Getting a traffic ticket can be a terrible feeling regardless of how old you are or how long you have been driving. No one likes to peer into their rearview and see red, white and blue flashing behind them. So what can one do to avoid tickets in the first place? USA Today provides 10 tips to help seasoned and unseasoned drivers. Incorporate these tips into your driving so you avoid traffic tickets!
Obviously, the very first way to dodge a speeding ticket is to avoid speeding. Speed limit signs are posted on most streets and especially busy highways and freeways every couple miles. There is a reason for the limit that is placed by the city. It could be a high-accident area. No matter the reason, watch and follow speed limit signs. Be aware that you’re more likely to get traffic tickets on small, residential roads.
Police and other law enforcement will track your speed using doppler radar guns. We recommend simply following the speed limits so you are a safe driver and avoid an accident. However, some drivers find radar detectors to be beneficial depending on the type of driving record they have. These guns will detect specific frequencies and will be able to notify you if radar guns are being used near you. Only 41 states legally allow radar detectors. They are illegal in Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma.
This is an important step to avoiding traffic tickets. People speed because they are rushing to get somewhere, likely because they are running a bit late. Studies show that speeding doesn’t get you anywhere faster unless you are going on a long road trip. Speeding may make you feel like you’re gaining back time, but it’s only adding up to 1, 2, or 3 extra minutes on shorter drives, which isn’t worth the hundreds traffic tickets can cost you. Plan your day ahead and make sure you know when you need to leave your house, especially in the winter.
This is a tip suggested because some crashes happen due to distractions on and by the road. Studies show that advertisements on the sides of the roads from billboards have led to driver crashes. Depending on the advertisements (money, sex, celebrity, etc.), it actually made drivers speed more or drive more reckless. If this is a distraction for you, try your best to block them out. If slow driving, driving during specific times of the day, certain roads or other drivers make you angry, plan your trip so you limit your triggers and drive safely.
These are numbers 5 and 6. Many drivers ignore or don’t see signs because they don’t move or stand out in any way. This can lead to missed speed limit signs, missed exits or noticing construction or road hazards ahead. Always notice the signs around you. The emphasis for “avoiding dangers” is on speed limit signs.
Studies show that your likelihood of fatality increases significantly with every few miles over the speed limit you travel. This is because “an increase [of] 30% velocity results in a 69% increase [in] kinetic energy”. Meaning you crash much harder with every little extra bit you speed. Stick to speed limits and follow traffic signs, while not doing anything to put yourself in extra danger. Your #7 tip is to regularly check your speedometer, which can help you track your speed and if you are following the law.
Did you know that red cars are more likely to get pulled over than other cars. If your vehicle stands out due to color or model (like a sports car), it’s more likely to get noticed by law enforcement. Gray and silver cars also seem to get pulled over more often than other colors of cars, but this may be due to how many people drive cars of these colors. It is reported that the Scion T, Mercedes-Benz SL and the Toyota Camry Solara are the top models of cars that get pulled over 3 to 4 times more than any other model of car. Keep this in mind when buying your next vehicle or consider a new car if you get pulled over often without a real reason.
You can follow all of these tips to avoid traffic tickets and yet, still end up with one. Drivers that get traffic tickets can either pay their ticket or go to court to defend their reason for the traffic ticket. Tips #9 and #10 (Being respectful and contesting traffic tickets) are in this section. Always make sure you are dressed your best for court. That means “Sunday best” or business attire. Don’t chew gum during your hearing and don’t wear hats or anything too flashy. Make sure you turn off your cell phone (or silence it), as it can be seen as disrespectful if your phone goes off during court.
Having good manners will get a long way with traffic tickets and in court. Being courteous, kind and following directions can help you in both situations. Refer to your judge as “Your Honor” and call all other officers and personnel by “sir” or “ma’am”. Be likeable and don’t goof off. If you go to court early, you will likely be heard sooner than those who show up late. Being late is also bad for your case, so avoid being late by being early. Once in court, never interrupt the officers, court personnel or the judge and keep a level head. You are more likely to be listened to if you are likeable and calm.
We can’t do much about your traffic tickets, but we can do a ton of services for your car when they are needed. Simply call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202 the next time your car needs service or maintenance!