Traffic tickets can be more than a minor annoyance. They can lead to larger legal troubles down the line and can even cost you your driving privileges. Avoiding a traffic ticket is the best way to maintain your squeaky-clean driving record and stay out of trouble. Follow these tips and stay off of the police’s radar.
Drive the Speed Limit…Or Close to It
Try not to drive more than 10 miles over the highway’s speed limit and five miles over on surface streets. Police officers’ radar guns are not often perfectly calibrated, so they know that you can easily challenge a ticket in court if it’s only a few miles over the speed limit.
In addition, the more dangerous drivers are the ones traveling 15-20 miles over the speed limit, so they tend to reserve their efforts for these drivers. The exception is school zones. Here you want to make sure to always keep within the posted speed limit.
Never Speed at Night
There are more police and fewer cars on the roads, and at night, so you are more likely to get pulled over if you’re speeding. The nighttime hours are also prime time for people driving while under the influence, so police will be looking for any reason to pull cars over and make sure they’re driving safely. Just go the speed limit and try not to break any traffic laws, mainly between midnight and 6 a.m.
Make Sure Your Car’s Registration and Plates are Up to Date
Driving on an expired registration is a surefire way to get pulled over and get a traffic citation. You may think that the officer won’t be able to see your registration sticker in the dark or from far away, but their cars are equipped with scanners that can read every license plate on the road. If you’re pulled over with an expired registration, you will most likely get a traffic citation.
Beware of Small-Town Speed Traps
Small towns that are right off the interstate are notorious for being speed traps. These towns often generate a huge chunk of their revenue from issuing speeding tickets, especially to out of state drivers who are less likely to come back to fight the ticket in court. If the main road goes through a small town, slow down, wear your seatbelt and be on your best driving behavior to avoid a ticket.
Pay Attention to Other Drivers
It is an unspoken “rule” that drivers typically look out for other drivers on the road. If all of the cars in the opposite lane are flashing their lights as they pass, slow down. They’re probably trying to alert you that a police car is waiting up ahead. If you see that all the other drivers in front of you are hitting the breaks for some unknown reason, hit yours too. There’s probably a cop up ahead.
Slow Down in Inclement Weather
Even if you are following the legal speed limit, a police officer can pull you over if you are driving too fast for the weather condition. Snow, ice, rain, or fog can reduce visibility and make it harder for you to stop safely. Multi-car pileups can happen in inclement weather, so the police will likely try to keep the roads safer by encouraging drivers to slow down. Drive at a safe speed and avoid getting a ticket.
And if you have been pulled over and given a traffic citation, you might be able to fight it in court and win. But you will need a good attorney on your side to help build a strong case on your behalf as they can subpoena authorities for extra evidence. However, fighting a traffic ticket in court is usually worth if you have raked in thousands of dollars in traffic violations. Otherwise any attorney worth their salt will tell you that it is just a waste a time.
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