I know what you’re thinking. “MC! Have you lost your mind?! Are you really going to tell people how they can get out of a traffic ticket?” I am. Surprised? Shocked? You should be. The information I am about to tell you could get me kicked out of the club I just made up.
Of all the questions I get asked and all the keyword research I’ve done, it seems the one thing most people want to know is:
How can I get out of a ticket?
In my most popular post from the past year, 5 Things to Never Say to a Motorcop, I gave you a peek into the mind of a motor. They weren’t things to avoid a ticket, mind you. They were things to avoid making your situation worse.
This time around, I’m going to lay it all out for you.
Without further ado, here are five simple things to increase your chances of getting out of a ticket:
- Be polite – Seems like such a small thing right? I know it can be difficult, especially when we (the police) appear so curt. Keep in mind we’ve heard all the excuses you can give and been called all the names of which you can imagine. We tend to be curt because (at least in my experience) when a driver has a poor attitude, drawing out a conversation seldom leads to a positive outcome. If you want to flip the script on us and increase your odds of avoiding a ticket, this first step is HUGE.
- Take responsibility – Blaming every other driver on the road is not only childish, but it serves to prove you require a lesson. Typically, that lesson takes the form of the oft-maligned ticket. However, if you (politely, remember) say something akin to “Yup, totally my fault. I wasn’t paying attention.” That goes quite a long way to impress upon the officer your lesson has been learned without need of any further ticket-based education.
- Refrain from using profanity (almost always) – You would think that would be both a no-brainer and relate directly to the first “be polite” point above. You are mostly right. There is a caveat, however. If, for example, when asked if you know why I stopped you, you reply, “Because I’m a !@%^’n idiot?”, that is an acceptable use of profanity and relates directly to the next point.
- Have a sense of humor – Your average traffic officer conducts dozens of traffic stops every week. (Beat cops do dozens of stops every six months or so.) When the boots hit the ground, it tends to be a negative contact from the get go. If you can catch me off guard and elicit a chuckle? Your odds of avoiding a ticket skyrocket. The example I used above about profanity actually happened to me. I laughed like crazy and told the kid to slow down. He was gob smacked…but he went home without a ticket.
- Stop making excuses. Remember, we’ve heard it all before. Although I’m sure you need to pee really, really, really bad, you are a grown man and/or woman (no judging here) and have the ability to hold your water. Avoiding excuses goes hand-in-hand with the second point about taking responsibility. If you are making excuses, you are not taking responsibility and making things worse for yourself.
See that? Five simple things that will vastly increase your chances of not receiving a ticket. There isn’t some magic phrase or ritual to which you must adhere in order to avoid getting that point on your license.
It truly is as simple as 1. being and adult and 2. owning your mistake.
Don’t say I never gave you nothing!
Question: Have you ever gotten out of a ticket? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Feature Image courtesy of Flickr and Robert Couse-Baker