You’re late! You jump out of bed, and briskly use your hands to comb your hair. Grabbing your cup of coffee you head out towards the door quickly putting on your jacket. The only thing on your mind is to get to work as quickly as possible. You get in the car and stomp on the gas pedal, and you become “in the zone”. Tuning out everything in your surroundings, you focus completely on getting to work. Next thing you know it, you hear a police siren in the background and you are on the side of the road. The officer calmly walks to your window and nonchalantly asks you “Do you know how fast you were going?” Now what do you do? Do you be completely frank and get yourself a ticket or attempt to talk your way out of it?
Whether you drove twenty-five miles per hour in a twenty mile zone or five in a twenty mile zone; let’s face it you did something wrong. You are already pulled over by the police, meaning that you have already been caught. So there is no use in arguing with the officer telling him that you didn’t do anything. But don’t worry, the battle isn’t over, you still have a fighting chance. To talk your way out a ticket you have a few options: play stupid, appeal to his ego, or remorse like there is no tomorrow. Separately these tactics can be quite effective, but in this essay I will teach you how to combine all three.
First of all before even trying to use a tactic, you need to get on the officer’s “good side.” This is done by making the officer’s job as easy as possible. So from the moment you are signaled to pull over, turn on your right blinker and head towards the right side of the lane. This allows the officer to know where you are planning to turn, and it allows cars around you to know what’s happening. This is especially important in highways when people usually don’t park on the side of the road. It is also important that you don’t make any sudden turns. It might cause the police to think that you are running, and you might end up hurting other people. Make sure that you have a safe distance from traffic between your car and traffic. And once you have parked, have your driver’s license ready. Roll down all your windows if you have tinted windows, this allows the officer to see in your car. This will make him more relaxed since he doesn’t have to be on complete guard, since he can see what’s happening. If you do not have tinted windows just roll down the driver’s window.
In order to effectively play stupid you never want to say “I didn’t know,” since you obviously had to know some traffic laws in order to get your license. However, not knowing what your registration and insurance card looks like is a different question. Before the officer even walks out of his car place your driver’s license on your dashboard near the window. Make sure that it is clearly visible and legible from where the officer is standing and in a distance where he can grab it. After waiting for a few seconds since you have been pulled over the officer should slowly approach your car. During this time, you should reach over in your glove compartment and pull out all paper like materials and place them on your lap. This pile should include your registration and car insurance. Leave the glove compartment open, this shows the office you have nothing to hide. If you do not store your registration and insurance in your glove compartment just grab wherever it is and combine it with a few papers. Take and place those papers onto your lap to give the image that you grabbed a plethora of papers from the glove compartment. Shuffle through the papers continuously, make sure as the officer comes to your window you do not stop until he asks for your registration and insurance. Now once this happens you should tell the officer “I am so sorry, I have no idea what they look like, my wife always handle’s the insurance.” Depending on your age and gender you can change wife to: parents, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. This tells the officer that you know what to do, but this is probably your first time being pulled over and you have no idea how things look like. During this time the officer will tell you what the papers look like and this is when you stop playing stupid and give him the papers.
As you find the papers and give them to him, you will now feed the officer complements on his job. Tell him how great of an officer he is for helping you find your insurance and registration or comment on how patient he has been with you. Make sure that during this time you keep constant eye contact with him and exaggerate. You have to be sincere and make sure that you are believable. Saying “You are so nice for walking me though this” in a monotone voice will not go far. Many times officers and argued with and/or sworn at, and it is refreshing when someone appreciates what they do. After all, take note that they do risk their lives for our safety. However, if the officer does not keep eye contact with you don’t turn your head to match your eyes with his. Just look at him and when he does look at you, have eye contact. The difficult part of this step is not figuring on what to say to the officer but to find the right balance of complements. It its normally best to stick between three to four complements, five to six is a bit pushing it but do not exceed more than seven complements. Your first two complements should be straightforward but never deliver all your complements as if they were a list. The best way to deliver the third and fourth complement is to slip them into a conversation. Casually ask the officer if he pulls people over allot. Does he have a family? How long does he have to work? Is it hard to be a policeman? Remember the important of this step is to boost his ego, exaggerate on how important he is and boost his self esteem.
If you have successfully completed the prior steps, the third step is to remorse. This is probably the easiest step and it is best to go all out. After having a short or long conversation with the officer, tell him “I know you are doing your job, but I am so very sorry for what I have done, I promise I will never do it again.” It does not have to be verbatim but as long as it carries the idea that you know what you did was wrong and you will try your best not to do it again. Never try to guilt the officer by telling him that you are a single mother or that you are a struggling musician, most officers will just give you the ticket as quickly as possible. If the officer doesn’t offer to let you go with a warning you will have to take the initiative. As soon as you have made it clear that you have repented, calmly ask the officer if he can let you go with a warning. If he refuses, remorse some more and if he asks for a reason just tell him that you know what you did was wrong and that you will never do it again. At this point most officers will let you go with a warning.
Talking your way out a ticket is a difficult task but it is not impossible. Most officers are genuinely nice and are not out to get everyday people. As long as we learn to respect them they will respect us. Just because you know that you can talk your way out of a speeding ticket does not mean that you should speed constantly, because the only reason there are speed limits is for our safety and for the safety of others. But in case you are running late for work and you are “in the zone” don’t be scared to use your newly acquired skill.
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