Tuesday, December 11, 2007

WFMW: How Not to Get a Ticket

I figured as we are all running around, spending our last pennies on Christmas gifts, juggling kids, cell phones, and ...
What?
Is that cop pulling ME over? Yup. In the day of too many distractions and not enough time, many of us find ourselves pulled over. With those festive red and blue flashing lights and strobes right in our rear view mirror...

What to do? How do you NOT get a very merry ticket?

Read on for a few tips from someone who knows (these are not guaranteed to get you out of a ticket, but they will sure help, usually).

1. TELL THE TRUTH!!!! I put this as number one for a reason. As cops, you must understand that we spend 99.9% of our time being lied to. That makes us literal human lie detectors. When the cop asks you how fast you were going or if you had your seatbelt on, we are not asking because we don't know the answer. We just want to hear what you have to say. So fess up. Yeah, I was going 78 in a 55 and I know that's way too fast with all the other people out on the roads... Whatever. Just tell the truth. I actually gave a guy a WARNING for better than 30 mph over the limit just because he told the truth... which leads me to my second point.

2. BE ACCOUNTABLE. Don't blame YOUR speed, YOUR failure to signal your lane change, or YOUR (insert infraction here) on someone else. I actually had a lady blaming her 2 year old in the backseat because she was speeding. Uh, yeah, I don't think that kid was reaching into the front seat pushing the gas pedal. So be accountable. You are in control of your car, and really, your whatever is really your fault. If "that guy" was tailgaiting, intimidating, driving recklessly, blah, blah, blah, then pull over and get away from him. Don't speed up, or pass on the shoulder, or whatever other great idea you have.

3. DON'T CRY. For God's sake. No tears. My goodness, it's just a traffic stop. Tears will surely get you a ticket from me. And most other cops I know. Enough said.

4. DON'T ARGUE AND DON'T ASK TO SEE MY RADAR. The United States of America has a great judicial system. If you weren't (insert infraction), go to court and let the judge decide. Police officers REALLY don't like holding a mini court session while they are standing on the side of the road trying to not get run over. Also, just for the record, NO I don't have to show you my radar!!!

5. DON'T ASK FOR A WARNING. I don't care if you haven't had a ticket in 3 years. 5 years. 10 years, whatever. Thanks for the information, but I can find that out on my own. And really, asking for a warning is just obnoxious. Your attitude (see points 1, 2, 3, and 4) is what dictates whether or not you get a ticket (usually). Believe me, you suggesting a warning isn't going to make the cop say, "oh yeah, I forgot I could issue those, too).

6. LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST.... DON'T TELL ME YOU PAY MY SALARY!!! Let it be known to all motoring public. Police officers pay Federal, State, and Local taxes just like you. So essentially, we pay our own salaries.

Hopefully this helps.

Be sure to check out my other WFMW posts:

Easy last minute meal...
Easy way to cut kids food...
Take a better group picture...
Taking better pictures...
How to keep holiday gift giving under control...
The best hair tie ever...
Keeping your linens organized in one easy step...
Turning lunch bags into diaper bags (are those raisins you're having?)...

Visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for other great tips and ideas!!!


16 comments:

Ronnica said...

Interesting perspective. I've never been pulled over, but have had various encounters with police when my car has broken down (they're always very helpful and protective). I'm not sure I could avoid crying if I was pulled over, though, but I would try.

Christa said...

You forgot: "Don't flirt with the officer." My husband is a police officer and he gets women (not ladies) coming onto him all the time. When he doesn't cave, the get mad. Ugh!

Jen said...

Thanks, Christa. Being an officer myself, I can appreciate you comment!!!
jen

Jane said...

How do you feel about those officer association stickers? What about PBA cards? I have heard people swear it helps?

Catherine said...

I'm going to have to share these with my husband, he has a bit of a lead foot - thanks!

Melissa Markham said...

Sometimes you honestly don't know why you got pulled over. I went about 20 years without a ticket, then one year I got three.

One was for speeding in a school zone. I was going 45 in a 55 mph area and was trying to find an address I had never been to before. The blinking school sign was on a curve and I didn't even see it because I was looking in the opposite direction at that moment for a street sign. I didn't try to explain (I get all clammy when pulled over and can't think straight).

The next time, I looked into my rear view mirror and there were those blinking lights. I looked down and I was going the speed limit. I thought the officer was on his way somewhere else, so I pull over to get out of his way and he pulls in behind me! Apparently a couple of miles back, I had gone too fast down a hill and didn't realize it. But when he asked me why he pulled me over, I had no idea.

I still appreciate the tips. Do you have one for how I can keep from feeling like one of America's most wanted when I get pulled over by a policeman...I sit there, not crying, but shaking in my shoes! Ridiculous I know...I have never been in trouble with the law, except for being pulled over.

Thanks for the tips. And thanks for the choosing the career that you have! It's not for everyone and I appreciate and respect what you put up with in order to protect us! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Sorry to go on so long...

Monica said...

I was pulled over for the first time last winter for not wearing my seat belt. I didn't even make it out of the parking lot before he got me. He asked my why I did it and my response, "I have no good reason." He said that I made his day and proceeded to hand me the citation. I knew I deserved it and so did he.

You better bet that I put on my seat belt now before I leave my parking spot! For all I know he saved my life.

Thanks for all that you do!!

Amy said...

I once got pulled over in front of my mom's house for blowing the stop sign at Garfield and Jefferson. I told the (young, male) officer that my period had started, and that was mom's house, and that I just wanted to clean up... He bought it, ran back to the squad car, wrote me a warning, and sent me on my way.

I still feel guilty. :)

You must have been really naughty, to get pulled over in your own driveway!

Love,
Amy

Autumn said...

I JUST got a ticket this morning. And I dind't get out of it. My insurance company messed up my policy awhile back causing a lapse and THIS is how I found out that they didn't fix it. $420 worth of fines later....

Dimple Queen said...

I do have to say that I have been pulled over many times and I have never gotten a ticket. Actually I did get one for not having proof of my insurance one time, but all I had to do was take it to the "place you take them too here" and show them I had it....it was just new and not in my car yet!

BUT I DO all those things you said...I tell the truth, I do not lie, I do not make excuses, etc....

I figure that if I am going to get a ticket, then I DESERVE IT!! One time my 5 year old, then 4, was in the car....he said, "Momma why didn't you get a ticket?" It was a great lesson for us both. I told him, "Momma told the officer the truth and he showed Momma some grace and mercy! Just like when you tell the truth and Daddy shows you grace and mercy by not giving you a punishment."

Thank you Jen for SERVING our country in a profession that does not get enough recognition!

Angela

Melinda said...

Thank you for the job you do. :)

I had an MP tell me one time, another tip was to just answer yes or no. When a cop pulls you over and says, "do you know how fast you were going?" that it's better to answer yes or no than to answer with the speed. Is that a good idea?

Hugs,
Melinda

Candace & Anna said...

My hubbys aunt got pulled over for going pretty fast and confessed she had to get home to see who shot JR. He let her go with a warning lol.

tickledpink.nicole said...

Great post! Even though my borther is a police officer I still needed to read this.

Merry Christmas!

Marie said...

I have been pulled over a few times in my life, and always wondered why I never got a ticket. I'm always nice, friendly, and say "thank you."

Rebecca said...

Great tips!

Laane said...

I've enjoyed reading it.
Like I heard my uncle speaking once again.

Feel welcome to visit my blog

Laane on the World

Have a great day!