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Thread: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .


    People who get tickets for speeding are often guilty of more than simply driving faster than the posted limit. Their chief offense? Getting noticed in the first place. That's the first domino to fall in the ugly chain of events that leads to a piece of "payin' paper."

    Here are some common sense ways to run under the radar - literally:

    * Drive within 5-10 mph of surrounding traffic. If it's moving 70-ish, you're usually ok up to about 75-80 (even if the posted max is 65). Most of the time, cops are looking for the driver going noticeably faster than the other cars on the road. And when you're in a pack of cars all doing 5-10 mph over the limit, you've automatically improved your odds of not being the one that gets pulled over, even though you're all technically "speeding." The cop has to pick one car. Probably, it won't be you.

    * Try to stay in the middle of the pack. If you're the lead car, logic says you'll be the first car to run past any radar trap up ahead. And if you're the last car, you'll be the one the cop rolls up behind. That means the safest place is in the middle - just like a gazelle fleeing a hungry lion by seeking safety in the middle of the herd.

    * Find a "rabbit." If you can't find a pack of cars going the speed you'd like to maintain, the next best thing is to find yourself a rabbit - a solitary driver running the speed you'd like to drive that you can follow (discretely, about 50-100 yards back). If there's a cop running radar, the rabbit will trip the trap- not you. And if he brakes suddenly, you have just received your early warning in time to take defensive action.

    * Do not change lanes frequently, tailgate or otherwise drive aggressively. In addition to being rude and dangerous, you're just asking for a trucker or someone with a cell phone to call the cops and give them a description of your vehicle and license plate number. Always use your signals and be courteous to fellow drivers. It's safer - and it will help you fade into background.

    * Avoid the fast lane. Use the far left lane to pass when necessary, but try to stay in the middle lanes when possible. Reason? If a cop is lurking in a cut-out along the median strip (or coming at you from the opposite direction on a divided highway) the speeder in the far left lane is the one most likely to become the target. Drivers who get nailed are often the type who rack it up to 10 or 15 over the limit and "park it" in the far left lane.

    * Watch for cut-outs and modulate your speed accordingly. On many highways, there are cut-outs in the median strip every couple of miles; usually, you can see these in plenty of time to slow down a little bit - so you're just doing slightly over the limit in case there's a cop lurking behind the bushes. Then you can ease back to where you were.

    * Don't speed when you are the only car on the road. If you ignore this warning, it's the equivalent of plastering a "ticket me!" bumper sticker on your vehicle. Even if you're only doing 5 mph over the posted limit, if there's a cop running radar, he's got nothing to look at but you. Lonesome speeding is even more dangerous in small towns - where radar traps and aggressive enforcement can be common. And never speed late at night. Drunk-driving patrols are heavy - and cops are more inclined to pull you over for any offense, in order to check you for signs of alcohol. Don't give them a reason.

    * If it's ok legally, get a radar detector. Yes, they're expensive (good ones, anyhow). But a one-time hit of, say, $300 for a decent radar detector is cheaper than even a single big seeding ticket - plus the higher insurance costs that will come with it. Radar detectors are legal in most states and well worth the investment.

    And finally:

    * If possible, drive a nondescript vehicle. It may not be fair, but it's human nature to notice things that stand out from the crowd. And a bright-colored car, or one with a loud exhaust, big wings, etc. is the car more likely to draw a cop's initial attention than an ordinary-looking family-type car. Especially if it's a flashy car in a group of ho-hum cars. Remember, the cop has to single one car out. Which car do you suppose is the likely candidate? The bright yellow Mustang GT with 20-inch chrome rims? Or the silver Taurus? Also, if you do get pulled in a fancy, high-profile car, your odds of getting a ticket vs. a warning have probably gone up. It's not something any cop would readily admit, but human nature is what it is. If you're driving a fast-looking hot rod, the cop is going to assume you use it - and "deserve" a ticket more than the guy in a family-looking ride who's plea that he "didn't realize he was speeding, officer" comes off as more believable.

    * Be aware that appearances count. That is, your appearance. Fair or not, cops tend to "profile" people based on how they look. If your appearance says "responsible member of the community" you're apt to get a more friendly response than you might if you look like you just left the homeless shelter - or drug rehab.

    The worst possible thing you can do is combine all the no-no's listed above by driving a flashy car too fast, late at night when you're the only car on the road while looking like a cranked-up Mel Gibson.

    If you do that, expect a ticket. And expect no mercy.


  2. #2
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    I'm glad that you included the radar detector in the list of tips.

    I used to drive a silver 1996 Ford Mustang GT - no fancy rims- at 80-90 mph all the time in the 65 and 70 mph zones in NC, SC, GA and AL. Was never noticed and never got a ticket in that car. Probably having cruise control helped. Most of the time, it was set at exactly 80 mph with an occasional spurt to 110 mph. I miss that car.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    I'm glad that you included the radar detector in the list of tips.

    I used to drive a silver 1996 Ford Mustang GT - no fancy rims- at 80-90 mph all the time in the 65 and 70 mph zones in NC, SC, GA and AL. Was never noticed and never got a ticket in that car. Probably having cruise control helped. Most of the time, it was set at exactly 80 mph with an occasional spurt to 110 mph. I miss that car.
    Sadly illegal in Australia...all states I think.......State Government needs the revenue ........Oh the corruption!
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  4. #4
    DonTom
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    "you're usually ok up to about 75-80 (even if the posted max is 65)."

    I guess you never saw how the cops can pull over 30 cars at once. I have seen it on 80 as well as on 395. They use aircraft and radar and MANY cop cars and they bust EVERY car that goes faster than a few miles over the posted limit and you may then have more than an hour wait to get your ticket. If you're lucky as I have been, you will go by them as they are giving the tickets. They take breaks from checking while they are giving the tickets because otherwise they would stop more cars than they could give tickets to. They pick a good place to do all this, where there is plenty of room to give tickets and near where many cops can hide.

    In CA, sometimes they tell the newspapers when and where they are going to crack down on speeders. But if you miss the news, going the same speed as the other cars won't stop you from getting a ticket.

    BTW, could this be what you were calling a "speed trap"? I really don't understand that term. Cops are supposed to enforce the law, so how can you call doing such a trap?

    IMO, the only good way that works to not get a ticket is to not go more than about 2 MPH over the posted limit and not break any other traffic laws. Yes, sometimes you will be the slowest car on the road, which means you will get to your destination much faster than any of those who received a ticket.

    BTW, in CA, anywhere near Sacramento (state capital) is famous for giving tickets. During the times where speeding is possible, I use my cruise control, set it for 67 (in a 65 MPH zone) and still reduce speed when I see a cop. Most cars will pass me, of course.

    BTW, in my old age, I find it a lot easier to slow down than when I was younger.

    -Don-

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    "I guess you never saw how the cops can pull over 30 cars at once. I have seen it on 80 as well as on 395. They use aircraft and radar and MANY cop cars and they bust EVERY car that goes faster than a few miles over the posted limit and you may then have more than an hour wait to get your ticket. If you're lucky as I have been, you will go by them as they are giving the tickets. They take breaks from checking while they are giving the tickets because otherwise they would stop more cars than they could give tickets to. They pick a good place to do all this, where there is plenty of room to give tickets and near where many cops can hide. "

    That happens - but rarely. Too much manpower involved & it's hard to justify as well as very visible - which annoys the hell out of the public.



    "BTW, could this be what you were calling a "speed trap"? I really don't understand that term. Cops are supposed to enforce the law, so how can you call doing such a trap?"

    The term is used to describe any area where the posted limit is obviously, notoriously under-posted - so that people are readily caught for driving at speeds that to any reasonable person are perfectly sensible. Especially vulnerable are people not familiar with the area who don't notice the posted limit has dropped from, say, 45 mph to 35 mph. We all know about areas like this.

    Your premise is that all speed limits are right and proper - hence it's unfair to describe their enforcement as a "trap." But in fact, speed limits are very often arbitrary - and set arbitrarily low. The 55 mph highway limit was a textbook case. That limit was anywhere from 10-20 mph under the intended design speed of the Interstate system - and observed 85th percentile speeds done in accordance with the MUTCD - which is the manual written by and for traffic safety engineers and which lays out the procedures and protocols for establishing speed limits. States - by law - are supposed to follow MUTCD when establishing speed limits. But often, they do not - and routinely fail to conduct speed surveys, or when they do, under-post the limit below the 85th percentile speed - which makes "speeders" out of almost every driver by technical fiat.

    And it's a fact that in some areas, this is done deliberately - for the express purpose of providing a pretext to issue as many "speeding" tickets as possible in order to provide money for the local government's budget. Hence "trap" - because the law at issue is specious and the enforcement of that law unjust - and has nothing whatever to do with safe driving, etc.



  6. #6
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    I've heard that the cops in the UK are phasing out the use of the photo radar cameras (Gatso cameras) in favor of automatic number-plate recognition software. Pull onto the A1 motorway, and if it takes less than a specified amount of time to reach your exit, you get a ticket. All without any effort spent by a constable.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    I've heard that the cops in the UK are phasing out the use of the photo radar cameras (Gatso cameras) in favor of automatic number-plate recognition software. Pull onto the A1 motorway, and if it takes less than a specified amount of time to reach your exit, you get a ticket. All without any effort spent by a constable.

    Chip H.
    Dreadful. And these are the same people who fought a war against an ideology that represented just what they're becoming - minus the racial angle, it's true - but with the same kind of of suffocating, all-intrusive, all-knowing state...


  8. #8
    gail
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    <<* Find a "rabbit." If you can't find a pack of cars going the speed you'd like to maintain, the next best thing is to find yourself a rabbit - a solitary driver running the speed you'd like to drive that you can follow (discretely, about 50-100 yards back). If there's a cop running radar, the rabbit will trip the trap- not you. And if he brakes suddenly, you have just received your early warning in time to take defensive action.>>

    Rabbit? And here all along I was thinking they were 'Bear Bait.' LOL

  9. #9
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    Re: Don't want a ticket? Keep a low profile... .

    I generally try to drive at a speed that is faster than traffic in the right lane and slower than speed in the left lane. If' I am between clumps of cars on the Interstate, this works very well. When I catch up to a clump of cars all driving together, well, doesn't matter how fast I want to drive, I have to slow down and try to get into the left lane.

    Pet peeve: the guy who passes me, then gets alongside the car I was about to pass, and slows down to match speed with that car. Ain't a damn thing you can do with him (although I have resorted to headlight flashing a couple of times).

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