How to get a ticket for sure!

I know blogs include how to avoid getting a citation issued in the event you are stopped for your driving behavior. I do not recall seeing any postings which will assure that you earn a ticket. Here is my input as a police officer.

I personally don’t give citations to everyone. If a driver can tell me they realize what they were doing and that it was wrong, I will look for reasons NOT to cite. However, if a driver shows me they have no problem with their driving behavior they are going to get a coupon for sure!
Many drivers think a traffic stop is the time to tell me how their mistake is my fault or that I am making up the violation. That’s what court is for. Here is your citation.
On the other hand people who readily admit they made a mistake and apologize almost never get a ticket from me. Does it sound fair? I think so. Some may feel I should tag every driver because that is fair. Others may feel I’m looking for respect to massage my ego. I think both of these points do not address what the point of the traffic stop is. Changing unwanted/unsafe driving behavior. If any driver can show me in some way they are open to changing their behavior, I’m good with that. Any driver who shows me they are not concerned or do not believe their driving is a problem behavior earns a ticket. Good luck and remember, always - always - always take it to court!

Sure I took it to court, local speed trap, I got pulled over as a guy was passing me on a 4 lane roadway. I was like that car was passing me, and you pulled me over? So I saw the attorney, got it reduced, Do not get me wrong, I love the police. I love the job the police do, but contested my ticket, god if we were all perfect we would not need a legal system.

I hope the police take into account how many priors the offender had and you take the time to run the plate. That and the severity of the offense should be among the deciding factors. I really didn’t care how contrite the driver is, if he was a habitual offender and driving 15 mph over, he could be Mother Teresa incarnate, he should get wrtten up.I think this type of decision making is unfair and I hope you’re kidding.

Some drivers are so nervous and embarrassed when pulled over, they will ramble anything. And that decides if they are written up ? It’s the police’s job to filter that out and make decisions based on what’s relavent, not banter. "readily admit…and apologies…and almost never get a ticket from me "
I hope you know how trivial that makes law enforcement sound and why it makes good people have such negative attitudes about cops.

06 speed6, thanks for what you do. I appreciate it. Thanks for the info from your side. I have never gotten out of a ticket but did have 2 reduced by being honest. First a woman cop reduced for me not giving her a hard time since she was a lady cop and second I was asked if I knew how fast I was going. I said I honestly did not know but I do know I was flying low.

Personally I do not think anybody should complain much when they get a ticket. After all, what about all the times someone really, really deserved a tik but did not get one.

It’s a long story but I have accepted some speeding tickets and told a true story to get out of one. Honesty isn’t always bad. Although the State Trooper didn’t apologize for stopping me, I drove away with a sense that she really cared about doing her job well.

It wasn’t my good looks that got me out of a ticket either. I almost got arrested once for looking like somebody the sheriff’s people were looking for. The crew was ready to pounce when the two deputies I knew recognized me. Now I shave every day and make sure my entire car is painted the same color.

The issues I have with enforcement will rarely, if ever, have anything to do with what any specific, individual officer thinks or how s/he makes decisions about when & why to issue tickets. But I suppose its nice to hear the anecdotal musing of one specific, anonymous officer from whoknowswhere.

Oh boy. I have a lot of respect for law enforcement but I think the kid that wrote me up at 10:00 at night on my 50th birthday could have at least wished me a happy birthday. 200 mile trip after working at my uncle’s auction all day and 40 in a 30 without a soul around.

The other thing I fail to understand when law enforcement talks about unsafe driving, is that in 1965 I drove the same highway posted at 65 day and 55 night. 65 was safe. Now the same road is 55 and 60 is unsafe. Then when you cross from Minnesota into South Dakota, the same two lane highway is 65 and that is deemed safe. So I just don’t buy the fact that 65 is an unsafe speed on most major highways even though it is posted at 55 day and night. Back when the freeways went from 70 to 55 and now back to 70 again seemed to make no sense out in the middle of no where to go 55 on a road designed for 70 in 60’s era cars.

In law class, we were taught that when a law becomes ignored or broken by a large number of people, it really can no longer be considered a law. I’ll play the game and woe to me if I ever drive carelessly, but with a million miles under my belt, a good car, good weather, and so on, don’t pretend that 60 is unsafe, and excuse me if I fail to confront my demons.

The other thing I fail to understand when law enforcement talks about unsafe driving, is that in 1965 I drove the same highway posted at 65 day and 55 night. 65 was safe. Now the same road is 55 and 60 is unsafe.

Probably because there are 10 times as many cars traveling that road now then there were then. We have many many roads here in NH and MA like that. 30 years ago they could easily handle the traffic…NOW…with 10-20 times the amount of traffic…you take your life in your hand just driving the speed limit down those roads.

Some officers in my little corner of the world take personal offense at the most ridiculous of meaningless violations, For instance, at a major intersection with a railroad crossing bisecting it, traffic often ignores the red traffic signal and makes the left turn while the train has all other traffic stopped. Some officers become livid with anger at the criminals who ignore their order (red light) to stop. My comment to one such officer that he was anally retentive for his anger was not well taken.I hope he never witnesses me running the red light on my shortcut to the supermarket.

Rod, mike, and Bing…in my opinion, you guys are discussing relevant factors and what IS important in deciding when to write a ticket. Knowing that some cop might not give one guy a ticket because he had a better “line” then you, would tick me off as a motorist. A rolling stop through an intersection stop at 1am in the morning with no obvious traffic is a lot different then trying to fly through same intersection and wedge yourself bettween cars in a snow storm. These factors plus you being classified as a habitual offended with enough priors…that tells if you are contrite and sorry…not the word game. It’s the old “actions speak louder then words” adage.

When making a stop, a cop’s first objective is keep everyone safe, including the offender while in traffic on the side of a busy highway. Evaluating stories because it’s safe to do so, and not another time because it’s too busy is a joke. You as a cop, run the plate, look at priors off the computer, evaluate the offense in context and 90% of the time, a decison can be made before you even step out of the car, though maybe for the second time. Written warnings can be put into the computer as well. They can be an effective way of not writing a ticket and altering behavior for some.

.but " gee, yes I was drinking, and I’ll never speed and cause an accident again, I’m so sorry…" will get you off ? Think about it. 06speed6, that’s what some may hear by your rational. The side of the road is no place for cognitive evaluations. POs are not licensed therapists.

Last winter I was in a part of town where I seldom visit. The store which I was going to visit, was on the other side of the street, and I made a U turn to get to a free parking spot there. An overzealous policeman was going to give me a ticket for “crossing a double yellow line”. Except that the street was completely covered with snow and no double yellow line was visible!

I apologized, but stated that I cound not see any line and asked the officer to see for himself. He backtracked and said I made “an honest mistake”, and went on his way without giving me a ticket.

In all cases, be polite, don’t lose your cool and apologize if necessary.

Yes, politeness is important, as is honesty, as is the maturity to concede that you have done something wrong.

The last ticket that I received, in 1995, was for a “rolling stop” at a stop sign.
Was I guilty of a “rolling stop”?
Did I argue with the cop?

The intersection in question was in a business district that was always deserted in the early morning hours, prior to the opening of the shops. As a result, I almost always did a “rolling stop” at that intersection each morning on my way to work. Because of very long sightlines at that “T” intersection, it was possible to see at least 3 blocks, and it was always totally devoid of traffic–hence my usual “rolling stop” in order to save a bit of time.

On the morning in question, I failed to see the police car parked in a vacant lot where a building had recently been torn down. When I was pulled over, there was no mystery about why I had been stopped, so I merely turned my documentation over to the officer and waited (impatiently) for at least 15 minutes while he checked my record and slowly wrote the ticket.

When I arrived at work a few minutes late, my supervisor inquired about my tardiness. I calmly stated that I had gotten a ticket, but that I had deserved it. She was incredulous and almost speechless because I did not begin complaining about an unfair cop, or ridiculous laws, or some other lame–off topic–excuse. I simply admitted that I had received a traffic citation, and that I deserved it.

Later in the day, she said to me, “You are the first person I ever encountered who did not believe himself to be the victim of an unfair ticket…you are an unusual man!”

I replied to her…When somebody cannot accept the reality that he did something wrong, and that there is a penalty for wrongdoing, that tells you something about his character. And, conversely, if someone readily concedes his guilt and is ready to accept the penalty like a man, that also tells you something about his character. “Which one would you rather have teaching your children?”, I asked her with a smile.

While I already had a decent relationship with that supervisor, I think that she gained new respect for me that day.

But sometimes cops say some pretty dumb things that made me want to pull some witty remarks. I was tailed by this vigilante because he thought I was drunk in the afternoon. For all I cared, someone was trying to have me killed. I drove straight to the local police station for protection. They told me what happened, made me do the breathalizer, and sent me on my way.

Before I pulled into my driveway, I was stopped by the CHP. He gave me a field sobriety test, and concluded that I couldn’t follow his finger. I then told him I just came from the local police station and asked him to check with them. He then asked, “did you pass the test?”

Seriously, speed6, what was I supposed to say? No I didn’t pass the test, but they told me to just drive home carefully and have a nice day. It amazes me how many smart people there are in this world.

I predict that this is going the break the 100 reply mark. I too have gotten tickets that I deserved, and I just sent in the payment. I have had two tickets that I thought were unjustified, i fought both in court and won. In both cases, the officer just didn’t see everything that was going on, and in reality, you can’t expect them to see everything.

The problem that I personally have with apologizing to a police office is that it becomes a confession. If you intend to fight it, the apology can be used against you. Of course, if I know I am wrong and do not intend to fight it, then why not, but it usually does not help. Seems around here, if you get pulled over, you are going to collect some paper.

BTW, I noticed that they don’t ask you if you know why you are being pulled over anymore. They are a lot more business like, no chit chat.

It’s been my experience that the way cops approach traffic infractions varies widely by area. In western Mass, there are speed traps everywhere, and it’s a “cat and mouse” game between the cops and the drivers. One cop (who I knew personally) told me that in his chain of command the number of violations they wrote were (unofficially) monitored as a part of their performance. Too few meant a poor performance report. I got my only truely bogus ticket in western Mass. Tried to fight it, but the so-called “court” was a joke. They did reduce the fine, however.

Cops in NH have always been great in my experience. I did receive one ticket in NH and the cop was polite, professional, and advised me to fight it. He was part of a two-cop speed trap team, and he said basically that I was going over 20 mph over the limit (it was true) and that he really had no choice but to cite me.

In over 40 year of driving, I’ve only received three tickets, one of them bogus, one of them technically correct (although the area is set up as a trap), and one legit. The two first were in western Mass, the last in Bedford NH.

One thing I always taight my kids is that when a cop pulls a car over, he has no idea what he’s facing. It’s important to behave in a manner that allows the cop to realize he’s respected and in no danger. Once he relaxes, the tension drops and he’s much more likely to be reasonable.

All good to know.

Of course, I’ve NEVER been pulled over. Not even once. :slight_smile:

I did come close about two months ago, I believe. I passed a cop doing about 33 in a 25 (in my defense, this is a 25 mph zone in a bulldozed and cleared out brownfield - there is NOTHING there, just empty space… and the speed limit jumps to 35 on the other end of the brownfield as you reenter a neighborhood… but I was speeding). But I had a “Vote No on Issue 2” sticker in the back window of my car - and this was right before the election. Issue 2, for those not in Ohio, was the governor’s attempt to eliminate collective bargaining for all public employees. As I saw the cop I realized my mistake and started slowing down… he pulled out behind me, got right up on my tail, then backed off and turned around.

But I did have a cop friend once tell me a few other tricks - be polite, honest, find the nearest SAFE spot to pull over (I’ve seen some people pull over on a VERY narrow shoulder on a blind curve - which isn’t a good idea for anyone)… and when you pull over, take your keys out of the ignition, put them on the dash, and then leave your hands on the wheel in plain sight, and ask for permission to reach into the glove box, etc, to get documents. It may seem like overkill, but by asking permission, you’re showing concern for their safety and comfort, and by leaving the keys on the dash, they know you aren’t going to be able to just suddenly take off on them…

I respect the difficult job police officers do every day. I also appreciate what little civil rights we have remaining. I will provide my identification and tell them my name and address, but say no more. This video is great advice:

@twotone - Solid advice that “prof” gives for many situations - however, there’s a big difference between a traffic stop and a criminal case…

But I think he needs a serious reality check for the amount of praise he gave Monica Goodling, who clearly violated federal laws, even without incriminating herself. Not exactly someone I’d be proud of as a former student.

I have gotten three speeding tickets in my entire driving life; over 50 years. On a business trip via airplane I sat next to a former cop, a nice guy who told me that he never gave a speeding ticket to someone who admitted that they were speeding so I took that advice to heart did that every time and got a ticket every time. What he said did not at all work for me. The bottom line for me is what you do another cop may not.

As another somewhat related topic: Do you ever wonder why people don’t like cops? Part of that may be that they almost never give each other a ticket for driving infractions. That includes driving while drunk. In the big city near where I live, there were some articles recently in the newspaper about city cops getting away with wife abuse, drunk driving, and more. They have a different standard for themselves than us ordinary mortals.

I’ve been driving for a little over ten years and have gotten one speeding ticket (legitimate 70 in a 55), one $2500 ticket for driving without proof of insurance (overturned when I went to court to show proof of insurance, but I was stopped because my car was dirty, supposedly to the point of causing my license plate to be obstructed. Funny, I regularly check my lighting and never thought my license plate was illegible. I call bogus on that reason for a traffic stop), and another bogus ticket issued to me while I was traveling through another state. It was 2AM, I was driving down a largely deserted Interstate. A county cop came in behind me off the ramp and started following me. A couple miles later, the cop pulls in next to me as if to pass me, but starts matching my speed. When I slowed down, so did he, when I sped up, so did he. I then see police strobes a mile ahead in the breakdown lane, and later see that there was no apparent reason for that cop to be there since there’s no breakdown and no other motorists or trucks around. I slowed clear down to 45 to try to get the cop beside me to pass, but despite reducing my speed by 20 mph, he continued to match my speed until we got past the cop in the breakdown lane. Once we passed the stopped cop, he fell in behind me and hit the strobes and I was issued a $195 fine for “failure to yield to an emergency vehicle” because it’s a state law in Indiana (as well as pretty much any other state) to get in the left lane if there’s an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road. The explanation that I would have if he had allowed me to did not fly, either. I think he saw my out of state plates and figured I probably wouldn’t be willing to travel four hours just to contest a bogus traffic ticket.