When learning your Driver’s Manual and taking your learner’s permit practice test, you might stumble across questions about learner’s permit suspension. Do you remember them? Yes, your permit can be suspended, and you will need to pass your learner’s permit test again, or you won’t be admitted to your road exam within a standard period of time – you may face many troubles if caught violating traffic rules and learner’s permit restrictions when having your behind-the-wheel training.
So, you just need to be careful and stick to the rules, right? Okay, but sometimes it is not that easy and being a novice driver you can make mistakes easily. For example, you can go over speed limits unintentionally, just because you missed the sign or failed to check the speedometer. Yes, these are not good excuses for violating traffic rules, but it happens to everyone! And if it happens to you and you are stopped by a police officer and given a speeding ticket, you can end up having a sufficient number of penalty points in your record to go back to the learner’s permit knowledge test. Oh, no! You have tried so hard to earn your learner’s permit!
But calm down, since you still have a chance to avoid this scenario, even if you failed to keep within a speed limit and were stopped by the police. Here are a couple of tips gathered from both experienced drivers and police officers – though a little bit funny and even goofy, the tips turn out to work and help in getting out of speeding tickets in some way.
No, we do not mean that you need to wave with your hands before the face of a policeman, who approaches your car and asks for your driver’s license. Moreover, we strongly do not recommend making sudden movements when your car is already stopped – you know, policemen have such a nervous job, and they also have guns. This trick is good for those cases when you manage to see a police car from some distance, but you are not sure you will be able to throttle down to a permissible speed limit.
So, do slow down smoothly and wave "Hi," while approaching the police car. The point is that the policeman will realize that you are aware of your mistake and that you let him/her know you are trying to make things right. And cops tend to pander to conscious drivers rather than to reckless ones. Besides, the police officer can think that you are some acquaintance of his/hers, so you can leave the cop wondering about the real meaning of your gesture while brushing past the police without any tickets given.
Yes, you will need to communicate with a police officer who stops your car anyway, for example answering his/her questions. Then why don’t you go a little bit further to have a nice small talk with the cop? No, you are not required to make buddies with him/her, but you can be polite and friendly rather than dry and annoyed. No ingratiating manner – just think of the officer like of your would-be client you want to get on the right side of you. Add "How are you?" to your "Hello," don’t forget about "here you are, please" when giving your documents or say something like "Oh, my head is splitting because of this hot weather, I just cannot imagine how you survive here, on the road, on such a dog day!" There is always a chance that the officer is bored enough on patrol to chitchat with you if offered. And it is always harder to give a ticket to someone who treats you like a human, so you can expect that the officer will treat you the same way.
But if you see that the officer is not in the mood for chit-chat, then change your strategy and cut the communication to the minimum, while still staying polite and abiding. Let the cop remember little about you – it can come in handy in case you decide to fight the ticket in court.
It’s a kind of silly, but this approach implies some preliminary training. It is also based on the idea that cops are likely to drive with a slack rein when it comes to drivers who managed to break the ice. And what can be better for achieving this goal than jokes! Make the police patrol laugh, and they will hardly be so iron-hearted to charge you!
Great, but this will work fine only if you are Jim Carrey or Rowan Atkinson or at least a person, who can improvise easily, generating sovereign jokes on the go. If not, you need to get prepared by finding and learning a couple of jokes that can come in handy when you communicate with police officers. Sure, you need to avoid jokes about policemen, especially those bringing out the worst in them. You’d better choose jokes about hapless drivers or funny road situations and make sure you have plenty of options for all occasions since you will need to get a word in edgeways so that it comes naturally. And it goes without saying that your jokes should be really funny and understandable.
Cops are humans, and nothing human is alien to them, remember? You can use this, if you are a good actor, you don’t mind lying, and you are not afraid of looking a little bit funny. In this case, you can try and explain the officer that you were speeding because you had an admissible excuse. Naturally, policemen are not fools and will be rather skeptical about the most common excuses like "I'm in a deuced hurry because my wife is in labor" or "I'm late for my grandma’s funeral."
On the other hand, there are a plenty of real-life situations where even cops can forget about observing speed limits. What do they think about when rushing to a dentist with a severe toothache or looking for an available WC nailed down by diarrhea? So, when a police officer approaches your car, try and show your supposed pain and suffering convincingly enough for the officer to ask you about the cause. Then share your problem with the officer hoping he or she will be merciful and will walk in your shoes. You can even make the first move without waiting for the policeman to get interested in the cause of your behavior. Ask something like "Is there any gas station with a WC right ahead? I have eaten something bad, and I really need to poop." Yes, this sounds a little embarrassing, but it can really work.
Ask For a Warning
When preparing for your driving permit test, you are sure to read sections about penalty types in your Driver’s Manual. And then you have to know that a police officer can give you either a warning or citation – and he or she will decide on this in his/her sole discretion! Sure, warnings are better than citations, since you won’t need to pay any fines and you won’t get any points in your record, though it depends on jurisdiction whether the warning can be seen in drivers’ records. Hypothetically, you can even receive a verbal warning with no paper traces of your violation. Isn’t it lovely?
Right, but usually cops are not so kind to give the warnings to someone who speeds 80 where the limit is 45 or who has plenty of points for speeding on their record. So, you are likely to succeed only if you have the clean record or you have some points that are not associated with speeding. If this is just your case, then go ahead. Let the officer articulate your violation, admit your mistake or tell that you were unaware of it and straight ask the officer for the warning giving convincing arguments depending on your specific situation:
- You are a learner and lack of experience, but you are trying really hard;
- You are an experienced and safe driver (your clean record proves this), but it could happen to anyone!
Make sure to ask for the warning prior to a point when the officer starts writing a speeding ticket – he or she will hardly abandon the undertaking. On the other hand, don’t start your communication with the officer with asking for the favor – the officer might think that you are too well prepared to be honest in your repentance.
Pretend to Be a Foreigner
You won’t find this in any regulation, driver’s manual or driving permit practice test, but it seems like patrol officers tend to be more tolerant of traffic rules violations made by aliens. Maybe, they believe that people are coming from other countries just get used to their home traffic rules, which can be different from those in the United States. So, you can take advantage of your foreign-sounding name or foreign-looking appearance – of course, if you have one. Add an awful accent when speaking to the officers so that they could hardly understand you. There is a good chance that they will choose to let you go in peace, just wagging a finger, rather than giving you the ticket and then listening to your gibberish in court.