I had planned on being in Biloxi this weekend to shoot some craps, however, the payment of a debt required that I stay home and dog sit a friend’s dog. This guy is cute.
I’m currently in Florida and a drive to Biloxi is only about two hours away. Luckily, a friend said that he would drive both of us to Biloxi for a Sunday craps run. It is about 5:05 p.m. on Sunday as I write this. We are going to leave in about two hours, after I drop the dog off at a mutual friend’s house.
On the topic of driving, I’ve never received a traffic ticket. *Knock on wood.
In the spirit of helping out my fellow roadgamblers who hit the road and go from casino to casino, this is what you should do and how you should talk to a cop who just pulled you over. Hopefully, if done correctly and the cop is cool, the cop will issue you a warning or just lets you go.
Doing what I describe here is your best chance of getting out of a speeding or traffic ticket.
It might be said that the best way to avoid a traffic ticket is to just follow the rules of the road. To that, I say bullshit. The traffic laws are so convoluted, complex, and over-encompassing that it’s impossible to not violate some sort of traffic code. Ask any cop and they’ll tell you the same thing.
If you want to get out of a ticket and still preserve your dignity, do the weird tricks I describe below.
ROADGAMBLER’S WAY TO GET OUT OF BEING ISSUED A TRAFFIC TICKET
Number 1. Mentality: Be Polite and Respectful to the Cop, But Don’t Grovel or Compliment
You want a sure way to get a traffic ticket? Be disrespectful or imply or express that the cop can’t write you a ticket.
Cops hate when they’re disrespected. It’s more than an ego thing; it’s sometimes a life or death matter because if a cop works in a dangerous town, precinct, or neighborhood, respect goes a long way to making sure that the cop goes home safely when his shift is over. Allowing people to walk all over him just sets a dangerous precedent.
Be respectful. Do not demand anything.
Being respectful doesn’t mean that you ply them with compliments or sweet talk them. Cops are familiar with the ruse of people being fake nice to get out of a ticket.
Also don’t throw away your dignity by groveling. That never works, either.
So what should you do? Be empathetic. This is how…
Number 2. The Officer’s Approach
Cops are taught that traffic stops are dangerous. A cop can have a 30 year career doing hundreds or thousands of traffic stops, but it only takes one bullet from a bad traffic stop to send them away in a casket. It’s in the cop’s mentality that you are potentially a threat. Don’t hold it against them. They don’t know you, and it’s a numbers game where they have to be right 100% of the time, or they’ll end up dead.
So, as the cop is about to walk up to your door, roll down one of your front windows before the cop arrives. Don’t roll down both the passenger and driver side windows because it makes it hard for you to hear the cop, and vice versa. Pick the side that the cop is going to appear on.
How do you know which side the cop is going to appear on?
The general rule is that if you are pulled over by a city cop or a sheriff’s deputy, they will approach from the driver side, so roll down the driver side.
If it’s a state trooper type of cop, then they’ll generally approach from the passenger side, so roll down the front passenger window.
If you don’t know which type of cop is pulling you over, then follow this general rule: if you’re on the highway, freeway, interstate, roll down the passenger side; if you’re in the city, then roll down the driver’s side.
Before the cop approaches, do this one weird trick, and they’ll love you…
Place both your hands on your steering wheel, with your palms turned up like this and keep them there…
First chance you get to say something, say exactly like this…
For officer safety, I’m showing you my hands.
What you’ve done is showed the cop that you respect him and have concern for his safety. You are also empathizing with his career and the dangers he or she faces. You’ve done it in a way that only he or she understands. You have now implied to the cop that you are now on his or her side, and that you are their ally.
This gesture is something that only someone with intimate knowledge of law enforcement will do.
Number 3. What to Say When the Officer Tells You the Reason for the Stop
Arguing with the cop is one of the surest ways to be issued a ticket, unless you absolutely know how to argue to a cop. I’m not going to get into that aspect because that’s a book’s worth of information.
If you argue, then the most obvious solution from the cop is to issue the ticket and then let the court decide. That’s a hassle you don’t want because you may be hundreds of miles from the courthouse.
Don’t argue, but at the same time, don’t admit to the accusation.
Very importantly, don’t apologize. I repeat: DO NOT APOLOGIZE.
If you apologize, it can be used against you. Sometimes, you may be forced to fight the citation in court. For example, if you have a commercial driver’s license and are in jeopardy of losing that license, the apology can be interpreted as an admission that will most likely be used against you.
Most traffic stops are recorded, in case you didn’t know.
Instead, use another one of RoadGambler’s weird tricks.
When the cop tells you why he pulled you over, whether you agree or disagree, say exactly this…
[Officer/Deputy/Trooper], I meant you no disrespect.
This is probably the most powerful thing you can say to a cop when faced with the reason why he or she pulled you over. The comment is not an admission because it’s too vague to mean anything that can be negatively interpreted by a judge or jury. At the same time, this statement acknowledges to the cop that you respect that he or she is doing their sworn duty.
Most importantly, you are acknowledging to the cop that you understand his perspective. It’s all about understanding each other.
Number 4. Retrieving Your Driver’s License and Proof of Insurance
The next step is that the officer will most likely ask you for your driver’s license or proof of insurance.
With your hands in the same position above, tell the officer what you are about to do, step by step like you’re a sports announcer.
Tell him or her these three things: 1. where the license is located; 2. which hand you are going to use, left or right; 3. where your proof of insurance is located.
Here is the way I do it…
Officer/Deputy/Trooper, my driver’s license is in my wallet on my left hand front pocket. I’m going to reach in there with my right hand to get it. My proof of insurance is in the glove box. I’m going to reach in there afterwards and get it for you.
Then start getting those documents for the officer.
Number 5. Let the Situation Play Out
What you’ve done is sublimely advocated your case without groveling or being argumentative.
Remember, you can never win an argument with a cop after you’ve been pulled over for a traffic offense because the cop will just tell you that the court will decide. Showing up to court is not realistic, especially if you live hundreds of miles away from the courthouse.
So there’s really no point in arguing, unless you are highly trained or knowledgable about the topic. Most people aren’t knowledgeable or tactful enough to argue, so don’t do it.
Just do the above. Practice the above routine at home when you’re sitting in your chair, or practice it while you’re stopped at a light waiting for it to turn green.
The reason why it works is because it tells the cop that you care about them, without groveling or paying fake compliments.
Here’s the main reason why it works: it seems like you have intimate knowledge of their profession. You are implicitly and powerfully stating that you are their ally. If the cop asks how you know these things or whether you have family in law enforcement, or if you’re a cop yourself, be honest and give a real answer. End your answer with, ‘I just have a lot of respect for cops and care about their safety’.
As human brothers and sisters, we should care regardless of our end goal at the moment.
On a side note, some departments are notorious for writing everyone traffic tickets, and nothing less than an act of God will get you out of a ticket. Usually, those merciless cops are the state highway patrols or ‘motor units’ within a local police or sheriff’s department which are dedicated to enforcing traffic laws. An example of a traffic motor unit are motorcycle cops or the so called ‘ghost’ units that look like regular civilian cars and prowl the roads looking for traffic violations.
But outside of those anomalies, you have a really good chance if you follow what I described in this article.
I’m off to the casinos now!
Posted in: Travel