I schooled and trained to be a cop. As a matter of fact I spent a couple years certified as a humane officer, although I never took the job. Suffice it to say that I've talked with more cops than the average person has and I've probably known more cops than I really needed to. One of the things that I learned was that, given the right circumstances, almost every cop lets a speeding motorist "skate the rap
" now and then.
There is a somewhat prescribed course of action which will help "put you in the drivers seat" when it comes to escaping the wrath of the ticket writing cop and the traffic court judge. The very first thing you must do is immediately accept that you have done wrong.
If a cop flags your plates and turns on those lovely colored strobes on top of his car, speeding or not, you're caught. They are right and you are wrong. Yeah it sucks, but that's life. Signal your departure from the traffic lane, ease to the shoulder nice and smooth, stop your car like a good citizen and shut off your engine.
Your next moves are the most important. If you proceed in a manner which recognizes and respects the importance and danger of a police officer's job, you will earn a bit of instant credibility in the eyes of the law. If you have sun glasses on, remove them and place them conspicuously on top of the dashboard. If you have music on, turn it off. Leave your seat belt buckled, or if you're not buckled, do it in a hurry. If the weather allows, roll your window all the way down and then place both hands on top of the steering wheel. Now, what you accomplished is to send a tremendously powerful message to that cop which will be received before you two ever meet eyes. You have stated that you are giving your full attention to the matter, you submit to the authority of the law, you accept full communication and you pose no threat. You have just reduced that cop's anxiety level by about 75%. Remember, happy cops generally write a bit fewer tickets.
Always address the officer as sir or ma'am. DO NOT go into explanations or denials. Offer your assistance and do as the officer says. When asked for license and registration, produce those as efficiently as possible. Stalling with your documentation will not gain you a thing.
If the officer asks if you knew you were speeding, admit that you thought you might have been going a little fast. State that you were paying attention to the flow of traffic and ask the officer to please tell you how bad your speed was. You have now given the officer a chance to verbally chastise you. Sometimes, if a cop can scold you and knows that you're paying attention, you will satisfy the officer's need to assert authority (that's their job, you know).
If at any point the officer seems willing to exchange banter and you're willing to take the risk, go for it. The longer it takes to start writing a ticket the less chance you'll get one. Police officers are people too, be polite, upbeat, friendly and interested. Ask the officer how their day is going. Ask if they've been giving out a lot of warnings. However, if your particular roadside visitor doesn't want small talk, don't push it. A cop's most dangerous position is when standing near your car door, don't stall them if they want to move from that position. Additionally,it may not be in your best interest to chat with a cop.
Be honest, subordinate, charming and grateful. Take the whole situation in stride. Whichever way it goes, your assignment through the entire process is to reduce stress for both yourself and the officer. If you wish to contest the matter, the place for that is in court with the assistance of trained legal guidance, not at the roadside. Please remember that you and the officer basically have the same goal. That goal is to get you home safely.