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People gg who get speeding tickets are often guilty of more than simply driving faster than the posted limit. Their chief offense? It's getting noticed in the first place. That's the first domino to fall in the ugly chain of events that leads to a piece of "payin' paper."

Here are some common sense ways to run under a cop's radar -- literally:

Drive within 5-10 mph of surrounding traffic. Cops are usually looking for drivers who are going noticeably faster than the other cars on the road. If you're within a pack of cars all going 5 to 10 mph over the limit, you've automatically improved your odds of not being the one that gets pulled over for a speeding ticket, even though you're all technically speeding. The cop has to pick one car; if you go with the flow of traffic, it probably won't be you. And it definitely won't be you if you don't speed in the first place.

Try to stay in the middle of the pack. If you're the lead car, logic says you'll be the first car to run past any cop's radar trap up ahead and get a speeding ticket. And if you're the last car, you'll be the one the police officer rolls up behind. That means the safest place is in the middle -- just like a gazelle fleeing a hungry lion by seeking safety in the middle of the herd.

Find a "rabbit." If you can't find a pack of cars going the speed you'd like to maintain, the next best thing is to find yourself a rabbit -- a solitary driver traveling the speed you'd like to drive that you can follow discretely, about 50-100 yards back. If there's a cop using radar, hopefully the rabbit will trip the trap and get a speeding ticket, not you. And if he brakes suddenly, you have just received your early warning in time to take defensive action.

Do not change lanes frequently, tailgate or otherwise drive aggressively. In addition to being rude and dangerous, you're just asking for a trucker or someone with a cell phone to call the cops and give them a description of your vehicle and license plate number. Always use your signals and be courteous to fellow drivers. It's safer, and it will help you fade into the background.

Avoid the fast lane. Use the far left lane to pass when necessary, but try to stay in the middle lanes when possible. Reason? If a cop is lurking in a cutout along the median strip (or coming at you from the opposite direction on a divided highway) the speeder in the far left lane is the one most likely to become the target. Drivers who get nailed with speeding tickets are often the type who rack it up to 10 or 15 over the limit and remain in the far left lane.

Watch for cutouts and modulate your speed accordingly. On many highways, there are cutouts in the median strip every couple of miles. Usually, you can see these in plenty of time to slow down a little bit in case there's a cop lurking behind the bushes ready to give you a speeding ticket.

Don't speed when you are the only car on the road. If you ignore this warning it's the equivalent of plastering a "ticket me!" bumper sticker on your vehicle. Even if you're only doing five mph over the posted limit, if there's a cop using radar, he's got nothing to look at but you. Lonesome speeding is even more dangerous in small towns, where radar traps and aggressive enforcement by cops can be common. And never speed late at night. Drunk-driving patrols are heavy and cops are more inclined to pull you over for any offense in order to check you for signs of alcohol. Don't give them a reason.

If it's OK legally, get a radar detector. Yes, they're expensive (good ones, anyhow). But a one-time hit of, say, $300 for a decent radar detector is cheaper than even a single big speeding ticket and the higher insurance costs that will come with it. Radar detectors are legal in most states and well worth the investment to avoid a speeding ticket.

And Finally:

If possible, drive a nondescript vehicle. It may not be fair, but it's human nature to notice things that stand out from the crowd. Bright-colored cars, those with loud exhaust or other pimped-out enhancements are the cars more likely to draw a cop's initial attention than ordinary-looking, family-type cars. Since the cop has to single out one car, which car do you suppose is the likely candidate for a speeding ticket? The bright yellow Mustang GT with 20-inch chrome rims? Or the silver Taurus?

If you do get pulled over while driving a fancy, high-profile car, your odds of getting a speeding ticket versus a warning have probably gone up. If you're driving a fast-looking hot rod, the cop is going to assume you use it and deserve a ticket more than the guy in a family-looking ride whose plea that he "didn't realize he was speeding, officer" comes off as more believable.

> In Pictures: Cars Least Likely to Get You a Speeding Ticket

Be aware that appearances count. That is, your appearance. If your appearance says, "Responsible member of the community," you're apt to get a more friendly response than if you look and act like trouble.

The worst possible thing you can do is combine all the no-no's listed above by driving a flashy car too fast, late at night when you're the only car on the road while looking like you just robbed a bank.

If you do that, expect a speeding ticket. And expect no mercy.


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  • 502 Comments
      • 5 Months Ago
      I am a white dude with long hair and when I drove a firebird, I got pulled over and harrassed all the time. Now, I tuck my hair under my hat and drive a pickup truck with no bumper stickers, and I haven't been pulled over since. It's the same as being pulled over for DRIVING WHILE BLACK. Cops for the most part are communist nazis bastards.
        teddavid
        • 3 Months Ago

        Just be aware that Communists and Nazis are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. You can't be both!

      Chris
      • 5 Months Ago
      Instead of all this stuff, you could, you know not treat public roads like drag strips?
        CJ
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Chris

        You're a ..you know, a tool

      cremedelacremedi
      • 5 Months Ago
      I used to get tickets about every six months easy!! I got one on a New Years Day, Christmas Eve, Martin Luther King Day, etc... I am not joking. I am a professional hispanic female in my twenties... and I always, always, always got stupid unimportant sticker tickets. One police officer actually wanted to see the receipt to one of my stickers....because he thought it was a fake!!! He even tried to scratch it off my windshield! Fortunately I had my receipt!!! Once, my car had stopped because I had accidently run out of gas once, luckily I had a towing service to bring me some. Well, the cop pulled over in under 10 minutes and when he found out I had a towing service he said "let's see who's tow truck gets here first!" Fortunately, mine did! God forbid you get a flat tire around here! But you can't help but feel bullied here in San Antonio, Texas!!
      • 5 Months Ago
      if it is at night for one kill the engine turn on the interior dome light put both hands on your steering wheel and look at the cop in his eyes in the mirror as he or she walks up all tell a cop when your looking for license or regestraion so it wont make them nervous do all of these things you are likely not to get a ticket ive gotten out of many using common sense being respectful and staying calm
      floyd60
      • 5 Months Ago
      In Indiana the only way to avoid a speeding ticket is to not drive. I received a ticket from an Indiana state police cop when I was well under the posted limit. In fact, it happened twice. Once near Gary and once near South Bend. My opinion is Indiana state cops are all ********. Indiana has a corrupt justice of the peace traffic court system, in which I believe the cops get a kickback for bringing in so called violaters (really victums of legalized robbery). I moved to Calif *********** since then, received one well deserved speeding ticket from a very courteous Calif highway patrolman. In numerous cross country trips I received one warning from an Ohio state police officer, also very courteous, for going slightly (5 mph) over the posted limit.
      • 5 Months Ago
      when people see cops brakeing the law with full intent or when they say "IM THE LAW it'd hard to respect them'They represent law enforcement agencies and are paid to do a job but THEY ARE NOT THE LAW people would have more respect for many cops if they were watched by officials poseing as citizens to catch them Don't get me wrong I know many good cops who think like this and it's them who agree with me
      Steve
      • 5 Months Ago
      First, shame on AOL for its column on how to avoid getting caught breaking the law. Second, we in the profession know full well there are those who appeciate what we do and there are the losers. Some of these losers are actually the ones we are looking for, the losers who are also criminals. The rest typically fall into the category of being generally-law-abiding losesr. We're not really looking to ruin your day (at least most of us are not) but I have to tell you I get a real kick reading your loser stories. "Oh poor me. I was singled out for no reason." Jeez, if I had a dollar for every time I heard one of those I've-been-wronged wails coming from the back of my transport car I'd be able to retire today. Third, we all know there are some jerks in every profession. The rest of us know who the jerk cops are and we generally try to steer clear of them. Fourth, there are the sheep, the wolves, and the sheepdogs. The sheep think the world is much safer than it is and can never conceive of using violence on another person. The wolves are those who have no problem being violent to get what they want and couldn't care less for anyone but themselves. The sheepdogs are that rare breed who have no problem employing violence on the wolves and yet have a deep and heartfelt concern for the safety of the flock. That's what keeps us going. Not the appreciaiton from those we protect, since many sheep simply do not appreciate it. We keep doing it because if we don't protect the flock, nobody else will. And we certainly don't do it for the money. I have fun daily and feel good at the end of most shifts. You can't buy that.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Here is the best way to avoid a ticket: Obey the law!
      mdldd
      • 5 Months Ago
      Speeding is not the cause of accidents unless it is excessive or because of a poor driver. Rubber necking is number 1; slow drivers were number 2, lack of experience was number three. States push speeding as one of the main causes to scare people so they can rip off the speeders more with excessive fines. Speeding does cause more damage in an accident. In 1997 the NHTS said that people who drive 10 to 15 over the speed limit were involved in 12 % of accidents; however they received 89% of the tickets. It stated that these drivers were better drivers. It is mostly about revenue for the states, i.e. police retirement funds, court money, etc
      • 5 Months Ago
      If you know a cop, get a PBA card and keep it with your reg's. Best of all keep the speed down to within 10mph of speed limit.
      • 5 Months Ago
      This article is filled with misleading and potentially dangerous advice. I have to agree with auggiedawgee, the best way to avoid a speeding ticket is drive the posted speed limit. "Speeding in the middle of a pack of cars"- This nothing but a fataliity accident waiting to happen. "Finding a rabbit" is going to do nothing but find you a speeding ticket. Police officers can stop more than one vehicle at a time. Checking speeds on vehicles has absolutely nothing to do with what type or color of vehicle you drive, it is what speed you are travelling. In regards, to joelivin35's post, save your $10. In most states, there only afew ways to "beat " aspeeding ticket. 1) Prove the citing officer is not a sworn/certified law enforcement officer, 2) Prove that he/she is not certified to operate the speed detection device that he/she checked your speed with, 3) Prove that there was a malfunction in the speed detection device he/she checked your speed with on that day, or 4) Pray that you go before a bleeding heart judge that will listen to your excuse and take it into consideration.
      • 5 Months Ago
      or you could travel so fast they dont have a chance to catch up with you before you can get on a exit ramp! ! !
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