I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, but I wanted to have some concrete proof that the technique is what has been getting the results, not just my boyish good looks and my "give me a citation and I might hunt down your family" demeanor.
Yesterday was that day.
I've been stopped a number of times in the past few years after reading this advice elsewhere, have applied it every time, and have only once actually gotten the ticket I should have gotten. Offenses are mostly speeding related, but I once blew through a stop sign in my unregistered RV with a cop behind me. No ticket for that one.
Yesterday Annie and I were driving through Boston. I don't normally speed, but it's hard not to in the BMW that I was borrowing. It's a fast car and the speed really creeps up on you.
I see a cop ahead of me on the side of the road and I hit the brakes. Too late, he obviously has me. I have no idea what the speed limit is or what speed I was going. He follows me for a hundred feet and puts on his lights.
Protip #1: Pull WAY over. I pulled onto a side street and had the right two wheels off the road. Cops have to come on the left side and the further right you park the safer they are. They appreciate that.
Protip #2: Turn off the radio, put the front interior lights on, roll down the window before they get there, and put your hands on the steering wheel. Cops have to deal with tons of shady people and they know that one in a thousand is going to try to do something stupid. If you make sure he can see your hands and is comfortable, then he knows you're not one of those people.
He walks up and asks me if I know how fast I was going.
"No sir, I don't."
Protip #3: Be overly respectful. I think it's probably fair to say that a lot of cops became cops to get a certain amount of respect. Most probably don't get that respect because people are resentful of being pulled over. Be the exception.
Protip #4: NEVER tell them how fast you were going, even if you're lying. It can't ever help you, and they've heard it all. If you admit to being guilty then it's a pretty easy decision to give you a ticket. If you try to say you weren't speeding, he knows you're lying.
"I clocked you going 42 in a 25."
"License and registration please."
"Yes, sir. My license is in my pocket."
Protip #5: Always tell them where you're reaching before you do it. Sudden movements could be interpreted as moves for a weapon.
"Go ahead and get it."
I get my license out, tell him that the registration is in the glove compartment, and I go and get it.
He sees my Texas ID and asks what I'm doing in Boston. I tell him I'm visiting a friend and add that I used to live in Andover nearby.
Protip #6: If (and only if) it won't come off forced or annoying, try to have a bit of a normal conversation with him. If he sees you as a real person he may be more inclined to be sympathetic. Don't go overboard here, though.
"How's Boston treating you so far?"
"Great. It's a nice time of year to be up here."
He goes back to his car and starts running my license. I keep my hands on the wheel the whole time. Annie and I start speculating whether or not he's going to let me off. He seems friendly and I've done all the right things, but then again 17 over is a lot, especially in a 25.
Finally he comes back.
"I appreciate you keeping your hands on the wheel and letting me know what you're going to do before you do it. These things don't go unnoticed. I'm going to just let you go without any sort of citation, but please slow down."
"Thank you, sir. I really appreciate it."
That was the first time an officer had ever explicitly told me that he was cutting me a break because I did those things. Besides making the officer as comfortable as possible, these are also the tips that police tell their family. If you're doing them, the officer may assume that you're related to another officer and want to cut you a break for that.
Also, Annie suggests that I tell you that doing this will impress girls.
Protip #7: If you're wearing sunglasses, take them off. Most officers will ask you to take them off anyways this way they can try to tell if you are lying or not or if you have been drinking or doing drugs. It is in your benefit to take them off anyway because you will be able to make subtle eye contact and you will come off as a more personable person.
Protip #8: ONLY give what you are asked for. I was asked to see my license and registration. I handed the officer my license, registration, AND insurance. Dumb move. Turns out I had lost the insurance bill before it was ever opened and I didn't know to pay it. I got a letter almost a month later saying that if I didn't pay it, they'd cut off my insurance in 2 weeks. I got pulled over that night. The cop saw the insurance had expired and couldn't find any other records that my car was insured that night. It's possible she would've caught this anyways, but it sure didn't help my case handing her an expired insurance card.
Protip #9: If you definitely know you're done for, pull over before you get lit up. I had a friend who came speeding up a hill and noticed a cop there a little too late. He knew he was going to get pulled over so he did just after the top of the hill. Well when the cop came over the hill, booking it to catch up with him, the cop had to slam on his brakes because my friend was already pulled over. In the end he was grateful that he didn't have to chase after him and my friend was let off with a warning. This tip may seem like it is admitting guilt, but he was the only one on that road and the cop starting moving after he passed. The worst that could happen other than getting the ticket is the cop just drives right past you or after someone else but feel free to use your discretion here.
Protip #10: If you get it, fight it. There no chance you are going to be found not guilty if you don't do anything. Learn a little about the local law in your area, read "Beat Your Ticket: Go to Court and Win" by David Brown, and find yourself a loophole. Chances vary whether or not the cop even shows up but you might even have a case whether or not he/she does.
My first ticket ever I couldn't pull over any extra (although I would have because I too realize cops don't want to stand dangerously close to traffic) but there was a curb. I had my window down as soon as I saw her get out of her car (it was winter), I did have the interior lights on, and hands on the steering wheel. I think I had time to get my paperwork out before she came over to the vehicle but next time I will wait. She came over, asked for my paperwork and went back to her car, no questions asked. She came back and told me it's illegal to make a left on red (I had no clue this happened and planned to fight it as a "mistake of fact" because of the way the lights were lined up with the lanes) and that my insurance was out of date and issued me a ticket for both and told me to plead not guilty for the insurance, get it taken care of, and send it in. Although if you don't get it taken care of and they catch you again in NY, it's big consequences the second time around. I like to think if my insurance was fine, my clean record would've helped me out.
In the end, I took the ticket to court looking sharply dressed (can never hurt) and had a case to back up my appearance with questions ready to be asked. The cop didn't show up. I had to appear a second time. I showed up a second time. I got called out of the room in the middle of a hearing and they brought me to another hearing room, stamped a few pieces of paper and said I was all set. Cop didn't show twice and I was happy as a schoolgirl. Like I said, can't expect anything to happen in your favor if you don't do anything about it.
Tynan, so funny to read this -- I, too have been using almost these exact same techniques for years and I can attest to how well they work.
A few others that can bolster what you wrote above:
- Roll down *all* the windows, not just the driver's side window. This is especially important if the windows are tinted. Cops don't know who you are, and they try to quickly categorize you as a "good guy" or "bad guy". Being able to see what's in your back seat (hopefully, nothing that will make your situation worse!) is a quick way to get them to see you as a "good guy" -- one of the populace they're charged with protecting & serving.
- Reference a minor emergency. "I wasn't sure if I left the iron on at home when I left, and I was worried so I turned around to go back home and check." Make sure this isn't *too* big of an emergency, or you might find yourself getting a police escort to find the answer.
At the end of the day, just realize that while you're only being pulled over once, cops do this all day, every day, and they put their lives in danger every time they do it. So if you can make them feel safe, they'll thank you for it. I once had a cop ask me "do you have a family member in the police force?" because usually it's only relatives of cops that know these respectful techniques.
I've done all of these things and have never gotten a speeding ticket, even though I've been pulled over at least four times for it. One other tip I can offer, but can't prove: turn off your engine. Someone told me in college that if you kill the engine, they can't give you a moving violation. I doubt it's true, but figure there's no harm in trying. The way I figure it, if the engine's off, you can't suddenly speed away, which is going to put the officer at ease. Plus, why waste the fuel?
Nice post Ty -
I just read this and it accords entirely with my one experience in the USA. I was on my way to ther Grand Canyon from Vegas. Having turned off Route 66 at Flagstaff I was speeding along to get there in time to ask for a last minute Canyon camping pass before the office closed.
I came over a hill and zipped past a line of "slow" moving cars and it was only about 30-40s later that I saw the flashing lights in the rearview mirror.
Yes, I had actually over-taken the cop!
Anyway - I though it was hillarious and without really thinking about it, I pretty much did what you mentioned in the post above and told him I was just so happy to be in his part of the world and heading to the Canyon and that I has lost all sense of speed in the beautiful surroundings. I was singing to the radio etc. Despite the fact that the number-plates of the hire-car were in the rear window rather than properly attached I got off with a warning.
Might have had something to do with the English accent - who knows?
Got an ugly ticket that I want to get out of. My friend turned me on to a free site, (no email needed, they make money on advertisements) on how to get out of a speeding ticket. It has a pretty funny video and I downloaded the pdf, and it looks pretty cool. I am going to try it out. It is www.ticket-gone.com Let me know what you think... Bert
So much for not having to use them. I got pulled over last night for speeding and a broken head light and to top it off my registration didn't have my current address. With your tips the police officer let me go. Thanks for saving me some cash and hassle.
Not to be negative nancy....but you told me these things a few years ago and I did all of them (minus pulling way over) and I still got a ticket! AND I was crying really hard...maybe that's why...
As a former agent, I can tell you that most cops will go easy on you if you act cool and cooperative.
Most people get nervous or fidgety around the law. Even violent. The way cops think is that, if you act nervous, its because you must have something to be nervous about.
Keep your cool, do as told, and dont do anything that may put the guy on alert.
They will appreciate that.
I agree with Chris. They can still give you a moving violation if you have committed one. It will however show the cop that you aren't going to speed away or do anything funny. If you do turn off the engine, leave the key in sight either on your dash or if you trust you won't forget and that the cop is legit, on your roof. The officer is bound to notice and may thank you for it. Again if its winter, you may just want to leave it on. Nothings going to scare the cop more than you starting your car because you got cold.
I had used some of these techniques before for avoiding my speeding ticket and they gives me nice results.
For reasons you'll soon understand, I'm barely coherent enough to think, let alone write. I had a few ideas for posts to write, but since I don't currently have the wherewithal to do them justice, a summary of the past 24 hours of my life will hopefully give you a bit of entertainment.
It's the day before the cruise, which means that I have a bunch of stuff that needs to get done before I leave the states for a month. As I slide out of REM sleep I miraculously remember that today is the last day I can ship my failing RV batteries back for warranty service. Each one weighs 70 pounds.
Legal counsel has advised me not to release any transcripts aboard the plane until civil and criminal investigations are concluded. The police have already told me I committed no crimes that they're aware of and won't be held or charged, but we will be pursuing Cathay's management and security team.
I'll be releasing what transcripts I can.
Everyone was notified the audio recorder was on repeatedly, and it was held prominently in view. This transcript was made by someone who has English as a second language, and minor grammar errors are here, but this gets the general details of the discussion. This is immediately following removal from the airplane.
Date: 2011.12.26 Time: 18:54 Location: Hong Kong Airport
SM: Okay, they're taking me off. Okay, thank you guys, thank you, see you later. Alright, i'm under arrest.