Speeding Tickets: Practical Tips and Advice
Published On: March 25, 2008
Advice on Speeding Tickets
Good advice: don’t speed
Best advice: FIGHT IT!
We’re at a time where speed enforcement is more vigilant than ever, yet we’re also taunted with the availability of faster and faster cars. Horsepower comes cheap these days, with even minivans having 250 horses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites speeding as the factor in 1/3 of all crash-related fatalities. With federal officials are urging states to increase speed enforcement, causing lawmakers in California to have added surcharges of as much as $30 on top of fines for speeding.
Paying the fine might not change your life, but the fine is usually the least of your worries. Even one speeding ticket can cost you thousands of dollars in higher insurance premiums. Insurance companies punish speeders, often basing their beliefs on studies such as one which shows California drivers with one speeding citation in a three-year period had a crash rate 50% higher, on average, than those with no infractions – and the crash rate more than doubled for those who had two or more tickets, according to the insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.
There’s evidence that getting a ticket does seem to slow people down, at least for a while. A study published in the British medical journal the Lancet, found that a conviction for a moving violation cut the risk of a fatal crash in the following months by 35%. The benefit evaporated by four months after the conviction. Assigning penalty points to a driver’s license – especially for speeding tickets – reduced the risk of fatal crashes more than convictions without penalty points. Here’s the reality – speeding is America ’s favorite pastime, isn’t it. it is simply avoidable, and possibly irresistible. And there are ways to protect yourself and your insurance premiums. Here’s some ways to reduce your chance of getting a ticket:
- Know your current driving record– spend a few bucks and request your driving record from DMV. Is it accurate? if there are inaccuracies, call your insurer and find out what the error is costing you.
- Maintain your car– police frequently zone in on a car that has problems like broken headlights, taped-over taillights or a missing front license plant. Spend a couple bucks and replace the burned-out license plate bulb and you may save hundreds of dollars later.
- Don’t stand out – driving a bright yellow or lipstick red sports car doesn’t guarantee you’ll get pulled over, but it doesn’t help avoid police either. Besides, do you think a yellow car will help your resale value? And while driving, pay attention to the general pace of traffic and stay with the pack, rather than in front of, or behind. It would also not be wise to pass a police car, especially if by doing so, you’re also speeding.
- Stay alert– besides paying attention to the road to avoid potential accidents, practice scanning your rear-view mirror often while driving. Look for possible spots far ahead where a police car would be hiding. Watch how others react on the road – if everyone else is braking, perhaps there is a reason!
And if you are unlucky enough to get pulled over, here’s advice for you:
- Don’t be mad; don’t have an attitude; and don’t talk too much – Most of the time, drivers don’t have much hope of getting out of a ticket. The officer has already made up his mind. Be nice and don’t act peeved, or else you may even be given the full fine. Some will also flag the citation with a notation, like “ND” – a note to himself to give a loudmouth “no deal” in court. Ever wonder what the officer is writing after you drive off? – he’s taking notes on what happened during the stop that stuck out in his mind, like your bad attitude or your admittance of guilt followed by your excuse. It’s all noted. So don’t say much, if anything beyond what is required of you to respond to the officer’s reasonable questions. If an officer asks you if you’d had anything to drink, you may say “no,” if you had nothing. But don’t add, “I can’t drink since I took Benadryl before driving.”
- Don’t admit guilt – Pretty simple, just don’t. It’ll be noted and used against you later.
- Don’t immediately pay the ticket – Simply paying the fine is an admission of guilt and could cost you in higher insurance rates.
Once you’ve got the ticket, here are some options:
- call a lawyer– specializing in traffic tickets. You’d be amazed what results can be achieved. In some instances, individuals not eligible for traffic school can become eligible w/the representation of an attorney before a judge. Contact me, Lowell Steiger at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I can refer you to an attorney whose practice revolves around representing people with traffic tickets. His or her advice is very, very valuable.
- traffic school– if you’re eligible, this is a great alternative. You pay the fine and take a 6-8 hour traffic school. Minor speeding convictions can be wiped from your record, and therefore go unseen by your employer or insurance company. In addition to the ticket fine, you pay an additional $50-$80 in tuition and processing costs. In California, you can go to traffic school once every 18 months.
- go to court yourself– you can take your chances, roll the dice and plead your case. You can even hope the officer doesn’t show up. But if you made any sort of impression at the time of the traffic stop, such as giving the officer an attitude or saying anything that would be memorable (good or bad), there is a good chance the officer will appear. And it’s his word against yours!