How to …

Avoid a Ticket

By: Mel Sundquist

Issue Date: 1/22/08
Section: Life

For the second installation in The College Times’ How To series, we will try to teach students how to bypass a traffic violation.

1. Don’t do anything illegal.

2. If that doesn’t work out for you, at least keep an eye out for hidden police cars. This is easier in the winter, because they will usually be the only cars parked on the side of the road without frost on their windows and snow on their hood. Also, police cars will be turned on, so you will be able to see a fog coming from their exhaust pipe. If you make the same commute every day, you should have a good idea of where your local policemen like to hide.

3. If you do get pulled over, the first rule is that you must be respectful to the cop. Even though you’re probably angry and frustrated and late for something, never let this show when handing over your license and registration. Turn your engine and radio off completely, and give your full attention to the officer. Don’t make jokes, don’t be sarcastic, and don’t tell the officer that he has beautiful eyes. These tactics never work. Just realize that the person who pulled you over is probably overworked and underpayed, and deserves your respect.

4. Cops will generally ask you why they pulled you over. So before the officer comes to your window, make a mental list of all the illegal things you have done. Are both your brake lights working? Are you wearing a seatbelt? Did you speed? Was there a stop sign you could have possibly rolled through? If, for example, all of these are true, it would probably be wise to mournfully admit that you weren’t wearing a seat belt, because it is the most common and has a smaller punishment. Even if you don’t regret this, feign actual remorse. If it seems that you are already punishing your self, there is a slight chance that the officer will let you go with a lesser penalty.

5. Don’t panic in front of the officer. When he’s back in his patrol car, go ahead and freak out. If you manage to create a few tears, maybe don’t wipe them off your face until he comes back, but put on a facade that implies, ‘I know what I did was wrong, and I deserve whatever punishment you give me.’ If you look panicky in front of the officer, she will think that you have done something else that she doesn’t know about.

5. If you are a female, a little dash of damsel-in-distress can’t hurt. Just don’t over do it.

6. Sometimes, there’s just no way that you can avoid getting a ticket. If you feel that you have been wronged, you can always fight it in court. Unless you were obviously in violation of traffic law, the ticket will usually be waived if you go to that much trouble.


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