The speeding ticket business is a 3 Billion dollar a year revenue generator. That is, the cities and states collect almost $3,000,000,000 a year from speeders across the country. Florida is by far one of the biggest pigs at the trough. I will not argue that excessive speeding can lead to accidents. However, most traffic tickets in Florida are given to people going 9-15 miles over the speed limit. In fact, most of the time, the drivers are simply keeping up with traffic. Instead of examining whether we need to adjust our national speed limits, the government is happy collecting the “speeding tax.” It’s like a tax because almost all of us pay it at one time or another. To make matters worse, the speeding tax is the gift that keeps on giving. If you just pay your speeding ticket, you will get points on your license. Then your insurance company has a “reason” to raise your rates. This too seems unfair, but nobody is complaining loud enough. Yes, traffic ticket lawyers like me don’t like it. Most law abiding drivers don’t like it either. Until our legislators hear our voices though, the tickets are going to keep on coming. Red light camera tickets seem to be all the rage, but people are starting to complain enough that the legislature is starting to take notice. Well, until they take notice of speeding ticket abuse, here are some tips to avoid or help you with your next speeding ticket in Florida.
#1 BE AWARE
Sounds simple enough, right? In fact while driving you should always be aware, but pay special attention if traffic slows. If you are going over a hill and you see people slowing down ahead of you, it may be because a cop is sitting at the bottom of the hill with a radar gun. But you need to look in other directions as well, like up. That’s right; VASCAR (airplanes with cops in them) might be flying overhead tracking your speed. While on deserted roads, pay special attention to the possibility that the plane that just flew overhead might be a cop. In the city, watch out for those red light cameras in the intersection. There are supposed to be signs warning you of the cameras, so look for them. If someone flashes their lights at you, assume they just passed a cop hiding in the bushes.
#2 DON’T DRIVE A RED LAMBORGHINI
Okay, most of us won’t have this problem, but a red Corvette catches the eye faster than a blue Honda Accord. The same applies to things that draw attention to your car. Don’t have blaring base coming from your car speakers. Don’t install the ground effect lights that look really cool. In fact, put the $2,000 you were going to pay for those rims in the bank. Remember, cops are just like everyone else. They are jealous of people with nicer cars than they can afford. They also stereotype. If you are a teenager in a tricked out car, they will assume you are a punk and pull you over and find something to ticket you for if they want. Not fair, but reality.
#3 BE NICE
It is hard to not be in a bad mood when you are pulled over like a criminal and confronted by an aggressive cop. It happened to the Author of this Blog last month. I was pulled over for speeding and the cop could not have been more rude, accusatory and just plain condescending. It took everything in my power to smile, be respectful and ask for a break. After he said no and gave me a ticket, I thanked him. I know, and now you know, that you will never win a fight with a cop on the side of the road. If you can’t appeal to his better angles, wait for court. That is what I will be doing next month. I can’t wait, because Court is the only place you can really be on somewhat equal footing with a cop. Remember, when he pulls you over and asks why you think he pulled you over, say I do not. If you say you do, he will use that in court against you. In fact, you don’t have to say anything at all. When the cop pulled me over he said “do you know how fast you were going?” I said, “yes, 55MPH the legal limit.” He gave me a ticket anyway, but I was polite and thanked him. If you want to exact revenge, don’t pay the ticket, fight back. If you want to really exact revenge, hire an experienced traffic ticket lawyer whose firm has defended over 1,000,000 traffic ticket.