Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, there’s a good chance that you violate the rules of the road every now and again.
For example, you’re running late for a big meeting at work so you drive a touch faster than the speed limit. Or maybe you’re frustrated with a driver who won’t move out of the way on the interstate, thus leading you to pass them in the right lane.
While you may get away with some traffic violations, police officers are always on the lookout for people who are violating the law.
If you’re pulled over for a traffic violation, here are four steps to take:
- Quickly move to safety: Don’t give the officer reason to believe that you’re ignoring them or trying to get away. Quickly move to safety, such as by pulling into a rest stop or the shoulder of the road.
- Provide the requested documentation: Upon arriving at your window, the officer will ask you for your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Don’t ask why they need it. Just provide the documentation and give them time to look it over.
- Don’t answer any questions: For instance, the officer will probably ask you if you know why you were pulled over. Even if you have an idea, don’t admit to anything. A simple “no” is the best way to protect your legal rights.
- Don’t fight back: If the officer decides to issue a traffic ticket, there’s no point in saying anything. They aren’t going to change their mind, so you’re best off taking the ticket and safely pulling away.
After you have time to review the circumstances of your violation, as well as the details of your ticket, you can decide what to do next. You have two options:
- Pay the ticket and deal with the repercussions, such as an insurance premium increase and points on your driving record
- Fight the ticket in traffic court with hope of minimizing the impact on your life
Even if you want to put the ticket behind you, strongly consider requesting a hearing. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you may be able to save yourself from points on your driving record and/or paying the entire fine.