You’re driving along, minding your own business, when suddenly you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. Your stomach sinks and your heart beats faster as you tick through the possible reasons for the stop. No matter the situation, it is never good news. Wouldn’t it be nice to minimize the chances of being stopped in the first place? Here are 5 easy tips to dramatically decrease the chances of being stopped by the police.
1. SET YOUR CRUISE CONTROL if you’re on the highway, or really, really pay attention to your speed if you’re in a residential area. Although there are always exceptions, police generally don’t pull people over for speeding unless they are doing 10+ over the limit. Setting your cruise control takes the guess-work out of your trip and lets you enjoy your journey without worrying about a speeding ticket.
2. REGULARLY CHECK YOUR LICENSE PLATE TAGS to ensure that they are not expired. Expired tags immediately give police reasonable suspicion to pull you over, even if you’re not committing any other traffic offenses (they can even ticket your car if it is parked). Police know this, and routinely look for expired tags. They don’t need to run a computer check on your plates, they don’t need to radar you, they simply need to look at your tags. The good news is that all you need to do is look at your tags to make sure they are legal and save yourself from this simple traffic stop.
3. SET YOUR PHONE TO HANDS FREE or turn off your phone when driving. Yes, that’s right, turn off your phone. You would be amazed at the number of traffic stops associated with this one. Your phone is in your purse, or in your pocket, or is on the passenger seat. Guess what happens when you go to reach for it? Your hand that is on the steering wheel tries to follow your other hand and you weave. Hear the sirens? Not only will weaving get you pulled over, but weaving is a clue that police look for in identifying drunk drivers, so get ready for a full blown DUI investigation.
4. WALK AROUND YOUR CAR at night to ensure that all of your lights are working. This includes your license plate light. If any light is out on your car, this is grounds for a stop. A $3.00 replacement light is well worth preventing a traffic citation.
5. USE YOUR TURN SIGNALS for any change of lane or turn. If the police are looking to pull someone over, this is an easy one. Maybe you’re close to home? Maybe you drive your route all the time? Maybe you don’t see anyone else on the road. It doesn’t matter. Train yourself to use your signals and keep yourself on the road instead of trying to talk your way out of a police encounter.
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