10 Ways to Beat a Speeding or Parking Ticket

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Living in Boston, Massachusetts, which is, I believe, the parking ticket capital of the world, I get more parking tickets per year than most get in a lifetime. We actually budget $1,000 a year to pay parking tickets. One might ask: Why not just park legally? And while in your town, that might make sense, in Boston, that is sometimes impossible.

There is resident parking almost everywhere, so unless you live in the Back Bay or the South End or the North End, you're out of luck and have to pay for a $15 garage. Since a ticket is only $30, if you're running late, then there it is. And don't even get me started on street cleaning. Forget one morning and you're out $50.

And amid all those parking tickets, I only ever got out of one. One! Moving violations, on the other hand, are another story. I got a lot of those and they're (sometimes) easier to get out of. So here are 10 tips for beating down a ticket:

Before the officer has written it:

  • Pull over: No matter how much you think it's smarter to get to another part of the road that seems safer, the officer won't be kind if you try to do anything that seems like evasion. Pull over (to the right) immediately after he turns on his lights. 
  • Be polite: Police officers hate nothing more than belligerence (believe me, I learned this the hard way), so be polite, courteous, and quick on the ball when he asks for license and registration.
  • Don't cry: I don't care how cute you think you are. I have seen the cutest women in the world not get away with this one (especially with a female cop). If you cry on accident, try to cover it up and don't milk it. It makes you look bad.
  • Play dumb: This is one tactic that has worked for me, though I wasn't playing it. I actually didn't know that my registration had expired. He didn't ticket me, but I renewed it the second I got home because he only gave a warning.
  • Be honest: If you know you ran that red light, then tell him why you did it. Maybe you have a good reason and he will buy it, but even if you don't, he may just appreciate your honesty enough to let you go.
  • Don't beg: Sure, you want a warning, not a ticket. We all do. But begging and pleading will get you nowhere. Be polite, contrite, and helpful, but don't beg him not to ticket you. It will only induce a power trip.
  • Don't make excuses: Unless you have a really obvious one, don't try to make up excuses or lie. The cop will know and he or she won't like it. If you were speeding, you can say you didn't know. But don't say your odometer is broken or try to insult their intelligence. It won't work.
  • Act "lawyer-ly": Ask him to clearly print his name on the ticket and get out afterward to take notes on the scene, location, weather, time, traffic conditions, positions of cars, etc. This subtly tells the cop you're going to contest it and he may just issue a warning.

After the ticket has been issued:

  • Contest it: This only sometimes works for parking tickets, but it often works for moving violations. If the cop doesn't show, your chances are even higher, so right there, you have an advantage. I have never contested a ticket I didn't get out of eventually.
  • Look cute: This one may not work for the men (sorry guys), but for the women, it doesn't hurt to dress up and look cute. Why not use every tool in your tool box here? Don't look tarty, but look professional, respectful, and as pretty as you can muster.

How do you beat a ticket?


Image via MSVG/Flickr

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mommix4 mommix4

Some how I've never gotten a ticket? But when I was 22 and very fit (ah the good old days) I rear ended a cop. I freaked cause I didn't have insurance at the time. The sleazy cop let me out of the ticket then asked me out. So I gave him a fake # and went on my way.

nonmember avatar H

By not getting pulled to start with. Half of this is me wanting to keep my driving record clean prior to admission to the police academy next spring. The other half? All the local cops knowing my car and shrugging it off if they do happen to see me speeding. I've gotten plenty of "H, slow the heck down." texts after the fact, though.

JaneE... JaneEyre27

Look as pretty as you can muster, in order to get out of a traffic ticket??  Holy fuck.  Is this the same web site that cries foul over t-shirts that suggest girls are less intelligent that boys??  Talk about irony ... and disappointment. 


 

Zamaria Zamaria

I cry sometimes. My drivers side window doesn't roll down, so sometimes I roll down the back window and in a very scared voice tell the officer "I'm opening my door because my window is broke! Please don't shoot me!" they usually feel sorry for me. That's actually why I haven't gotten the window fixed. For expired plates, I told an officer that I didn't know you had to buy new ones until the old ones got rusty. I thought they were metal so they would last longer. That worked. When I'm speeding I usually say someone was following me and I was scared. For my husband, his ringtone for my calls is a recording of me hollering his name saying pick up the phone. He texts me when he gets pulled over before the cop gets to his truck, and I start calling him and just keep calling until he answers. The VIP feels sorry for him and tells him he better get home before I get really mad. This has worked six times for him so far. Lol

Zamaria Zamaria

VIP=cop. Stupid auto correct.

mesai mesai

Probably one of the only things my father ever told me that was worth listening to (and it was because he was once a cop)... If you get pulled over for speeding, and you aren't near the county seat (main county offices), ask for the court appearance to be at the county seat, because the ticketing officer schedules the appearances to happen on his/her day off, and if that officer is scheduling them for a more local courthouse, then the officer won't be able to go to the county seat... Not really sure how this works, as I never had to try it, and the fact that I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and did a lot of driving in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernadino County and San Diego County... 

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

I have been pulled over several times for things like a headlight out, expired tags, etc.  I got pulled over for speeding one time, and I did not get out of that ticket.  But I haven't sped since then, so the punishment stuck.  However, when I lived in Nashville, I never paid for parking.  I got a few tickets, but they weren't expensive enough to change my mind about paying for parking.  The occasional ticket was cheaper than paying every time.

the3Rs the3Rs

I remember once I did an illegal U-turn and there was a cop right behind me.  He immediately pulled me over and I quickly said that I saw him and did the U-turn to get his attention because I was lost and needed help (in the days long before GPS and I really WAS lost - though that's not why I U-turned).  He bought it, gave me directions, and off I went without even a warning. 

TC00 TC00

Actually I've heard many cops say they prefer someone to pull over where it's safer.  It means less chance they will get hit and I always pull over in a safe place and I don't know if that really helps but I've gotten out of most tickets that way.  If I'm just a few feet from a side street I put my blinker on and turn in there and pull over.  I never pull over on a busy street or on the highway, way too dangerous.


Playing stupid helps as does wearing low cut shirts (sleazy I know but sadly it helps)  I've gotten pulled over for speeding and I bat my eyelashes and say Ohh no officer I had no idea it was 30mph I thought it was 50......it works with the male officers :)


Ohh and I contest the tickets, I actually got a ticket for an illegal left turn WHEN I DIDNT ACTUALLY TURN.  I was hit from behind by a cement truck and although I meant to make that left turn I didn't.  The idiot cop wrote me a ticket anyway.  You can not give someone a ticket for something they didn't do!  I contested that ticket and another one he gave me and got them both dismissed

nonmember avatar Cristy

I was a band/music teacher for six different schools in the Chicago area, so I was on the road A LOT. I got out of a couple tickets by saying I was a traveling band teacher and I was late for a rehearsal and had 50 kids waiting for me. It was true...maybe not 50 kids waiting....but having instruments and band music strewn over the backseat of the car didn't hurt my story at all. :)

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