Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Reducing the Odds

A few weeks ago I found this article, entitled "How to Reduce the Odds of Being Ticketed During a Traffic Stop".  Little did I know that I would need this bit of advice recently.

I recommend that you read the article, but here is the meat:

When pulled over by a police officer –
-Pull over quickly and as far as safely possible
-Roll down your window completely
-Turn on your overhead interior light
-Put your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2
-Do not admit that you broke the law
-If asked for license and papers, announce your movements beforehand
-Sit still while waiting for the officer to return
-Do not say anything remarkable to the officer at the end of the stop
The idea is to make yourself as unremarkable as possible, so you might get let off with a warning, or if you get the ticket, to make it easier in court for it to be pled down a bit.  If a cop is in court that day with a stack of tickets to talk about, you want yours NOT to stick out.
I was going to work as usual at oh-dark-thirty.  I was breaking the law as always.  I live in the country, and we never see speed traps.  So I got pulled over.  It was a County Mountie.  I did exactly what the above says (I also turned my radio off).  He opened up with an introduction:  "I am deputy so and so from the Dane County police department and you were going 62 in a 45.  There was a fatal accident up on xx and xx recently, and we are stepping up enforcement in the area."  I just said "I see".  He asked for my license and I announced to him that I needed to get into my briefcase to get it for him and received his blessing.  He asked if the road on the license was my current address and I replied "yes, sir".
He went back to his car.  I figured I was getting a ticket, but just sat there, per the article, with my hands at 10 and 2, interior light on.  He came back pretty quickly.  I assumed that I was getting off with a warning since it was only 30 seconds or so.  Hardly time to run my license and write up the citation.  Upon his return he announced "today is your lucky day, Dan, I have another call.  Slow down, OK?"  I said thank you after he returned my license to me and he walked back to his car.  He didn't seem like he was in any real hurry.
He was still sitting there for a bit after I departed (I was looking in my rearview mirror).  Not sure if he really had another call.  I am guessing he did, but I guess I didn't care, all I knew is that I got off with not even a warning.
So I guess I will never know if doing the above worked for me, but it certainly didn't hurt.


creakypavillion said...

Well, you confirmed he is the boss - and you got away with a warning.

It's a power game.

Gerry from Valpo said...

Your guide has worked for me twice in the past six years.

Another tip: Let the officer know if you have loaded firearms in the vehicle. It's not law but if you are legally in possession it will get you brownie points. It beats offering to buy him a donut : )

Dan from Madison said...

I think in certain states it is required to inform the officer if you are packing, but still a good idea wherever you are.