Common Traffic Law Myths – Debunked

You’re driving down the road, you glance in your mirror and there it is – one of the most dreaded sights to any driver – flashing blue lights. As you pull over, a knot forms in the pit of your stomach, and you begin to think about how much this is potentially going to cost you.

You’ve heard crying sometimes helps… Or that if you don’t sign the ticket you won’t have to pay… Or you can ask to see your speed on the officer’s radar gun and he has to show you or you get of the ticket… We hate to break it to you, but if it sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably a myth.

Myth #1: Claiming the radar gun was broken is a solid way to get out of a ticket.

Truth: It’s true, electronics have failed us all a time or two. And, yes, this reasoning is completely possible; it’s highly unlikely this statement will actually get you out of a ticket. To void the citation, the judge will request proof that the radar gun was malfunctioning, which is difficult to obtain. You could claim the radar gun wasn’t recalibrated recently, but to know that for sure, you’d need to see the officer’s recalibration records. To see the officer’s recalibration records, you will most likely need to hire a traffic lawyer. As you can see, the process of proving the radar gun was inaccurate is time-consuming, possibly expensive and probably not going to get the ticket overturned anyway.

Myth #2: Any mistake on a ticket can get you out of the citation, no matter how small.

Truth: Mistakes happen – even for the men in blue. The issuing officer misspelling your name, forgetting to make you sign the ticket, getting your license plate number wrong, or writing down an incorrect time or date won’t get you out of a ticket. Just like any worker, police officers are humans, and will make clerical errors on the job at some point, which is not against the law.

Myth #3: If you get a ticket in another state it won’t transfer to your home state.

Truth: Most states are members of both the Non-Resident Violator Compact and the Driver’s License Compact, which allow states to share ticket data. If you get a ticket in another state and choose not to pay it, your state most likely knows about it and will choose to prosecute – from license suspension to outlandish fines.

Myth #4: You can get a ticket for driving barefoot

Truth: One of the most absurd traffic law myths out there, driving barefoot won’t get you a ticket (or an extra violation after being pulled over for another reason). If you do choose to drive sans shoes, just make sure they can’t interfere with you ability to push your gas and brakes.

Myth #5: Flirting, crying or namedropping is a surefire way to get out of a ticket.

Truth: We’ve all heard those stories about a guy who mentioned the name of another officer he knew and was let off the hook,or know someone who swears a little smile and innocent flirtation gets them out of a ticket every time. In reality, there’s not one move you can pull to get out of a ticket once you’ve been pulled over.

Law enforcement officers are all unique individuals who handle situations differently. While crying may make one officer feel sympathetic, it could annoy another. Many of them can see through gimmicks. Your best bet is to simply treat the officer the way we all like to be treated: with respect. Being kind and honest may do more good than you think.

When it comes to your car and driving, knowing the truth about basic traffic laws will help you make the best decisions for your vehicle.

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