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Avoiding Traffic Tickets and Staying in Line with the Law

Although the best advice for avoiding traffic tickets is always to drive within the law, it often happens that even law abiding drivers receive tickets. Driving within the speed limit is not a guarantee that you will be free from traffic tickets. Besides paying the ticket off, these little slips of paper can lead to other problems, like higher insurance rates, points on one's license, and anxiety. So, it's always best to avoid them. What follows are some tips that may help you in avoiding traffic tickets.

See the Highway Patrol

The best way to be able to spot the police is to ensure that you have good visibility from your car. You can do this by cleaning all your windows whenever you fill up at a gas station, and wiping down your mirrors, as well. If you have large stickers on any of your windows, it may be a good idea to remove them. Also, be sure to occasionally check your rearview mirror for excessive vibration. If your rearview mirror is excessively vibrating, you may be losing visibility out of the back of your car. This problem can be remedied by adjusting your mirror, checking the suspension on your car, or making sure the wheels are in balance.

Recognize Highway Patrol Vehicles

It is a good idea to learn how to spot highway patrol cars, whether they are driving around you or parked on the side of the road. Highway patrol cars are typically large sedans with siren lights mounted on the top and/or sides of the car.. However, many highway patrol jurisdictions employ patrol cars that have smaller, sleeker profiles. In addition, the lights that are routinely mounted on the tops of vehicles are now mounted inside of the car near the windows. In other words, it is not always easy to spot a highway patrol car.

Highway patrol cars often wait for speeders near highway on-ramps. When driving through an overpass followed by an on-ramp, it is always a good idea to look around for any parked cars, check your speed, and drive safely. In addition, highway patrol cars often work in teams, with one car checking speeds using a radar gun while parked on the overpass, and another car waiting issue a traffic ticket. As a result, it is always a good idea to be aware for cars that are not moving on an overpass.

Remember that highway patrol officers will almost always know the road better than you will, as it is their job to drive it almost every day. Because of this, the highway patrol usually has the upper hand in giving out speeding tickets. Bear in mind that you may receive a ticket from a highway patrol car that is driving in your opposite direction. With their powerful engines, it's easy for them to make a U-turn and catch up to you if they think that you are breaking the law. Another highway patrol tactic is to use pace cars on service roads to see if the cars are speeding.

Highway Patrol Motorcycles and Airplanes

The highway patrol does not only use cars. These law enforcement agencies regularly use motorcycles and airplanes, as well. Highway patrol motorcycles can usually be recognized by their large size and rear radio-antenna. In addition, most law enforcement motorcycles are designed to have the rider sitting upright, so you don't have to worry about sport bikes where the rider is leaning forward.

Some highway patrols use airplanes and other small aircraft to issue speeding tickets. However, these planes can only be used in certain areas, and not around major airports or other commercial flying lanes. Normally, planes are used by Highway Patrol in rural areas where there are large stretches of highway. By looking out for a few signs, you will be able to tell when you may be monitored by an aircraft. First, roads often have signage that informs drivers that their speed is being monitored by an aircraft. Second, there will be large, perpendicular white lines painted alongside the road, often in the shoulder, spaced at intervals of one mile.

Spotting an aircraft flying overhead is much more difficult than spotting a highway patrol car or motorcycle. However, if you happen to see a small aircraft flying parallel to the road you are on, your speed may be being monitored from above.

Don't Get Noticed

One of the best ways to avoid a speeding ticket or other kind of traffic ticket is to avoid getting noticed while you're on the road. Be sure not to call attention to your car or your driving. To this end, you can:

  • Make sure that if your windows are tinted, they are within the acceptable limits of the state in which you are driving. Officers will often look at cars more carefully if they have very dark windows. In some states, like CA, having windows tinted too darkly can lead to a ticket.
  • Do not flash your headlights at drivers that are moving more slowly than you unless you are sure that you are driving within the speed limit. By flashing your lights at slower drivers while speeding in the fast lane, you call attention to yourself.
  • Only drive in the left lane when passing slower vehicles. Some states even prohibit driving in the left lane except for passing.
  • Try to avoid any extra additions to your car that may bring attention. These can include things like extra large spoilers, oversized wheels and lighted under-carriages.
  • Avoid bumper stickers, unless you can be sure that they won't offend. Even simple bumper stickers that support you favorite sports team may offend an officer.
  • Be careful when using radar detectors. If a police officer sees a radar detector, he may issue a ticket even if he was willing to give a warning before Some states even prohibit the use of radar detectors.
  • If you decide to personalize your license plate, be sure it will not be offensive. A license plant "10SNE1" (tennis anyone?) is fine, but something like "SPD DMN" (speed demon) may get you in trouble.
  • Keep a clean, good looking car. If your car is dirty, dented and generally looking shabby, the officer may be more inclined to keep a closer eye on you and issue a ticket. In addition, repairing cracked windows is a good idea, not only for making you less noticeable, but also for your safety while on the road.
  • Replace your worn tires. Bald tires make driving that much more dangerous, and the officer may be more likely to cite you.
Next Steps
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