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Are there any “tricks” that work?

I have a buddy who says he can always talk himself out of a speeding ticket. That got me thinking: What’s the best way to talk yourself out of a speeding ticket? Are there any “tricks” that always work?

Dear anonymous: Not sure there is a best way. Lots will depend on the cop and the day he’s having and how you sound to him. My own suggestion is to be absolutely and totally honest and humble with him. Attitude won’t get you very far at all and will probably work against you.

If you were driving too fast because you needed to get to your kid’s school on time for the school play etc, make sure you tell him so. Maybe he’s got kids himself and he’ll feel like cutting you a break. Stay away from bullshit excuses like “I need to go to the bathroom” unless it’s really true (and maybe due to some medical condition or something). He’ll see right through all of that. Also, stay away from stuff like “I was just keeping up with traffic” which—at least to me—seems like you’re saying “it wasn’t my fault. I was doing what everyone does.” That doesn’t look like you feel “sorry” enough.

Of course if you say “I’m sorry I think I just got in with some faster traffic and didn’t realize I was speeding”, THAT at least looks like you’re acknowledging some fault. Stay away from the charm routine or being Mr. Chummy. Stuff like “Hey, nice motorcycle!” will probably not get you very far. Especially stay away from playing the “Treat me special because my brother’s a cop” routine. In my experience most honest cops don’t give a damn who your brother is. Definitely stay away from making your case right there at the roadside. Your argument that he was not using the radar properly will fall on deaf ears and probably just piss him off. There’s plenty of time for that in court. So too will any arguments that he is being unfair because everyone else was going even faster.  That’s more of the “I’m not the guilty one” bit.

Just be honest and humble

In the end, the best plan is just to be honest and humble. Just tell him the truth and be nice about it. His job is to cite folks who “need” to be cited. If you seem like you’re aware of your actions and that you look like you won’t be wrapping your car around a tree in the next mile, he may feel that a warning is enough. That said, if there are “other” circumstances to your case that make it more serious than just an ordinary speeding ticket, it might be best to omit those (like if you were speeding to catch up to that hot chick in the corvette or if you were racing that other dude to give him the finger because he cut you off a mile back etc). THAT stuff is better left unsaid!

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