- If it is night time turn on the interior light in your car so the officer can see inside
- Roll down your driver's side window so the officer doesn't have to ask you to do so
- DON'T REACH FOR YOUR LICENSE AND REGISTRATION, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE IN THE GLOVE BOX OR STORAGE AREA
- Instead, put both your hands on the steering wheel, in plain site so it is easy to see you're not carrying any kind of weapon that could be a threat to the police officer's personal safety.
Second Step Toward Beating a Speeding Ticket: Be Respectful!
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do. Sure, you're frustrated, maybe even mad at getting pulled over. The absolute worst things you can do is take it out on the officer. Ever seen this guy before (warning, there's a bit of swearing)? It's a miracle he wasn't thrown in jail!
The video above is a great example of what not to do. Here are a few things to consider:
- Above all else, be courteous. Like it or not the police officer is just doing their job.
- Be calm. The officers level of intensity will most likely always be one level above yours, it has to be. Keep cool and level and the officer will too.
- If you followed my advice from the first step, then your window is down and your hands are on the steering wheel. When the police officer asks for your license and registration, let him know where they are and ask if it is okay to reach for them. For example, "Officer, my registration is in the glove box and my license is in my wallet, is it okay for me to reach and get them?"
- This is a highly stressful situation for the officer (whether they seem it or not). You can put them at ease with your actions and demeanor.
Lastly, Plead Your Case, but Not Too Hard
Some times, when being pulled over for speeding, a police officer has estimated your speed vs. capturing it on a radar gun. In these instances you're very likely to here these questions, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Or, another favorite is, "Do you know how fast your were going?" These questions server a number of purposes for the officer, not only could they get you to admit guilt (which could later be used against you if you try to fight a ticket) they are also using it as a tactic to engage you in a conversation to judge your mental faculties and listen to you speak (in other words, determine if you're under the influence of alcohol or drugs). Assuming you're not high or drunk (if you are, you're on your own) a simple, polite, non-committal approach is the best way to answer these questions. You might try a simply "no" to answer the first and a "I'm sorry, I was focusing on driving safely and the traffic around me."
If the officer tells you that you were clocked on radar going 80mph in a 50mph zone, you still don't have to admit guilt, but you might want to try pleading your case. Remember, the officer has discretion and if you were polite and courteous they can still let you off with a warning or a reduced fine. An important distinction to remember is that you want to beat the ticket and the system, not the police officer.
Two arguments that have been known to work (but are by no means fool proof) are crying and by telling the truth. If you were speeding and you think there was a legitimate reason for it, by all means let the officer know. Are you rushing to get home because of an emergency? Has a loved one been injured, etc. While not an excuse, the truth might just set you free.
- Be Calm
- Be Respectful
- If Appropriate, Plead Your Case
I know this post could potentially open a big can of worms as most people will have an opinion on what works and what doesn't, so let's hear 'em. I'll take the best and add it to the list when I update the article. Check back in a couple of weeks for a follow up on iwhat to do in the event you get a speeding ticket.
Red Light and Speed Cameras: How They Work and How to Avoid Them
3 Tips to Avoiding a Speeding Ticket in Your Porsche
Things to Consider if you're Going to Drive Fast in Your Porsche
Slower Traffic Keep Right!!! Please?
[Photo Credit: Richard Faulder via Flickr]