Being pulled over doesn’t necessarily mean a police officer will write you a ticket. Often, they can issue warnings instead of a traffic ticket, letting you leave without a ticket, but still encouraging you to avoid breaking traffic laws again. While it’s not always possible to leave a traffic stop without a ticket, try these tips to increase your odds of getting a warning instead of a ticket.
- Help the officer stay safe: Police officers notice when you show concern for their safety. Pull over quickly to a spot that’s safe for them, turn off your vehicle, keep your hands visible, and turn on your overhead light. This sends a message that you respect their safety, and they’re likely to appreciate it.
- Behave with courtesy: Be polite, positive, and cooperative with the officer. Make their job easier, and they may be inclined to make things easier for you, too.
- Wave if you speed past a police officer: Wave at a police officer if you pass them while speeding. Doing so tells them that you know you were driving too fast and that you’re slowing down. If you’re not going much over the speed limit, they may not bother to pull you over.
- Don’t admit you were speeding: You should be honest, but you don’t need to come out and admit that you were speeding or otherwise breaking the law if you’re not asked. If you admit guilt, the officer may have to issue a ticket.
- Don’t flirt or bribe: Sure, it may work on TV and in the movies, but in real life, flirting or bribing your way out of a ticket can be insulting. Most officers don’t appreciate this approach — and it may encourage them to give you a ticket instead of a warning.
- Ask for a warning: The officer may be considering a warning already, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you feel you didn’t make a serious mistake, you can ask them directly to consider giving you a warning instead of a ticket. Ask politely, and they may agree with you.