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What to do if you are pulled over for speeding

Even though you know speeding is against the law, there are times when you push the limit. While you may get away with this most the time, it's not out of the question that an officer could see you driving too fast.

If you look in your rearview mirror and see lights, it's time to immediately consider the steps you can take to avoid a speeding ticket. There's no surefire strategy for success, but here are five things you can try:

  • Don't admit to anything: You're tempted to apologize for driving too fast, but this is a mistake you should avoid. Don't give the officer anything they can use against you in court. Instead, if the officer asks why you were speeding, you can respond with something like "I was keeping up with the flow of traffic."
  • Be courteous: You don't have to overdo it, but a friendly approach is much better than coming across as angry and arrogant. When you treat the officer like a human there's a greater chance they'll do the same in return.
  • Show that safety is on your mind: There are many ways to do this, such as by using your hazard lights and pulling as far off the road as possible (thus giving the officer space to reach your vehicle).
  • Ask them to give you a warning: This is easier said than done, but it may be something you want to try. Politely ask for a warning, but never admit that you did anything wrong.
  • Don't talk back: Some people are tempted to say things like, "Do you know who I am?" or "Don't you have real criminals to chase after today?" Even if you're having a bad day, talking back is a mistake. If you do this, you can guarantee yourself of receiving a speeding ticket, if not worse.

If you're able to do one or more of these things, you put yourself in better position to avoid a traffic citation.

If nothing works, take your ticket and then consider your options. Don't immediately pay it, as doing so could lead to an insurance premium hike or license suspension among other consequences. Instead, learn more about your legal rights, as you may be able to fight back in court to lessen the impact of the ticket.

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