• Jun 29th 2010 at 12:00AM
  • 502

People 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.

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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 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.
        • 6 Months Ago

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

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

        You're a ..you know, a tool

      • 8 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!!
      • 8 Months Ago
      You should do a companion article on how to get out of manslaughter charges when you kill someone's wife or kids while doing stupid on the highway.
      • 8 Months Ago
      How do you speed while drunk driving and avoid a ticket
      • 8 Months Ago
      Your all idiots
      • 8 Months Ago
      What ever happened to the settable speedometers that reminded you of yor set speed You would think with all the electronic advances that they would be more advanced they could even be tied in to traffic stations to tell you when you go over the limit If safety were the real concern the government would promote this, it won't make money
      • 8 Months Ago
      One last thing...L.E.O s dont pick out a specific type, color, or style of car. You are usually far enough away when you are "hit" with RADAR or laser that they can see the car, but probably coudnt make out the make and model. This guy was a nut case!
      • 8 Months Ago
      heathshooter53 for some of that you are correct i've lived in virginia for 21 yrs n have drove 6 of them on the interstate... let me start by sayin truck drivers are the worse it's not the one's from va its the ones who are traveling through the take up the left lanes n go slow as hell n then u got an ******* in the left lane goin just as slow which is ridiculous... as far as the old people go they are some aholes too... they do pull out in front of you like they own the road n they dare you to hit them lol.. but as far as other cars go if ur on the interstate and there's a car in the fast lane goin slow more than likely it ain't from around here unless it's old people they are the only ones who slow us down along with the trucks.. the worse state in the world to drive in would have to be North Carolina them ******* can't do more than 35- 45 in a 70... I literally put up a sign in my back windshield everytime i go there that says "the speed limit is 70 DO IT OR MOVE!" lol
      • 8 Months Ago
      This story should be removed because it promotes lawlessness. The best way to avoid a speeding ticket is to drive no faster than the speed limit.
      • 8 Months Ago
      50 to 100 yards is WAY TO CLOSE to follow a "rabbit". Most driver's are to busy doing other activities, other than driving, to follow this close. Keep your stupid opinions for stupid driver's to yourself.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Napolirecycling, Nice, just nice. You obviously have no respect for the law or other authority figures. I have been stopped many times in my younger days and each and every time it was a for a legimate reason. Hell in a couple of cases Philly PD could have impounded my car and arrested my dumb butt under their operation live stop program. However, like the officer you unfairly bitch about, says I got let go with just a warning why? Because I was honest and respectful to the cop. Believe or not, most cops aren't out to bust everyones chops or abuse their badge. Most LEOs want to protect their community and use their discretion in handing out tickets and other legal punishments (arrest, etc). Its not a hard thing to understand they have a job to do, bills to pay, they just happen to be the ones who choose to serve and protect low life scum like you. I bet your the A**hole who never gets out of the the way when the fire trucks are racing to a job with reported entrapment and yet will sit there bitch about how long it took the cops and firefighters to get to their house when there was a fire. Dumbass, I hope you get yours in the end.
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