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Talk your way out of a traffic ticket and save the points

Updated on March 3, 2016
Jeff Watters profile image

Jeff Watters is a business consultant & freelance author who lives in Delaware and the former manager of Mattress stores & AWAI member.

Before you pay that big fine try this first.

By Jeff Watters

It first started when I was a child going somewhere in a car with my dad and seeing some poor guy pulled over who was obviously sassing the cop. My father told me how people would get traffic tickets when they would have had a warning because they didn't handle themselves correctly. Don't make this common mistake if you get pulled over.

Here are my top ten things to do and reasons why.

1) Pull way over. If a cop feels like he is risking his life to give you a ticket, you're getting one. Please pull far over to the shoulder so the poor guy doesn't feel like he is going to get run over, by being on the edge of traffic, pull as far over to the side as you can. Point the front of the car slightly towards the right shoulder so the rear drivers side of the car protects the officer from being hit by an oncoming car. The idea is to make him feel safe! Put your right tire on the grass if you need to leave a visible angle to the road. If the officer or trooper asks you why you pulled over in that way, tell him that it is to protect him from oncoming traffic. He may show appreciation by not giving you a ticket.

2) Be polite, you are not being singled out. If you weren't doing anything wrong, you wouldn't have been pulled over! Don't sass the cop. If you do, you start a confrontation that can only end by paying a hefty fine and getting points on your license. Your insurance agent will love this when you are paying higher insurance rates. So treat the officer with respect using his or her rank and name or calling him/her Officer or Trooper.

3) Don't deny you were doing something wrong. See #2. If you deny, you were doing something wrong it is akin to calling him a liar. Calling him a liar will get you that ticket. So don't do it. I am not telling you to admit guilt either, just don't be impolite.

4) Have your drivers license, insurance information, and registration ready when you are approached by the police officer or trooper. Roll your windows down and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Make the officer feel safe at all times and let him know you are not a threat.

5) Keep your hands in full view of the officer. Body language tip, show the palms of your hands as much as possible, so the officer/trooper can see they are empty.

6) At night turn on your inside cab light so he doesn't feel a threat of possible attack. Cops are people too, and they are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Making the police feel safe will go a long way to easing the situation.

7) Keep him talking as long as you can while not abusing him or denying you are wrong. Get to the friendly ground as quickly as possible. That doesn't mean leave the car, but rather a cheerful voice inflection. Stay in the car. If you get out, it puts the cop on the defensive and tension will become an issue.

8) Use your manners! Show respect and dignity for law enforcement. Remember it is their turf, and you are on it, the officer has the power, and you need a gentle application of it. A lot of people think they won't get out of getting a ticket, so they are rude to the police. I have known many cops that would have let someone off but were treated rudely and issued the ticket as a sort of revenge. Don't be the jerk who gets a ticket because you were rude.

9) Smile

10) Thank him for letting you off!

P.S.: I once heard of a woman that took the "Get out of jail" card from a monopoly game and gave it to the officer when he took her license, registration, and insurance information. Pretty funny right! But it turned the mood around, and she got off without a ticket. Remember, he walked up to the car saying to himself "get your game face on." This "get out of jail" card certainly changed his mood.

Be creative and if you know of some things not mentioned here, please write me. I may update this article with your idea!


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