Getting pulled over by a cop is one of the worst feelings in the world. It can turn even the best day into a bad one in just a matter of seconds. However, there are times in which saying the right thing can help a person get out of a ticket or fine. Here are a few tips on what to say to a traffic cop who just pulled you over.
A Proper Greeting
The first thing a person should say to an officer is some type of proper greeting. It sets the tone that you are not planning on being confrontational. Adding a smile or just being friendly can really help to ease the situation.
Being an officer in charge of pulling people over can be a thankless job for sure. Think about all the people they come across daily that are confrontational. Just by making things a little bit easier for them, could make them more likely to let you go with just a warning.
Just make sure not to overdo it, because sometimes an officer can see right through that. Next thing you know, you’ll be having to find a NYC traffic ticket attorney despite sucking up to the officer. It’s one thing to be nice, but it is another if you just try to butter them up; most officers are able to see right through that type of behavior.
Ask Before Grabbing Your Wallet, Keys, or Anything Else in Your Pocket
No matter how you feel about cops, one of the toughest things to deal with is the wide range of emotions from drivers when being pulled over. That is why cops are a little on edge themselves, especially if a person starts grabbing things they can’t see. They don’t know if you are grabbing a license or a weapon at that point.
Once pulled over, keep hands visible by placing them on the steering wheel at first. It helps to also turn on the dome light, so cops can see everything clearly. Chances are, at some point a person will need to get something out of their pocket, like a wallet. Asking the officer for permission to reach into a pocket shows that you are being considerate and not trying to pull a fast one on them. That extra level of comfort could make the difference between a ticket and a warning.
Answer Politely Without Admitting Guilt
The conversation with an officer can sometimes be overwhelming for a person who is getting pulled over. That is why it is important to read about and plan out what to say beforehand. One thing that should be avoided is a full-on admission of guilt during the conversation with the officer. Instead, apologize for not knowing in other ways.
One example is the question “do you know how fast you were going?” The reality is, most people won’t know exactly how fast they were going, so there is no real reason to admit guilt. Instead, say you are not sure. Then, if asked about the speed limit, it is better to answer that one correctly. This at least shows that you know what the speed limit is, and perhaps the speed of your vehicle just temporarily got away from you.
Admitting guilt makes it a pretty easy case for an officer to give out a ticket. Some might think honesty is the best policy, but there is something to be said about not telling on yourself.