This post will discuss practical things you can say and do to talk yourself out of a speeding ticket.
Don’t deny (nor admit) that you are guilty. Unless the cop totally blew it, don’t argue about your innocence. It will only irritate the police officer. Of course, don’t admit the charge either. Rather, you can say that you are sorry to waste his time or I am embarrassed to being stopped. Additionally, if the officer starts to lecture you, there is a good chance you’ll be let go without a summons. No lecture, on the other hand, means you’re likely getting a traffic ticket and you’ll need to try one of the following tactics.
Be courteous and follow his directions. Rudeness has “bought” many a motorist an additional traffic ticket. I was stopped last year on the Long Island Expressway for speeding and avoided the summons by voicing my concern for the police officer’s safety. Specifically, he approached me on the shoulder and was disregarding his own safety vis-à-vis fast-moving traffic in the right lane. I told him to be careful which he appreciated and explained why. After checking to ensure that my license wasn’t suspended, he let me go with a warning .
While “searching” for your license, allow the officer to see that you have a PBA or other police card. Don’t worry he’ll be watching your hands the whole time, and this subtle display is more effective that flashing it in his face. Be prepared to answer questions about the card (“Who do you know?”, “How did you get it?”, etc).
Request a warning rather than to be let off. Asking for a warning is better than asking to be “let off” because it sounds more contrite. This phrase suggests that you will drive slower in the future and won’t object in the unlikely event the cop were to catch you again.
Suggest a different or lesser charge. Try asking for a less serious charge. I was once pulled over for speeding. When I handed over my license and registration, and pointed out to the officer that I didn’t have my insurance card and asked if he could write me up for that instead. This strategy worked and I was able to get the no insurance ticket dismissed in court by providing proof of insurance. Almost everyone asks to be let go. Be different. Ask for a less serious charge, and maybe you’ll get lucky.
Suggest a lesser speed. This is similar to the last one. Officers sometimes reduce the charge to a lesser speed during the car stop. This is called a “road side plea”. You have nothing to lose by asking the officer to the lower the speed. You can even say (if you mean it) that you will not fight the ticket if he simply reduces it now. Lower speeds have less points in New York and speeding 15 mph above the limit (or less) cannot result in your auto insurance rates increasing if you have any otherwise clean record.
One last point to remember is that you only have once chance to “talk” your way out of the speeding ticket. Once the cop walks to his patrol car with your license and registration, your fate is sealed. Do not wait until he returns to first try to avoid or lessen the ticket.