5 Tips for Avoiding a Traffic Ticket

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Millions of people receive traffic tickets each year. While they might be a nice source of revenue to the local government, they can be extremely painful for drivers who have to suffer increased insurance rates after getting a citation. How can you avoid this situation? Here are just a few tips for not getting pulled over by the police.

1. Assume That You’re Always Being Watched

Many traffic lights have been equipped with hidden cameras that allow speeding motorists to be captured on film even when no police officers are around. Don’t assume that you’re in the clear just because you can’t see any uniforms. Stop at those stop signs, and don’t run any yellow lights. Come to a complete halt behind school buses. Is it worth saving a few minutes on the road when you’ll be billed for the traffic violation?

2. Maintain Situational Awareness

If the cars in front of you are suddenly slowing down and driving cautiously, there might be a cop with a radar gun further down the road. You’ll miss this warning sign if you’re too busy cursing at the slow traffic and assuming that all drivers are morons. In the same vein, if you always notice a drop in car speeds down a particular highway, look around for a speeding sign that you might have missed. They can change without warning, and “I didn’t see it” won’t stop you from getting a ticket.

3. Understand the System

You’ll get demerit points on your driving record for every traffic ticket that you receive. The small offenses are for things like improper passing or failing to signal, and they’ll only net you two or three demerit points. The biggest offenses are ones like failing to remain at the scene of an accident, and they’ll slap seven demerit points on you for that. If you’re serious about avoiding traffic tickets, you’ll need to learn this system of actions and consequences.

4. Maintain Your Vehicle

Police officers are more likely to pull over a dirty, broken vehicle than one that looks maintained. Not only are the raggedy cars more attention-grabbing, but they’re also more likely to have ticket-worthy problems like cracked windshields, broken tail lights and expired license plates. Cops don’t like to waste their time any more than you do, so they won’t pull over your newly-waxed car to look for a dented bumper. They already know that it wouldn’t be worth the time or energy.

5. Stay Pleasant

It happens. You’re pulled over. Instead of being hostile or defensive, try to remember that the police officer is simply doing his job. He might even be willing to let you off with a warning if you only broke a minor traffic law. If you make him angry, however, he’s perfectly within his rights to issue you a ticket for going just a little bit over the speed limit. It might not be fair, but you’re still going to be left holding a bill. Bite your tongue for the sake of your wallet.

These are just a few suggestions for avoiding a Calgary traffic ticket. As you can see, there’s a lot more to good driving than simply “looking both ways,” so be sure to remember these tips and tricks the next time that you’re on the road.