Almost without exception, everyone in Palm Beach County speeds, and sooner or later, everyone who does will get pulled over for it. There may be some exceptions to speeding like those kind, elderly folks who are in no particular hurry to get where they are going, but for the most part, we all do it. I have shared my own experiences with you on speeding tickets that I have gotten so I am comfortably in using the word “we” when it comes to this matter. Even though I include myself in this group of traffic offenders, as an attorney, I will never advocate speeding or the violation of any other traffic laws. Yet as a traffic ticket attorney specifically, I may be able to offer a bit of insight as to how to avoid the inevitable if you tend to have a lead foot. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you are speeding, you should drive in a manner that will not make you stand out from the other vehicles on the road. Other than the obvious there are other things to consider when it comes to blending in with traffic. The first “offense” you commit is allowing yourself to be singled out. If a police officer is looking to write a traffic ticket, he will be hoping to spot something unique about a particular driver. Don’t let that be you.
TOP 10 SPEEDING TICKET CAUTIONS
#1: Maintain a speed that is relative to the cars around you. If you are only going 5 mph or so over the speed limit, you are less likely to draw the attention of the cop. If the officer decides he is going to pull over someone who is driving in the traffic around you, the odds are then in your favor that it might be someone else if you are not going significantly faster than other drivers.
#2: High-traffic roadways will often have breaks in the medians every few miles. This allows police officers and other emergency personnel to make U-turns. Cops will also often use these breaks as an opportunity to set up speed traps. They park there with their radar active, hoping to catch speeders traveling in either direction. Knowing that these median breaks occur every so often makes it easier to predict when you may be approaching one. Just remember that they are frequently landscaped with trees or bushes, so you may not see a cop parked there until it’s too late.
#3: Try not to be the lead car nor the flagging car in the group around you. As the lead car, you are the first one that will be rolling into his radar site which may trigger him to start rolling in on you. If you are flagging behind, you will be the first car that the cop comes upon and may just settle for you instead of the lead car if you, too, are speeding. Although “keeping up with traffic” is not a legal defense, remaining in the middle of a group of cars is the best way to avoid being the person that the cop tags.
#4: Always keep all other traffic laws in mind when you are aware that you are speeding. Reckless driving, tailgating, or other types of aggressive driving increases the likelihood of attracting the attention of police officers, even if they are not lying in wait at a speed trap. Additionally, Palm Beach drivers have to deal with jackass drivers every day, and probably have a low tolerance for other drivers who behave badly in traffic. Consequently, don’t be surprised if one of your fellow drivers calls the cops on you if you are engaging in aggressive driving tactics.
#5: Don’t forget that the left lane is intended for passing only. If you are looking to remain anonymous while speeding, try to maintain the center lane. That way you are not caught in a log jam of slower drivers in the right lane, and you are not blocking others from passing in the left lane. Additionally, oftentimes cops will wait for speeders to blow by them when they are waiting on the median for those who use the left lane as their own personal race track. Also keep in mind that if you are following someone in the left lane, they could be traveling at 10 or more miles per hour over the speed limit. If the cop pulls you instead of the car you are following, you will be looking at seriously stiff fines and penalties.
#6: Sometimes avoiding a speeding ticket is just a matter of employing a bit of common sense. If you are driving on a sparsely traveled road, even a few miles per hour over the speed limit can result in getting a speeding ticket. After all, any cop that is looking to write a traffic ticket is going to focus on the one guy committing the traffic violation. It is also ill-advised to speed later in the evening. Not only is there usually less traffic, again increasing the odds that you will be noticed, but police tend to patrol more as the night wears on, looking for drunk drivers. As I have mentioned before, getting pulled over for speeding just gives the cop an opportunity to assess whether or not you may have been drinking. Additionally, Palm Beach is hardly a small town, but there are many small towns nearby. Speeding through them is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, small towns often have one main thoroughfare and a skeletal police force. This makes it easy for them to set up a speed trap. There is also always the possibility that you may come across a small town cop who has a “Not in my town” attitude, especially if you are not a local.
#7: When driving in a group of cars that is traveling at a speed you are comfortable with, isolate a specific car that is going the speed you want to go. Follow him at a prudent distance so that he becomes the target of the police officer’s speed trap first. Not only does this make him the cop’s primary target, but if you see this driver slowing down, he may have spotted the cop before you do.
#8: If you have a tendency to speed, it may be worthwhile to invest in a good radar detector. They can cost quite a bit, but one speeding ticket can certainly cost you more in fines, penalties, and insurance rate hikes. It’s important to keep in mind that while they are currently legal in Florida, they are not legal in all states, so if you are traveling out-of-state, you may want to check the legality of them in not only the state to which you are traveling, but also any of the states you may be passing through.
#9: If you have a tendency to drive beyond the posted speed limit, it is not a good idea to do so if you have a brightly colored or otherwise flashy car. A cop is much more likely to notice you in a red Corvette than he is if you are doing the same speed in the family sedan. If a cop is going to pursue a speeder, and he has a couple of options, he’s more likely to go after the car that costs more than his annual salary, and probably more inclined to write you a traffic ticket then to just let you off with a warning.
#10: If a cop pulls you over for any reason, make a good impression. Being a jerk, arguing with him, or being otherwise rude is only going to make you and the circumstances surrounding the traffic citation more memorable when you go to court to fight your traffic ticket. He is probably going to write you a ticket anyway, You might as well be cooperative so you stand a better chance of getting the ticket dismissed or reduced by a good traffic ticket attorney.
Allow me to reiterate that I do not advocate speeding in Palm Beach, but IF you do, just use a little common sense and keep these things in mind. If you still end up getting a speeding ticket, allow the Traffic Ticket Team to fight your speeding ticket for you. You may not even have to come into the office, so give us a call at 954-967-9888 for your free consultation.