Getting pulled over while you’re driving is probably one of the worst things ever — up there on the list with dentist appointments and filing your taxes. But if you handle the situation carefully, getting out of a traffic ticket might be easier than you realize. Here are a few simple tips to help you out and give you some guidance about what to do/say when you’re pulled over:
- This should go without saying, but when you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror, you want to pull over as quickly as you can — but without putting other drivers in danger. If you’re on a multi-lane highway and you’re driving in the middle or left lane, it could be safer to pull over on the left side of the road (even though it will feel weird). The last thing you want is to unintentionally start a car chase.
- When you’re pulled over, there are three important things to remember: be polite, be cooperative, and don’t show signs of aggression. The best way to get out of a traffic ticket is to accept it politely and then to plead against it later on.
- As far as not showing aggression, there are a few things to keep in mind that will put the officer at ease: turn off your stereo; put your car in park — or better yet, turn it off, put your keys on the dashboard, and put on your flashing lights; keep both of your hands in a visible position, such as on the steering wheel; leave your seat belt on; and completely roll down your window.
- If the officer sees you moving around a lot as he/she approaches your car, that could signal that you’re dangerous and possibly looking to conceal something illegal or find a weapon to hold (may sound a bit crazy, but we all know it happens). The officer will most likely ask for your driver’s license and car registration; wait until he/she asks for it, and let him/her know where both documents are (like in a purse or in the glove compartment) before reaching for them.
In many cases, getting out of a traffic ticket or having the punishments lessened is easier than you’d expect — especially regarding simple misdemeanor traffic offenses. Remain calm and polite, and perhaps look for some legal help, and you might just be able to beat your ticket. Research more here.