10 Ways to Help Avoid Getting a Ticket

10 Ways to Help Avoid Getting a Ticket

Encounters with law enforcement are rarely fun. It’s one of the most dreadful feelings in the world when red and blue lights fill your rear-view mirror.

However, traffic stops and being pulled over are a fact of life. Maybe you were speeding. Perhaps that last text message you sent was a little too obvious. It could have been that you ran a red light; it’s even possible you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the case may be, you’re about to be detained on the side of the road for the next few minutes … or more.

SEE ALSO: What NOT to do When Pulled Over

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of getting a ticket, one that costs you serious cash and could increase your insurance premiums. Here are 10 topical tips that might help you sidestep a citation.

10. Pull Over Quickly

As soon as you see an officer’s strobes or hear the siren, it’s a good idea to pull over as soon as safely possible. Don’t keep driving for block after block or wait for the next exit ramp to stop. You don’t want the officer to think you’re leading them on some kind of chase, so pull over promptly. Also, if you can make it to a side street or a parking lot, it’s even better. The officer will be safer without having to walk along a heavily trafficked thoroughfare and they’ll be thankful for that.

9. Turn Off the Engine

Push Button Start

Unless the temps are hovering in the minus 40-degree range, it’s usually a good idea to shut off your vehicle’s engine during traffic stops. This act of good faith lets the law-enforcement representative involved know you’re not going to try to run. In certain situations, officers will ask you to kill the engine anyway, so be prepared to comply with this request if necessary.

8. Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

Once you’ve pulled over, it’s always prudent to keep your paws on the tiller — or really anywhere in plain sight — so the police officer can see what you’re doing. With clear visibility, they know you’re not reaching for a concealed weapon or trying to stash incriminating evidence. This can go a long way to putting the officer at ease, which can help you get off with a warning instead of extra paperwork.

7. Turn on Interior Lights

Dome Light

Likewise, during nighttime traffic stops, it’s prudent to turn on your vehicle’s interior lights. This gives the officer better visibility and will help them feel a little less stressed because they can see what’s happening. And honestly, would you want to approach a darkened car in the dead of night?

6. Silence is Golden

After promptly pulling over, killing the engine and keeping your hands in plain sight, it’s extremely important to turn off the radio and/or hang up the phone. Failing to do either shows contempt for the officer involved. If you don’t show a little respect for their authority, they’re unlikely to be kind to you. This is common sense, but it actually happens. Don’t be one of those people.

5. Keep ‘em Quiet

Stay Quiet

Aside from silencing your phone and vehicle’s audio system, it behooves you to tell any passengers to remain quiet during traffic stops. For clarity, only one person should interact with the police officer(s) involved. Also, it’s wise to have your fellow travelers keep their hands visible.

4. Don’t Lie

Unless your tail light burned out three minutes beforehand, chances are you know exactly why you’ve been pulled over. Accordingly, don’t try to lie to the officer that just pulled you over. You weren’t swerving all over the road because of an allergy attack; you didn’t have to drive 90 miles an hour because your wife is having a baby. Cops have finely calibrated BS meters, so don’t try to mislead them; they can see through your smokescreen like radar piercing through clouds.

3. Stay Put

Stay Put

One thing you should never EVER do during a traffic stop is get out of your vehicle. The only time it’s acceptable to exit your car or truck is when requested to do so by an officer. Otherwise, getting out of the car is a big no-no and is extremely unnerving to law enforcement. One of the best things you can do is just stay put; naturally, the same applies to passengers as well.

2. A Little Politeness Goes a Long Way

Guess what? If you’re nice to the police officer, chances are they’ll reciprocate. Lose the bad attitude, answer their questions and act in a courteous manner. Being on your best behavior can really help you sidestep a ticket. Be friendly and polite.

1. Don’t Argue


And finally, if you do end up receiving a “reward” don’t argue with the officer that gave it to you. They did what they’re required to do and now is not the time to protest. Arguing or cussing them out could get you in more trouble, so please, accept your citation and continue on your way. Of course, if you feel you’ve been wronged, by all means fight the ticket, but do so in an official manner by taking it to court.

Check out our Tips and Advice Section.

  • gadfga

    duck cop

  • ScooniePenn10 .

    I try not to vomit on their shoes…

  • Jambu Shambu

    #11….don’t speed.

  • Paul Sherman

    Don’t DUI

  • torquemadax

    As an officer i agree 100%. Especially don’t cop an attitude, lie, or argue. You can have your day in court. If you decide to test us, we’ll just look for additional violations. Above all be safe and courteous out there.

  • torquemadax

    That would help…

  • #13 Youngsters learn to respect, stfu and listen to the officer and don’t act like you know it all. It’s apparent that your parents “time-out” technique took you no where in life compared to the good old belt that secured respect for others in life.

  • Auto Motive

    Solo by Escort. The best radar detector made. The Solo model can be corded or battery only so its great for DC and Va where detectors are illegal. I tested mine along the PA turnpike around corners and going 80 mph to see how it would perform. Dynamite.

  • scoot dogg

    This is so American, As a Brit I have found that getting out of the car meeting them half way and shaking hands always gets everything off on the right foot. The officers have heard it all before and most enjoy a good tale as much as the next man. If you’re close to home and he’s the area traffic cop invite him to call in for a cuppa next time he’s passing, if you have family or friends on the force ask them if they know so and so. Haven’t paid a ticket in the UK in over thirty years.

  • me ohmy

    good way to get shot…dumbass, you’re not an American, so don’t speak for us.

  • tom truth

    tea? ha ha ha. obviously you brits have more civilized police than the trigger happy cowboys we have here.

  • Robert

    I had a cop friend tell me #10 and #4 over 20 years ago, and both have served me well. #2 is just a given, compliments of my father, who taught all of us RESPECT. End result – after being pulled over about a dozen times, only 2 tickets over the past 22 years…..and it AIN”T cause I’m following the speed limit.
    Also, a very wise man once told me something very useful as far as highway driving – “you can drive as FAST as you want…..just as long as there’s a car ahead of you going faster!

  • juliaai654

    Power Of Time Read auto article < w­­­w­­­w.­­­­N­e­t­C­a­s­h­­­9­­.­­­C­­­o­­­m

  • Isend2C

    You forgot to say: drive a wagon.

  • Mac Boy

    You missed the FIRST & Most important !!!!
    Put on your turn signal … so the PD knows you are pulling over ….
    THEN, slow down, pull over & stop ………..

  • phil box

    awwwwwwwwwwwww does not breaking the law in the first place count?

  • South O Mike

    Cop friend? Does he use sap gloves?

  • Dave M

    Or get your ass tazed.

  • Tryst46

    Probably works in America but in the UK, the cops have quotas to meet and giving you a ticket seems to be the highlight of their day.

  • macs

    Now that’s just crazy talk!

  • phil box

    i hope this is a joke. if it isn’t it’s called anarchy.

  • Doug Scott

    This says it all. “one of the most dreadful feelings in the world” This in here lye’s the problem. There is nothing about them that we should ever have to fear. But unfortunately they have been given to much power. All this article says is kiss their butts and pray they aren’t having a crappy day because they have the power to absolutely ruin your day or life for that matter because they can accuse you of anything they want, and good luck defending yourself. Because as we all know, cops are “Never” wrong.

  • GatorDave

    I rather get a ticket than suck up to the blue thugs.

  • LACountyRedneck

    Cops lie in court.

  • APC900

    Most officers are good guys and do a really tough job.
    That said: some can come off really power-hungry and that’s bad for everyone.
    A Hayward California police officer almost shot me a few years back.
    My ‘crime’…driving home at 1:30 a:m…after working all night long on a car project I was building.
    On the way home, I was listening to talk radio on the car’s stereo…all windows rolled up (winter).
    He pulled me over and gave me a ticket for amplified device…after not finding any other reason for the stop.
    I took the ticket… was polite as usual…went to court and won the case.
    It was just principal to take it to that level.

  • Geopro

    In the city I had my business before I retired, we used to put out lawn chairs in front of the store and sit during slow times on days the motorcycle police would ticket about a mile strip with a vengeance. Speed limit 25, those officers would roar by on they’re Harley’s at 40-60mph to catch the ‘criminals’ doing 31.

    It was costing me business, people who knew tried to avoid that section. I got so fed up with it I made an appointment with the police commissioner at city hall to protest the excessive zeal of the officers (which by the way did result in a number of near misses with locals who got out of the way … just barely in time) Police commissioner turned out to be a 35 year veteran cop (what the hell was I thinking) who wound up screaming at me in his office about the rights of the officers and that it was perfectly legal for them to travel at ANY speed necessary in pursuit of the offenders. My only mistake was not bringing a recorder with me to tape this mad man and make a visit to the mayor’s office my next stop. I’ll know better next time.

    This is only one of the stories. I’ve got several more. Needless to say, I have little use for or respect for my local finest.

  • Pepe Mas Canoza

    I agree

  • cruisedoc

    This are tips to enhance your, and the officer’s safety during a traffic stop. Here are 10 Ways to Help Avoid Getting a Ticket:
    1. Don’t speed 2. Don’t go through red lights 3. Stop for stop signs 4. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol 5. Wear your seatbelt(s) 6. Properly restrain children in car seats 7. Don’t text and drive 8. Use care (and signals) when changing lanes 9. Make sure that all vehicle equipment is working properly 10. Make sure that the vehicle’s registration is current

  • Diesel Driver

    Possibly they were trying to raise revenue??? No. of course not, they’d never do that.

  • Diesel Driver

    You may be right but I’ve known a couple and in every case they were arrogant and seemed to be on a power trip. They bragged about how fast they went, how they treated the “perps” etc. Both were highway patrol, their “perps” should have been normal people in a hurry.

  • Diesel Driver

    Money first or maybe you’re rich and don’t need the money? If I can suck up to a cop and get out of a ticket you can bet I will. My last traffic violation was at 3 AM when I rolled through a stop sign with a clear view in all directions. Cop was sitting lights off in a shaded area and his flashers were going before I even got across the intersection. He said I really blew through that stop. Right, 5 mph is really blowing through the stop. If I’d been going 3 times that fast maybe. But even then the only way not to see an oncoming car would be if it’s lights were out. Cost me about $225.

  • Diesel Driver

    They all deny having quotas over here but if you don’t write the number of tickets they think you should you will get a downgrade on your job reviews. So official or not they have them. A lot of smaller towns use traffic fines to supplement the town’s money supply.

  • Diesel Driver

    He did specify he’s a brit and that implies that he is in Britain right? He did also specify that he hadn’t gotten a ticket in the UK in over 30 years so maybe you could or should understand that he’s making a comparison about conditions over here vs over there. I doubt if he’s the dumbass between the two of you.

  • Diesel Driver

    Regardless of that, you still have that right. If you piss the cop off you aren’t going to get away with anything except a time out in the local jail. Probably cost you a bunch more than the ticket would.

  • Diesel Driver

    Exactly what cruisedoc says and if you get pulled over anyway, I did a couple of years ago for a out of date registration on a utility trailer. DMV gave me wrong information. I open the window so they don’t have to ask you to do so. Otherwise do everything they say in the article and at least you’ll drive away afterwards not be hauled into the jail and your vehicle towed which WILL happen if you’re nasty and disrespecting to the LEO.

  • me ohmy

    I doubt sincerely whether you needed to talk smack… but , since you did let me tell you a few things.. first off you dickless moron, just stop.
    second off, you didn’t need to stick your nose in to our conversation, so again, just stop..dickless
    third off, taking the side of a non american in an american political agenda item tells me you are a troll, and as a troll you can be denied any further attention. so here it is…dickless. STFU and go away

  • Snake

    Just be nice. 😉

  • Jay Dandy

    Common sense really.

  • timothyhood

    Was anyone else hoping the discussion was going to focus on not getting pulled over in the first place?

  • timothyhood

    Ah, but you weren’t profiled… 😉

  • timothyhood

    Everything you said, except instead of “A lot of smaller towns”, I think the correct statement is “Nearly every municipality, big or small…”

  • timothyhood

    Whoa, back off the caffeine, buddy.

  • timothyhood

    Ah, but the point is, it’s not really much of a right. 1) No jury of your peers. 2) The judge will always, 100% of the time take the cop’s word over yours, 3) Even if you feel you were completely in the right, when you lose, the price of your ticket just went up with court fees, etc., and since traffic school is off the table, you now have points and higher insurance to contend with. “Your day in court” really means nothing unless you are going to gamble on a no-show by the cop.

  • timothyhood

    But after they give you the ticket, all bets are off? 🙂

  • B J

    And you didn’t need to stick your belligerent, red-neck, uncomprehending nose into someone else’s comment in the first place with your ignorant, stupid remarks that showed no sign of perceiving what you supposedly just read.
    And you wonder why all the rest of the world hates you. You deserve what you get.

  • me ohmy

    and you didn’t need to pull your penis out of the dog you were shagging… but here we are, aren’t we… go back to banging your pooch there dog slammer. maybe if you try reeeeally reeeeally hard, you can make a puppy.

  • Diesel Driver

    Don’t speed. Don’t roll through stop signs. Don’t make illegal turns. Don’t cut people off. Keep your vehicles legal. Drive politely.

  • Diesel Driver

    LOL I think “Nearly every…” would include “A lot of smaller towns”. That’s one of the reasons I simply quit speeding unless it’s a life or death emergency. Cruise control is your friend.

  • Diesel Driver

    Dude! You are the one who called someone else a “dumbass”. If you go back and read my comment you can see that it’s logical and I didn’t actually call you anything. It all goes back to the old saying, only the guilty flees when no one is pursuing them. You got all upset and started throwing insults and make exceedingly rude remarks that I doubt you would make in person when no one had tried to insult you. I simply pointed out the error of your thoughts and expressed doubt about what he was compared to you. Whether he’s an American or not, is irrelevant. He’s right and you’re wrong. Not only that but you are showing yourself to be without any sort of class at all, acting like one of the people who got Americans a bad reputation in other countries. You aren’t making your case either. You can’t win someone over to your ideas by insulting them. Doesn’t work.

  • Diesel Driver

    I will say one more thing. I’m really impressed by how ugly it is in between your ears. Glad I don’t have a cesspool for a brain.

  • JumbleMan

    UMMMM Wrong……. 10. Buy a top notch Laser/Radar Detector. 9. Buy a Radar Jammer 8. Use Waze for Early Alerts 7. Use Cobra iRadar for Early Detection 6.Drive an Average looking Car = Average Citizen (Do NOT be a Statistic) 5. Pay Attention to Date & Time (Drinking Holidays / Time at Night = More officers/Road blocks) 4. Know where you are 3. Have PrePlanned Route + Backup to Destination 2. Do a Minimum amount of Joy Riding 1. If all Else Fails and You know its Jail Time for you RUUUNNNNNNNN!!!!!! (Get Away in First 2 Minutes for Best Chances)