Don’t say: “I’m sorry I was speeding”
If you do get pulled over, says one former police officer, never acknowledge that you were, in fact, speeding. You don’t want to give the police any ammunition to use against you, should you contest your ticket in traffic court. When the officer tells you that you are speeding, giving a brief, noncommittal response like, “I see” or “I thought I was going with the flow of traffic” is the way to go. (Asking sarcastic questions like, “What’s the problem, officer?” won’t help your case!) This is why cops touch your car’s tail light during traffic stops.
Ask, “How’s your day going?”
According to one officer on Reddit, treating a police officer like a human is a good way to get her to treat you the same way: “A lot of the time when people make small talk and have somewhat of a conversation it humanizes the people were dealing with and makes it harder for us to give someone a ticket.” Secret sources who have dodged more than one speeding ticket in their lives also advise that you just get through the meeting with the police as quickly and politely as you possibly can. You don’t want them to remember anything about you, except that you were nice and did what you were told.
“Is It OK if I get my wallet out?”
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Roadside stops can be the most dangerous (and nerve-wracking) parts of an officer’s job. Showing them you care about their safety will take a load off their mind, and hopefully help win them to your cause. Here’s how to do that without looking suspicious: 1) Keep your hands on your steering wheel throughout the encounter. 2) If it’s dark out, turn on your dome light. 3) Don’t stare at the officer in your side or rear view mirror (“We notice this every time,” says on officer on Reddit, “it looks suspicious and some officers will be more on the defensive.”) 4) Ask permission to remove your wallet to retrieve your driver’s license and your registration. Don’t miss these 45 other things police officers want you to know.