By on October 16, 2012

Imagine you are driving down on a well traveled interstate on a family vacation.

Everything is good in your life. Traffic is minimal. The road is a never ending horizon of the straight and narrow. Just you and your family. When all of a sudden…

Lights. Sirens. A cop getting ever closer to the rear bumper.

You see the cruise is still on 75, pull over, and await the inevitable.

“Sir, I pulled you over because you were speeding down this road.”

“I apologize. I didn’t realize I was speeding.”

“You were driving 75 on a 55.”

You’re shocked. Not at the speed. But at the speed limit. You saw no signs in the area showing the speed at the old double nickel. The officer writes you up. You sign on the dotted line, and start figuring out where you go from here.

So what will you do? The fine would be $280 if you don’t bother showing up to court. Do you take the time off to explain your side of the story?  Or do you simply pay the fine and go on with your life?

What would be the best thing to do?



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87 Comments on “Hammer Time: Speed Trap City...”

  • avatar

    The cost of the ticket is nothing. The increased insurance rates for the next X/Y years is what kills you. For that reason alone you have to fight it (er…I would)

    • 0 avatar

      You’re exactly right. If your jurisdiction is anything like the Province of Ontario (it’s probably not nearly as expensive) insurance companies will have free reign to jack up your rates and make your life a living hell for years. In this day and age, most jurisdictions will allow you to transfer the charges to your home jurisdiction, appear by agent (for a fee which, in the long run, will likely be far less than the increase in premiums or sometimes you can be lucky enough to find some eager young law student to do it for free) or sometimes even by video feed.

    • 0 avatar

      Bingo. The fine, all by itself is not the issue. It’s essentially like the upfront cost of a cell phone – appearing large at first, but not nearly as important in the grand scheme as the monthly service bill. The insurance costs are the real wallet killer, doing their insidious work month after month, much like one’s monthly cell plan bills.

    • 0 avatar

      Robstar is right. Sparing everyone the details, I learned this last year that a moving violation on federal land does not get reported to the DMV, and therefore your insurance. Fines are considerably lower too, I paid $30 dollars for 50 in a 35.

      Moral of the story is, if you want to drive like a maniac while keeping the points off your license, do it on federal land.

      • 0 avatar

        $30? That’s it?? Wow, you got off easy my friend. I got pulled over on Hanscom AFB last year for doing 33 in a 25 zone and my fine was $125! Not to mention the heart racing experience of having two MPs flanking your vehicle with M16s in hand!

    • 0 avatar

      Several years ago I got caught in an upstate NY speed trap. I live in CO and hired an Albany NY lawyer to represent me. If the cop does not show up for the court date, ticket dismissed. I would pay thousands for lawyers before I paid hundreds for a ticket. Courts cost them as much as lawyers cost me.

      Radar detectors are pretty much useless in today’s laser gun world. A laser jammer is the only way to go.

      My car is registered to my company, so photo radar and red light camera tickets are difficult to enforce.

      My biggest worry is passing un-marked cop cars. Local ones are easy to remember. Utah highway patrol drive stealth white pickup trucks — almost passed one of those before noticing it.

  • avatar

    Mail in the fine and move on with your life.

    • 0 avatar

      Use a good radar detector when you can, run the free GPS nav for your smart phone called waze, and always use a rabbit in front of you or be able to slow close to 20 mph by stabbing the brakes.

      If your record is clean and you can’t make the court appearance, pay and move on.

  • avatar

    always make sure there is a car in front of you or in the passing lane going faster than you are, that is the best way to avoid tickets, in other words blend with the traffic, if you are driving alone, as I often do at night, I reduce my speed to 5 miles less than the posted speed limit, no sense attracting the attention of a p.o’d bear stuck on night duty.

  • avatar

    I always go to court. Overworked State’s Attorneys will usually waive the charge or the judge will lower or dismiss it. The state knows the sheeple will usually mail in a check.

    Of course, if you live in Maine and get stopped in Florida it’s probably cheaper to send the check.

  • avatar

    Always, always go to court. My feeling is that a big chunk of that give is court costs, and I’m going to get my money’s worth. If you just pay the fine, you get the whole thing on your record, insurance rate increases and all. Unless you’re very unlucky,a serial offender, or just an a-hole, you’ll get a reduction just for showing up.

    If you’re not comfortable going yourself or if it’s you far away or inconvenient, hire a lawyer to go for you. It’s worth the money, and they’ll get your charges reduced without any drama.

    Expect to pay the whole fine…that’s why you got pulled over in the first place. But don’t be a sucker and give a gift to your insurance company.

  • avatar

    Make ’em work for it.

    Fight the ticket tooth and nail, make them waste resources trying to steal from you.

    Sorry folks, that’s exactly what it is. Maybe because I live on Long Island where all the highways still have the double nickel (50 mph within NYC limits) but what is being practiced on the roads is legally sanctioned highway robbery. The powers that be don’t care and the people are too self-righteous to demand change.

    Until they do, be as much as an impediment to the system as humanly possible.

  • avatar

    This is a difficult question, with a complicated answer. My version of the answer generally revolves around the following factors:

    1) What state is your license, and is the ticket in your home state? If you’re one of the lucky folks that live in a no-reciprocity state such as New York, and the ticket is out of state, pay the fine and move on, as you’ll never get a point on your license. If you live somewhere like California, that has total reciprocity, fight it at all costs, unless your license is totally spotless and you can do an online driving school to make the point go away. (Strangely enough, all moving violations in CA are 1 point, regardless of the offense, and you get 4 points in 3 years before they take your license). This is why I always drive (conditions permitting) at 29 mph over the speed limit in the more rural parts of California, one shy of a reckless charge, because the penalty is the same as if I got caught driving 5 over. I’m going to get hated on for that one, but whatever, I’ve never had an accident and most of the cars I’m driving are new, capable, performance vehicles and when I drive I focus on driving, not texting, eating, or making phone calls.

    2) How much would it cost you to fight the ticket? If it’s a suburb of a major city, you can save money by hiring a local attorney to fight the ticket for you. You save on a second road trip or a flight, they beat the ticket and you save on insurance money. It will cost about $500 to do this in most parts of the country.

    3) How reliable is the cop’s method of catching you? If he got you on laser, it will be very difficult to fight. If he got you on radar and there are other cars around going the same speed as you, that is easier. The best is getting caught by the airplane, because then you have to subpoena the pilot and the cop who physically pulled you over. By requesting a change of venue, you can make two people go way the hell out of their way to make the ticket stick, which is a great way to get cops not to show up for your trial.

    I personally have had more tickets in California than any other state, which is why I keep a lawyer on a monthly retainer for such issues. (Mr. Ticket, because friends don’t let friends plead guilty). He’s currently 5-for-5 in the last 6 months getting tickets thrown out entirely, and keeping my insurance rates reasonable.

    Also, if you’re road tripping, a Valentine One should be mandatory equipment (except in Virginia, of course). If it saves you from even one ticket, it’s paid for itself, and it saves me at least 3-4 times a week for the last five years.

    • 0 avatar

      Most states belong to the Driver License Compact (DLC) and/ or the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC), so in most cases, an out-of-state ticket will end up counting against your driving record. Drivers should assume the worst unless they can confirm otherwise.

      Quebec and Ontario also exchange information with a few states.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m surprised it is only 4 points in 3 years that gets a CA license yanked. The way tickets are used for revenue enhancement here, I’d think you’d just get a good customer loyalty reward for your fifth paid several hundred dollar fine.

    • 0 avatar

      Five tickets in six months, and that’s just in California. You live on the edge, my friend.

      I think my last ticket (in North America!) is from about 10 years ago. And I don’t drive the speed limit, either.

  • avatar

    I was an attorney working in the Kansas City area and in Missouri there is a racket between the lawyers and the DAs fixing tickets. You go in, plead no-contest, pay an extra $35, plus the fine and they make it a parking ticket. The lawyers charge from $75-$100 a ticket for the service, and will have a meeting in each town, with 10-15+ tickets in hand. Can walk out with $1000 profit for an hour’s work.

    Kansas has the best system though. Anything less than 10 MPH over doesn’t get reported to insurance. No points. So when I was clocked at 15 MPH over the state policeman was very clear. “I have a radar slip showing you at 71 in a 55. I am writing a ticket for 64 in a 55. Pay it. If you make me go to court, you pay court costs, I bump up the ticket and it hits your insurance.”. Fantastic system.

    Of course now I live in Massachusetts, where I only see State Troopers tailgating me at 80 in a 65 as they rush to go home, the barracks or Dunkin’ Donuts. Just get out of their way quickly.

    • 0 avatar

      “Of course now I live in Massachusetts, where I only see State Troopers tailgating me at 80 in a 65 as they rush to go home, the barracks or Dunkin’ Donuts. Just get out of their way quickly.”

      I’ve had this happen numerous times on the Mass Pike. No complaint from me, they never seem to stop me.

      That Kansas system you mentioned does sound great. Most other places are a scam by not setting speed limits at the 85th percentile.

      The VA-type laws which set reckless at 75 mph are annoying too. I believe that’s the case in NC as well. Those reckless thresholds are outdated with occasional 70 mph speed limits and modern cars.

      • 0 avatar

        Amen on Bizzaroland, aka the Commonwealth of Virginia. When I first came down here I had NJ tags. VA had this goofy law that the FIRST speeding ticket was like a $1,000, but they wouldn’t go after out of state cars because out of staters wouldn’t pay it. Good times down I-95.

        Now with VA tags, I fear going 4+MPH over the ludicrously low speed limits. Granted living in Northern VA I can’t go faster then 50MPH, but still….

        Boy I miss the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike. State Troopers don’t bat an eye under 80 (unless it’s the end of fiscal quarter)

    • 0 avatar

      Likewise in Georgia, no points for 13 MPH over or less (don’t know why it’s 13). I know from experience having been tagged at 69 in a 55 only to have the cop tell me I was really going 68. I didn’t know why he reduced it by 1 MPH until I researched it. (Somewhat belies the picture at the start of this post!)

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      It is definitely worth the effort to be polite and friendly with the police officer in Kansas. Highway patrol may just give you a warning and local police can write the revenue generating ticket < 10 mph over the limit so as to not affect your insurance rates. Speed limits are now 65 mph on rural 2 lane, 70 mph on 4 lane interstate, and 75 mph on the Kansas Turnpike. Probably not safe to drive more than 10 mph over the current limits. Just remember to slow down before the city limits of any incorporated town.

      I've only had a couple tickets in my life. I will boycott Lancaster, OH and Valley View, TX for life after getting bogus revenue generating tickets for minor infractions. Tushka and Big Cabin, OK and Lavon, TX earn the lifetime not shopping status for what they've done to others.

      My home of Plano, TX earns bonus points for giving warnings when they could give tickets. They want police officers moving around scaring away criminals, not sitting writing tickets. Got verbal warnings for driving 42 mph in a 30 mph zone and "accelerating rapidly" to 50 mph in a 40 mph zone. A crime watch officer said that they don't bother to send a ticket for red light camera rolling right turn on red as long as the driver slows down below 11 mph.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s AWESOME.

      I’d be _happy_ to pay tens to low hundreds of dollars for a minor infraction, “awww shucks, ya got me”. It’s the insurance aspect that’s killer.

  • avatar

    Arguments over fact rarely work in traffic court. These usually boil down to he said-she said types of arguments, and the prosecution will almost always prevail.

    Legal arguments and technicalities can work. If there was a situation in which a sign was not posted, then I would determine whether signs are required, and what the signs are supposed to look like, then prove that these signs were not posted as required, citing the relevant statutes.

    If possible, I would also use procedural arguments to try to dismiss or delay the case, change the venue, try to prevent the cop from testifying, etc. These aren’t always available; they will vary by state.

    Failing that, I would probably opt for the alternative punishment if available. Some states offer “traffic school” as a way of keeping a ticket off of one’s driving record. In other states, paying a lawyer to plead it down or make it go away may be the best way to go.

    • 0 avatar

      Pch, serious question. What is the proper answer when the officer asks “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

      Should the answer always be “No” since, in point of fact, you do not know why he pulled you over. (I once replied, “Because you wanted to admire my Alfa up close?” Yes, I got a ticket, but it was worth it!)

      • 0 avatar

        I can’t put my hands on it, but in one of my motorcycle mags they gave some tips on how to deal with a stop, which essentially boiled down to saying “No’ to everything. The point was, if you admit to speeding, the cop basically writes that down and apparently you’ve admitted to the crime. The advice was to always say you we’re going the speed limit (and be sure you know what it is!). This way the police supposedly have to prove how fast you were going. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but the last time I got pulled over, I knew it was a 55 zone, and said that’s how fast I was going. When the cop replied he got me at 65, I just said No. I got of with the warning.

      • 0 avatar

        To quote the gospel of Miranda, “Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.”

        Of course, you have to use some discretion, as playing Perry Mason on the side of the highway can make things worse. But if you can’t sweet talk your way out of it, then it’s best to not admit guilt, since that will surely end up being used against you. “I don’t know” is usually the best response to the why-I-pulled-you-over question.

      • 0 avatar

        Here is the link, scroll down about halfway:

      • 0 avatar

        There really isn’t a ‘correct’ answer – but there are sure a lot of ‘incorrect’ ones!

        Seriously though, they ask because the more you talk, the quicker the officer can start to determine if you’re a potential DUI.

        Now the correct answer to the classic question “How fast were you driving…?” Is “The speed limit, sir…”. The reason why you’re being asked this question is that admissions of guilt are admissible in court.

      • 0 avatar

        Totally disagree with the above answers.

        I’ve been pulled over at least 20 times for speeding (never more than 20mph over!) and other moving violations and have only received 4 tickets. 2 of them I got reduced in court, and 2 the officer reduced to non moving violations (no points) so I just paid my driving tax.

        This is what I do:

        1) Turn all interior lights on (if night)
        2) Put keys on top of dashboard and both hands on steering wheel
        3) Be extremely polite and respectful – ask for permission to reach for anything like your wallet or insurance card
        4) Admit what the officer ALREADY KNOWS and apologize without sounding defensive or giving ridiculous excuses. I usually go with this:”I wasn’t paying attention to my speed and I was going too fast”. Accountability is key.
        5) Smile and say thank you

        Cops are generally good guys, hate doing traffic enforcement, and would rather be doing something else.

        By the way, this only works if you have a clean driving record and are a white male. Sad but true.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    This will vary state by state because state traffic laws vary state by state. In VA, rural interstates have a 70 MPH speed limit. Anything over 75 MPH is considered reckless driving if you live in VA. A huge fine and points off your license. I think for out of staters it’s a normal ticket. Also, put your radar detector in your trunk. Concealed weapon permit? Yes. Radar detector? No. I’m fine with that. I think it also helps I have base stickers and other military stuff on my ride.

    • 0 avatar

      In Virginia reckless driving is 20mph above the limit or 80mph, whichever is lower.

      I’ve got a little over a week until my court date for a 73 in a 55 ticket, which unfortunately was in a “highway safety corridor” more appropriately termed a “highway robbery corridor” where they either double or bump minor traffic fines to a $500 minimum or something equally horrible.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Schwartz

        Spend the money. Hire a local lawyer. Preferably the Judges golfing buddy, or the host of his regular poker game. It will save you a lot of pain in the long run.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      They got my nephew like that. I found him a local lawyer who pleaded it out. But the lesson was expensive.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Avoid driving through Ohio.

    It is a cop ridden hell hole.

    BTW, Pay the ticket. If you show up they will assess costs in addition the fine. The Judge will believe the cop along time before he believes you, and he will yell at you.

    The best you can hope for is to cop a guilty plea to a lesser non-moving violation that won’t jack up your insurance. This sort of bargaining is best done through a local lawyer.

  • avatar

    If, as in your hypo, you are not local to the area (as in the courthouse is more than 30 minutes away from where you conduct your daily business) the best thing to do is to write a check to one of the dozen or so attorneys who will send you a letter once the ticket hits the system. It might cost about the same amount as the ticket (funny, that) but you will be able to rest easier.

    If you are local, and have more time than money on your hands, go ahead and show up (never contest by mail) and see what happens. Factual arguments will get you nowhere, but it will at least be a learning experience.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      This. Even if you are local it’s worth doing this.

      I assume this applies to other states, but in NC within a week of getting the ticket you will have letters in your mailbox from at least a dozen lawyers offering to take care of it for you. Pick the cheapest one whose office is in the same county as the courthouse your summons orders you to appear at (this part is very important!), sign and send him the power of attorney that was in his letter, and then relax and forget about the whole thing.

      About two months later you’ll get a letter from the lawyer telling you that you pled responsible to a minor nonmoving violation and the fine was covered in his fee.

      Is it a racket? Yes. But it’s a lot cheaper than increased insurance rates from pleading guilty by mail.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    It’s the same in Michigan….the State Boys routinely crank it up to 85-90 to get back to the barracks or to coffee time.

    When you drive an expensive, foreign car (which I do)they look for you, on the theory that they want to write tickets to people for whom the price of a ticket is nothing…setting the cruise at 5 over the limit, and planning well so as to leave plenty of travel time for that pace, is the way to go. Getting pulled over can be expensive, and then trying to make up the 20 minutes lost only increases the likelihood of getting pulled over again. (In Michigan, they travel in packs. You never see one parked on the shoulder with the radar on, without seeing his buddy 2 miles down the road…

    To specifically answer the question, if popped, fight the ticket to the doors of hell, if necessary. But do it smartly. There are entire articles on the internet about the laws in each state and how to improve your odds to beat them…(nothing is foolproof.)

    • 0 avatar

      In Michigan, especially avoid I-94 near the airport and I-75 at Eureka road. Taylor cops LIVE on the median in those areas. Also, the Romulus cops thrive on speeders at the airport proper.

      • 0 avatar

        I-94 between the City of Detroit border and I-275 may be the world’s largest speedtrap. At least six different police departments patrol this corridor.

      • 0 avatar

        It got so bad around the airport that the airport itself has warned patrons about speed enforcement on the freeway near Metro. The airport’s own chief of police (it’s a duly authorized police force) ordered his officers that if they spot a speed trap on I-94 in the vicinity of the airport they are to pull up behind it and turn on their emergency lights.

        The dirty secret is that the cops and the cities/counties/states they work for want people to speed. They want them to drive drunk too. All those fines and fees and court costs ends up amounting to millions of dollars.

        Meanwhile, as others have pointed out, one rarely sees police officers adhering to traffic laws, emergencies or not. They think that “I’m a police officer in the performance of my duty” is a carte blanche license to speed whenever they feel like it. Of course, if we question them, there’s always an excuse because we all know that they’re busy saving your kids, not sitting on their butts watching their pensions grow.

  • avatar

    Last year I was ticketed going 51 in a 40 zone. Luckily, the cop cited me for “unsafe speed”, not speeding- which, in CA, are two different things. I simply told the judge that, given the conditions of the road at the time (clear weather, light traffic, no pedestrians) I wasn’t being unsafe. She agreed, and the ticket was thrown out.

    Of course, I had to go to court twice (once to appear and get a court date, then the acutal trial), using my time, gas, and paying for parking both times. You can submit a discovery request to the DA and the citing law enforcement division, but the case won’t get thrown out unless you run through the hoops of sending the request, waiting x number of days, then filing a motion to compel the evidence with the courts. Only then, if they don’t respond, can you get it thrown out on a technicality.

    I found to be a very helpful (and free) resource.

  • avatar

    More excellent reasons to fly.

    • 0 avatar

      Sometimes…yes. But usually I would rather pay a speeding ticket then fork over $100+ for the privilege of checking one bag, then having it get lost/damaged/ransacked by TSA and THEN arrive at my destination four hours late because of a thunderstorm on the other side of the country jammed up the routes. As long as I can make the drive in one day, I’m driving, not flying!

  • avatar

    gee whiz. don’t speed and then whine about it when you get caught.

    • 0 avatar

      For sure. Every now and then I get caught in a well-camouflaged speed trap exceeding the speed limit by breakneck 3 to 8 miles an hour and I pay without whining.

      In my country, this does not have any influence on my insurance, as long as I do not cause cause any accident.

      Can somebody explain (links appreciated), why it is legal in the US that a speeding ticket can influence your insurance rate? Isn’t it illegal for state agencies to provide data to insurance companies or others that might have financial interests?

      • 0 avatar

        You’re joking, aren’t you? Just in case you’re not, it’s normal for driving offenses to be reported to insurance companies in the U.S. Up to a point, that’s not a bad thing.

        Where are you from?

  • avatar

    In Iowa you have to be going 15 over for it to be considered a moving violation and have it go on your record.

    I know this shortly after I got my Mazdaspeed.

  • avatar

    I don’t recall that getting a ticket will affect your insurance rates in Germany or in France, in the US, yes it will, but the Europeans have a point system, to keep you from overdoing it, too many points and you lose your license, then again, you go three years without a violation and your record is expunged. As far as zee Germans, you get camera tickets for speeding or driving too close, but they are not heavy fines and the fines are used for fireworks in the case of Heidelberg where they hold an annual fest. DUI’s are severely controlled, checkpoints etc. and of course you get points for them, not the right kind of points but bad points.

    • 0 avatar

      In Germany, it’s seen as a waste of time for cops to be catching speeders instead of actual criminals. That’s why they have the cameras, which are treated like parking tickets for the most part.

      The biggest scam in the US is camera tickets somewhere like California where it counts as a real ticket. Many states have a token $50 fine and treat it like a parking ticket with no insurance consequences, but in California you pay a fine just like you got a real ticket issued by a cop. In reality, California cities hire private companies to run these cameras, and the private companies make most of the profit. If at least one were contributing to the local economy, it’d be slightly more justifiable, but instead you are contributing to the bottom line of some a-holes in Arizona.

  • avatar

    This remind me about the small town of Nichols, SC – poor people there, they have no industry or anything to generate a revenue , except some cops. They got $180 from me but lost me forever. Now I use I-40 to go to Myrtle Beach instead to enjoy their hospitality and leave them my mighty dollar

    • 0 avatar

      I-40 does not enter South Carolina and terminates in Wilmington, NC, so do you take US 17 down the coast? I believe I know where you’re talking about if Nichols is at the junction of Rt 9 and US 76.

  • avatar

    I’m a CA licensed driver and recently got ticketed in Utah. I was attempting to use a Alberta-plated Tahoe as a rabbit, but they noticed and pulled both of us over. They wrote the ticket for 5 over.

    The first thing they said to me was, “You don’t have to come back for court, everything is on the ticket.” The ticket was a 8×11 sheet detailing every possible type of traffic violation almost like a restaurant menu and printed on a sheet of paper that was an incredibly bright shade of magenta.

    The fine, traffic school, and all the fees, added up to something like $250 total, so I went ahead and paid it, and did online traffic school.

  • avatar

    Next column address the 21st Century version of the speed trap – the Red Light camera. In Lynnwood, Washington they added several claiming it was needed for safety reasons. Later they admitted they had no statistics to prove that and went out of their way to avoid gathering
    statistics to prove the effectiveness of the cameras. the fact that fines were paying for over 10 percent of the city`s budget did little to quiet the critics. Many now avoid the city altogether. The city council recently had an open house so everybody could voice their opinion, then decided they would wait to make any decision.

    • 0 avatar

      Another town like that is Hawthorne, CA in the LA area. Their red light cameras guard some very safe intersections as shown by statistics and solely serve as a revenue raiser. I encourage people not to shop there whenever I get the chance.

  • avatar

    On highway driving, I drive like a grandma. But stick to the left lane. I live in Gainesville FL and regularly drive to Jacksonville. This means taking 301, a non-stop speed trap. Including Waldo, infamous for being the last AAA red zone. The police there used to brag about giving tickets for going 1mph over the limit. Though they now allow a 4mph buffer. Years of making the trip back and forth has made me skittish about speeding anywhere.
    On the upside, clean driving record and cheap insurance.

  • avatar

    Good radar and situational awareness. Luckly the cops in NM are much less agressive than the ones in Ohio and in Michigan where I lived the first 25 years of my life. I have to drive 80 to 85 mph just to stay “awake” on the highway.

    • 0 avatar

      Situational awareness is better than a radar detector. I’ve never owned a radar detector and just last week drove from Central KY to Charleston SC and back with the cruise set at 8- 10 miles over pretty much the whole way. This past Summer I went down to Alabama and did the same.

      In general, if you do 10 over or less, use your blinkers, and don’t cut traffic you’ll pretty much be left alone.

      • 0 avatar

        Strongly agree here, though I’ll allow it may not be so simple in certain areas(sounds like Virginia).

        I haven’t had a ticket in 16 years, and I’m typically 10 over on freeways. Fortunately, the rest of traffic is at least five over. Use your blinkers, pass on the left, stick to a lane, and keep the speed differential reasonable – then you should be fine.

        And don’t speed in urban areas. I’m constantly tailgated by people that need to do 20 over just to get to the next light. I like to think those are the people that get most of the tickets.

        On the MA turnpike you have to be doing at least 80 to get the attention of the state police, so I’m not sure how anyone gets stopped there. I don’t have that same confidence in California, but traffic does move pretty fast on certain highways.

    • 0 avatar

      My route through NM to Colorado from Texas takes me through Clayton and Raton, on the eternally under construction US-87 that NM finally raised the speed limit from 55 to 65-70 on some stretches. some places are down to 45, so that you get to see the countryside of NE New Mexico at a lesurely pace. but the troopers patrol it fairly often and it is not unusual to see cars pulled over.

      I do practice situational awareness, and only have gotten stopped once in Dallas for fishtailing the car around a corner, and was given a ticket for expired insurance card in the car. Took the policy down to the courthouse and they dismissed the ticket.

  • avatar
    Angus McClure

    An experience in Louisiana where the cop took my DL after writing me up for speeding (I was not) has since made be absolutely hate that state. I have insulted it for having crooked cops at every opportunity and have not been in the state since. There was no right answer. I got a ticket because I had a Texas Tag and was driving a Lincoln. It’s that simple.

    Recently a Grandsons experience has led to me lumping Galveston into the same sewage pit.

    Hate is a pretty wasted emotion but I feel something akin to that for speed traps and crooked cops.

    • 0 avatar

      Everyone knows it’s just about revenue.

      It really isn’t much revenue in the grand scheme of things and it comes at the cost of a lot of ill will just like yours.

      There are better ways to raise 200 bucks.

    • 0 avatar

      Being a Texan Lincoln driver is illegal in Louisiana? I’ve never been to the big weezy, but it seems that from my time in Texas that Louisiana cops would have their hands full of Lincoln driving Texans spilling over into their state. There appeared to be an abnormal amount of Town Cars in Texas.

      • 0 avatar
        Angus McClure

        Sitting here today I can agree with you. However, the wife and I both had just looked at the large 55 on the digital dash when I was pulled over. I had reason to go to Louisiana often but they stopped that day. The dude took my license until the fine was paid. Luckily they mailed it to me afterwards. I did not think that was legal. When I called their Hiway Patrol the dude said I was lucky they hadn’t thrown me in Jail.

        That’s the sort of high handed BS that generates tons of ill feelings and cost the state a lot of money in my case.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t believe it’s legal for anyone to take your license (except the jailer when you’re placed in a cell). What happens when another cop pulls you over an hour later? “Sorry, sir, the last cop took my license for speeding.” Yeah, sure. More fines for not producing your license upon demand, or maybe an immediate trip to jail.

      It’s water over the dam now, but next time, call a lawyer (hopefully the badge # is on your ticket). And don’t ever argue with a cop when you’re pulled over; arguing is for court.

      Good Luck,


      • 0 avatar
        Angus McClure

        You are spot on but deputy dog said my ticket would serve as a receipt for my license. Water under the bridge now but I love telling people from there why I refuse to spend any more money in their crooked little state. They lost and are probably still losing. Only time I don’t enjoy doing that is when it’s someone I actually like. Hate to remind them of what home is like.

  • avatar

    Last time I bought a new car, my State Farm agent asked me if I had received any tickets within the last few years. So it sounds like to me that at least in my state (IN), they aren’t notified.

    Well I’ve been pulled over twice in the last two years. Each time I admitted to it as I would have sounded like a liar to say otherwise (one I was driving 83 in a 65). As I’ve heard, the judge will probably side with the cop anyway (a local judge even told a reporter a few years ago that unless you can prove otherwise, I’ll add courts costs onto your fine just for visiting me.) Both times they gave me a warning. I can’t figure it out other then in my state, our handgun permits show up when they run our drivers license. Maybe they just like us gun owners better? In the case of the 83 in a 65, the lady cop did comment that I had a permit.

  • avatar

    The last two speeding tickets I have received were out of staters.

    VA, 95 southbound last fall. Three lanes wide, I got pinched for 9 over while in the right hand lane on a clear, sunny day with no other traffic around at 10am on a weekday. He came onto the highway from an on ramp in a plain maroon wrapped Lumina pile of junk with only two dash lights. Saw him the whole way come up on my 5. Guess my NJ tags were enough of a violation to warrant that speeding ticket. Had an opportunity to fight, received a handful of flyers from local lawyers when I came home from vacation. Paid in the area of 150 for the ticket and never looked back.

    About 8 years prior, ticketed for speeding while in the right hand lane (of two) doing the speed limit while people were passing me in a bland stock Sentra. Northbound, Route 301 in Alachua County FL. Paid the ticket, attended online traffic school for 4 hours (a joke) and moved on with my life.

    Make no bones about it. Yankees are not welcome south of the Mason Dixon line.

    • 0 avatar

      Be happy you only got a ticket. If you’d been a little further east, in Volusia County (Daytona), they’d have likely pulled your car apart. I-95 + NY or NJ plates equaled justifiable cause for a search. Until the court forced them to stop, they were making a fortune with asset forfeiture.

    • 0 avatar

      Anybody out of state is fair game when it comes to tickets in Va.

      Virginia has a screwball system for determining wreckless speeding. 20 over the posted limit or anything over 80 MPH is considered wreckless which means in some portions of the state going as little as 10 MPH over the posted limit is considered wreckless.

      With that in mind, in another conversation on another forum posted a friend’s experience in northern Va. She was from South Carolina, got popped for doing 80 in a 70 MPH zone and cited for wreckless. To add insult to injury the trooper told her she was an endangerment to other drivers on the road.

      IMO the attraction to police as others have probably said, police generally don’t have to worry about a court appearance, a change venue, et al. Instead people most likely pay the ticket and move on saving the officer the hassle of going to court.

      Also another interesting thing about wreckless driving in Va is the fine which can cost into the thousands. Some years ago an ass hat politician introduced the ”civil remedial fee”. It was an additional fine imposed on Va residents who broke the law and in the case of driving, contests of speed, wreckless driving, driving under the influence and so forth could earn a resident this additional fee which was openly created to help balance the state budget. It met with a lot of justifiably amount of derision so the state struck the provision and instead submerged it into laws like wreckless driving where the maximum fine conveniently reaches the level of the civil remedial fee.

  • avatar

    Fighting the ticket is upholding your half of the law! The cop is not the judge or the last word.

  • avatar

    A few years ago a guy from a nearby town got a ticket for doing around 15 mph over when entering a 35 mph zone in the small city in WI where I live. He successfully beat the ticket because the 35 MPH sign was not of the legally required size.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    And cops profess that they are completely mystified why they are so widely despised. And why the ungrateful public just can’t see understand the stresses these heroes undergo as they selflessly offer up their lives on a day to day basis.

  • avatar

    In my experience, if you’re going to speed, do it in Montana.

    A couple years ago my wife and I made the trek to Calgary via I90 through the badlands into Wyoming then up through Montana in an ’11 Focus. For about 1000 miles of I90, there was not a state trooper or sheriff in sight. In the long and straights, I pretty much had the cruise set at 95.

    Once we got out of the mountains in MT heading north on I15, I was pretty much accustomed to hauling ass through that state as they post 75mph signs through the mountains. (If you don’t want to hit a 12 point buck, do less than 75 here).

    Heading North on I15 I had the hammer down as traffic was scarce just before dusk. I crested a gentle hill at ~105 to see a black Vic with sheriff on the side idling in the median.

    Cherries on, he chases me down and I pull over. I’m wondering what the judge in this county might look like while my wife is freaking out. (In our native land, this kind of speed is practically punishable by death).

    The nice sheriff strolls up, starts chatting, compliments the euro wheels and leather seats on the car and how we’ve come from so far etc. Then he says apologetically, “I’m really sorry but I’ll have to cite you for the speed. Since you’re from out of state, you’ll have to pay on the spot.”

    I’m wondering if I have enough cash.

    “That’ll be $40. Don’t worry, I’ll print you a receipt”.

    I thought about asking him to pay for the next one in advance.

  • avatar

    I fight every one (fortunately I don’t have many). If I’m going to get fleeced on BS tickets (like a 50km/h speed limit where it is usually 80 because there a some traffic barrels sitting on the road) I’m going to make the courts works for every penny. If everyone did this we could bog down the ticket racket and maybe our governments would stop with the “Speed Kills” BS.

    I’m starting to rant.

    Hopefully the medication will kick in soon…

  • avatar

    Makes me glad I live in Manitoba, with our public auto insurance. A fine like this might impact the cost of your driver’s license if it put you over 6 demerits in the year, but it would have no impact on your insurance.

  • avatar

    I was on Maui last week and noticed underposted speed limits, one case of three speed limit changes in 300 feet and locals going 15-20 over. Speed traps were in obvious places and yet on a small island it was locals getting caught. I think they mostly leave the tourists alone there.

  • avatar

    Best cure for speeding? Go past a cop at about 110 and 7000 rpm and then have to appear before a very small town judge. Kept my license barely, explained to the judge I needed it to keep my job and thus pay the rather large fine. After getting hammered by the judge, I then had to let him know I could only afford to pay about half the time and I had to ask him for an extension. Not a real fun day.

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