#HowTo: Talk your way out of a ticket (spoiler alert: don't be an @-hole)
I'm not exactly proud of this fact, but I have been pulled over 4 times in the last year. The three most recent in the past month. (eck! Twice for speeding, once for expired tags)
I never used to be able to talk my way out of tickets. I came up with whatever mental justification I needed to, but basically it came down to one factor ... I was an asshole.
I tried every approach - the "crying girl" ...
The "do you know who my second-uncle-once-removed is?"
The "Joey Tribiani" how you doin' angle ...
All of it resulted in tickets.
I figured I was doomed to ever talk my way out of a ticket.
This morning, I thought I was equally doomed.
There was a speed trap set up outside of my spin class. 6-8 cops, one on foot with a radar gun, and about 20 people pulled over. This was legit. Everyone in our little "group" gets pointed out, and one by one we pull over.
The cop approaches my vehicle.
Well, this was a good run I thought. My good "juju" was bound to come to an end sometime.
(I've been on a really, really, really lucky streak lately.)
License, and registration please, he says at my window.
I grab my license, and reach over for my registration.
Ma'am, you are going to be on camera. I need to make you aware of that fact, he says pointing to his body cam.
Not a problem, sir.
He looked at my license and registration, both referring to the Florida Keys.
Where is your residence, ma'am?
I don't have one.
What do you mean you don't have one?
I pointed to the boxes in the back of my station wagon.
I broke up with my boyfriend, put all my stuff in storage, and am staying in a temporary living situation for about the next two weeks.
<tangent> It actually made me wonder, what is the technical definition of, "residence." Are you required to pay rent? Do you have to be there for a consecutive amount of days (I'd assume)? Not knowing, I just went with it ... </tangent>
Your insurance, please?
I then opened up my GEICO app from my phone. To my disappointment, the app needed an update, and kept locking me out.
Crap, I say under my breath.
When you find it, honk your horn.
He then walked away from my car and over to the other officers.
Well, here comes the ticket, I thought. I don't have a snowballs chance in hell.
I then close out the app, open up the web browser, and enter in my info.
I honk my horn once I get to my ID card screen.
The officer walks back over.
I hand him my phone, with a very cracked screen.
He looks down at the phone, and over at me.
Get out of here, he said. Slow down, and fix your phone.
I stare back - completely, and utterly shocked.
I thank him profusely, and drive away.
Good juju in check, I thought about all of the things that I am doing that are now "working."
1. Don't be an asshole.
I feel like that's a solid life rule, but I'm never rude to the officer.
2. Have manners. Yes, sir (or ma'am). No sir (or ma'am).
The language is the same when the officer approaches, "license, registration, and (sometimes) insurance." Knowing that, my reply back is always the same, yes sir or ma'am. Everything, yes sir, no sir ... think of how many people are rude, or "up to something" when it comes to cops (my previous self included). That's one case where it can pay to stand out.
3. Know where your license, registration, and ID cards are. Quickly.
Don't make the officer wait. Have that shit on lock.
4. Keep your hands on the wheel and visible at all times.
Knowing where your hands are diminishes the cop's suspicion. Follow the Busta Rhymes mantra of "put your hands where my eyes can see."
5. Don't be scared.
In every case I was willing to admit to the officers that I fucked up. Especially today, I was like welp, there you go. My B. Getting a ticket isn't the end of the world, and if you stay calm and are honest - you just might be able to talk your way out of it.
Godspeed to all the hell raisers & really poor drivers. I feel you, friend.