My husband and two of my brothers in law are officers, most of my friends are police officers and I had even applied to become one right before I found out I was pregnant. Now, as a mom of 2 babies and a Savvy Shopper, I have compiled this list to help you keep your money where it belongs: IN your pocket. Tickets are very expensive and at times it can really put a dent (or a HUGE black hole!) in our finances. This list was made specifically for Texas, since that’s where we are, but I am sure anyone in this country can benefit from it. (This list is not listed in any order of importance, they are all important.)
HOW TO AVOID GETTING A TICKET
- First of all, BE NICE. Don’t give the officer an attitude because he pulled you over. If you got puller over my friend, you did something wrong whether you know it or not. When you are rude, any chance of you getting off that ticket just committed suicide and now instead of one, you will probably end up with multiple citations.
- APLOLOGIZE. I know this might be hard for some of you fellas but admitting that you did something wrong and apologizing might just save you a couple hundred dollars.
- Ask for a warning, nicely and apologetic. It is either that or a ticket, so you have a 50% shot!
- Men, please suppress the urge to call a female officer: babe, baby, cutie, sexy, or anything along those lines. There will be no getting you out of that one.
- If you work at QT, 7-11, or another popular gas station, make sure you mention it. All we see is cops getting their drinks at gas stations, but in reality, gas station employees really appreciate the officer’s presence because it deters crime and officers are thankful for their cold or hot drinks. There is an unspoken mutual relationship between both parties.
- Make sure you have a driver’s license. If you get pulled over without a DL (as if you never had one or if it is suspended), you will most likely get a ticket. If you have kids in the car, chances are you will get another one for endangering their lives and if you don’t own a license, you probably don’t have insurance, which means another ticket. Go get your license!
- Don’t pretend like you don’t speak English.
- HAVE INSURANCE! Most departments are equipped with software that lets the officer know if you are insured or not, in Texas, it is against the law not to have insurance. However, cops can’t pull you over because of “no insurance”, so they might stay behind you until you do something wrong THEN pull you over. Ticket for no insurance will run you about $980 if this is your second offense and $300 if it is your first. Liability Insurance on your car will run you about $30 a month… just saying.
- Got kids? Make sure they are IN their carseats BUCKLED UP! Officers (met too!!!) get pretty aggravated when kids are bouncing around unbuckled inside the car. You can receive a citation for each child that is not buckled up. There is nothing worse for a police officer to see a dead child on the side of the world because the responsible adult didn’t buckle them up.
- Got blacked out tail lights? You will get pulled over… a lot! It is against the law in Texas. Why set yourself up for that??
- When you notice the unmistakable blinking lights behind you, PULL OVER! Don’t drive around… they might think you are evading arrest and you probably just got the officer all worked up, which is bad news for you if you are trying to get out of a ticket. Repeat tip #2 various times.
- Most officers will not arrest you if you have ONE minor warrant. It is a lot of paperwork for them and on weekends there might even be a line at the jail.
- Don’t drink and drive, officers don’t like drunks because they tend to walk away unharmed while the innocent who was driving home is now dead.
- Motorcycle Cop: You are out of luck. There is NO WAY you are getting out of that ticket. Accept it.
- Highway: Most cops won’t pull you over for going 8-9 above speed limit, unless they are doing a speedtrap*or you are going through a very tiny town with a lot of bored officers.
- School Zone: Serious Speed Trap with an expensive ticket. So, go over your schedule in your head, have a conversation with yourself, whatever you do just don’t speed, Don’t talk on the phone, and don’t text.
- Don’t EVER shoot a cop, or point anything at them. That is just stupid.
- Don’t run from them either.. big mistake!
- Neon lights are against the law in Texas. Don’t have them in/on/under/above your car. It’s illegal.
- If you are a doctor or nurse you will probably never get a ticket, especially if you are wearing your scrubs. Cops believe in Karma.
- Most cops don’t profile people, they do however profile cars. Make sure yours is up-to-date.
- Don’t play your music super loud at a stop light, it is very annoying to officers and they will stop you for disturbing the peace.
*speed trap: Where there are multiple officers just waiting for you, the ultimate speeder’s nightmare.