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Articles

  • How to Avoid Being Noticed by Law Enforcement

    One of the best ways to avoid getting a ticket is to not be noticed to start with. Every day I see vehicles that are just asking to be noticed. They may not even be speeding, but they draw a lot of attention to themselves increasing their chance of being stopped. A quality radar detector can only do so much, how and what you drive is also a factor in avoiding tickets. Here are a few things to remember in order to minimize your chances of getting to meet a member of the law enforcement community.

    Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac: Don't put any political stickers, sports magnets, funny license plate frames, etc... on your vehicle. If the police officer is not a fan of the same sports team you just increased your chance at being pulled over. Oh, and for those of you with stickers from certain bands, you are asking to be searched as well. Do not advertise your political, religious, or social views on your car if you want to be inconspicuous. The only exceptions to this are small stickers that show you are a teacher, nurse, or EMT. Cops try to avoid giving people in those professions tickets so a bit of advertising will not hurt.

    If you look fast you are speeding: Some vehicles are designed to look fast. If you are driving with traffic down the road, guess who will be pulled over. Sporty cars are fun, and they also stand out.

    Racers get no breaks: Vehicles that are heavily modified, and are obvious about it, will not only attract attention, they will also increase your chance of getting a ticket instead of a warning. If a police officer pulls you over and your car has racing seats, a competition tachometer, cross drilled brakes with giant calipers, and a loud exhaust system good luck.

    Going to a car show: The more expensive or more exotic your car is, the more you stand out. Some cops love to target people perceived as "wealthy" while others may just give you a warning as they admire your rare hotrod. You will attract attention regardless.

    Those thin blue line stickers do not work: A lot of people claim that the thin blue line stickers, Fraternal Order of Police stickers, and such will get you out of a ticket, or even keep you from being pulled over. This is not true, you will be pulled over just as quick as anyone else. They will then want to know if you are in law enforcement or your spouse is, if they even notice the little blue sticker. A FOP license plate, well you had better be able to back that up.

    Obvious violations: This should be common sense, but some people seem oblivious. To avoid standing out do not conspicuously break area vehicle codes. This includes window tint that is too dark, a vehicle that is too low or too high to the ground, mechanical defects, loud exhaust systems, and all the rest.

    When the sun goes down: Many high end cars and some performance cars come with intense (hyper or blue) headlights. Cops look for these type of headlights at night, as well as cars that appear to have running lights and fog lights that are low to the ground. They will figure you are in a luxury or exotic car and are speeding.

    At this point, most of you realize we all violate one of the above attention getters. It can be hard to not attract attention, but if you minimize as many of these possible your chance at getting a ticket will be reduced. If you follow some of our other advice, use a reliable radar detector and perhaps even a laser jammer you will greatly reduce your chance at a speeding ticket or even being noticed to start with.

    Check out my other articles on How to Avoid Speeding Tickets and What to do When Pulled Over by the Police.

    I hope this helps save some of you from being stopped by the police. If you have any comments let me know what you think here on our radar detector blog, give us a call (1-800-584-1445) or send us an email. You might also want to check out a few of our radar detector videos on youtube. Be a smart, protected and safe driver. - Danny

  • What to do When Pulled Over by the Police

    You look back in your review mirror, and there he is. A police officer is driving very close you with his blue lights on. So, what do you do? The goal is to keep the law enforcement officer as relaxed as possible about your new relationship. You want to receive a warning if possible and avoid a ticket. And he may have a simple reason to pull you over, such as a taillight being out or an expired inspection sticker. Do not assume the worst and become defensive and angry.

    Do not panic!: This is not the end of the world, you are just being pulled over. It may even be for something trivial or safety related.

    Slow down, and acknowledge the officer: If you are speeding, slow down (do not slam on your brakes). Then wave your hands or flash your lights and acknowledge that you see him.

    Pull over and away from traffic: Try to pull onto a side road or a parking lot. If you do have to pull over on a highway, move over to the side as far as possible. Chances are there are cars going by, and you do not want the police officer to worry about being struck by one.

    Roll down you windows and turn off your car: Turn off the radios, roll the drivers and passenger side windows down (I do not care how wet or cold it is) and turn off the vehicle. Police are always waiting on someone to play a game of stop and go with a bit of high speed chase. They like this game, do not even let them think you want to play! Also, take your foot off the brake pedal, place the vehicle in park or neutral and engage the parking brake. Your car should look as immobile as possible. Do not be talking on the phone either.

    What about the radar detector?: Turn your radar detector off. If the unit is on your dash, or mounted to your windshield leave it. The last thing you want the cop to see is you yanking things around and trying to stash something. This may even lead to a search warrant and possible vehicle impoundment. You do not want them thinking you have something to hide. They may not even notice it in some cars, or care. If you have a concealed radar detector, well you do not have to worry about any of this.

    Put both of your hands on the steering wheel and leave them there: When the officer walks up to the vehicle he should see both of your hands on the steering wheel. This will make them very happy, because for them this is a dangerous part of their job. Making their job less stressful is a great way to get a warning instead of a ticket.

    Tell any passengers to shut up and to not move: Everyone riding in the car should not say a word and keep their hands in their lap. Tell them if they talk they get to pay the ticket.

    Be polite: Now is not the time to show displeasure or disrespect to the officer. Right or wrong you have been pulled over and are now under his authority. Say yes sir or ma'am. Smile. Do not argue or look angry.

    Keep your mouth shut: Say as absolutely little as possible. Shrug or nod and smile a lot. Do not admit to anything or try to be funny or helpful. You really have no idea why you have been pulled over, so let the cop tell you. And if things go beyond a simple traffic stop, only talk with an attorney present. Do not be a jerk about this, but be careful what you say!

    When getting your license and registration use one hand: You should keep your license, registration, and insurance information in easy to access locations. Now is not the time to dig though a glove box or purse. Try to keep one hand on the steering wheel as well, and move very slowly. Do not let the police officer even think you are pulling out a weapon or trying to hide something.

    Are you in the military?: Well at this point you might just get out of all of this mess. Members of the armed forces have let me in on something they do. As you hand over your license, also hand over your military ID. There is a good chance the officer is ex-military and will be lenient with you. If they ask you why you did this, tell them your DI or commanding officer has instructed you to do so when dealing with authorities. If anything they will think you can follow orders. From what I understand, many people in the military who do this get a warning.

    Are you a teacher or nurse?: Cops try to avoid giving teachers and nurses tickets. If you are a teacher, having some type of "I am a teacher" sticker on your car is a good idea. Same for nurses and EMTs.

    When he goes back to his vehicle keep quiet: At this point the officer may have let you go with a verbal warning. If not he will head back to his car to do some paperwork. Do not get alarmed, in some departments he is required to do this. Keep both hands on the steering wheel, and have everyone in your vehicle stay quiet.

    The traffic stop has ended: Hopefully the police officer has decided to give you a warning. Thank them, be nice, and then shut up. If you receive a ticket, take it and say nothing. You can still dispute the ticket in court, but now is not the place and time. Keep your emotions to yourself and get out of there.

    Check out my other articles on How to Avoid Speeding Tickets and How to Avoid Being Noticed by Law Enforcement.

    I hope this helps save some of you get a warning instead of a ticket. If you have any comments let me know what you think here on our radar detector blog, give us a call (1-800-584-1445) or send us an email. Be a smart, protected and safe driver. - Danny

  • How to Avoid Speeding Tickets

    I once had someone explain that a speeding ticket is just a road tax we all get to pay now and then. Not satisfied with that, I have spent the last 10 years researching technological solutions to avoiding speeding tickets. During this time I have also made a few observations, that when combined with a reliable radar detector will keep you from paying this road tax. Here are some things you can do if you plan on driving fast to minimize your chance of a ticket.

    Use a rabbit: A rabbit is a term for someone ahead of you that is driving fast. The goal is to let them attract any attention and be pulled over and not you. The trick of course is not being too close so you end up being caught as well. Following loosely behind a rabbit and using a radar detector will reduce your chance of being pulled over greatly. The rabbit is going to spring the speed trap for you, just sit back and pay attention. If police are using instant-on radar the rabbit will be hit first alerting you in time to slow down.

    Stay with the flow: When you find yourself in with a pack of vehicles that are driving fast, try to avoid being in the front or rear. This will keep you from being picked off from the herd and getting a ticket.

    Pay attention to oncoming traffic: Many police will follow closely behind another car to hide. If you see what you think are two cars close together in the oncoming lane, there is a good chance the second car is a police vehicle. Several times I have seen the second car do a sudden U-turn and pull the car in front of me.

    Watch out around overpasses: Law enforcement loves to lurk up on overpasses, just waiting to swoop down on traffic bellow. When approaching an overpass slow down, especially near state lines.

    Slow down in obvious areas: Some areas have a lot of police visitors. Be wary around truck stops, rest areas, and around courthouses (you would be shocked how many people do not pay attention). Also do not speed on the "main road". A lot of cities have a few roads where there are a lot of stores and restaurants. The police have to drive down it everyday just like you do, don't make them grumpy by having to pull you over on the way to lunch.

    Do not speed in sensitive areas: I do not care how much of a hurry you are in, do not speed in school zones, construction zones, around hospitals, or near public crowded events. Speeding in these areas means you are an idiot. It is not safe and most likely there are law enforcement in the area looking for idiots.

    Perfect speed traps: When you are driving and you think an area is perfect for a speed trap, guess what! There are some roads that are just easy to drive fast on. They tend to be wide, with a well paved surface, and have long stretches with occasional hills or turns to hide around.

    That town: Every state has some town that makes all of their money from a speed trap. If you are driving along on a county road and the speed limit drops suddenly to 25 MPH, take it seriously. Feel free to smirk a bit when you pass the cop just around the corner.

    Enjoy driving through a park, just do not enjoy it that much: There are some great scenic drives out there in our state and national parks. There are some park rangers just waiting to give you a ticket.

    All alone on the road: If you are alone on the highway, there is very little you can do if you are hit by instant-on radar. If there is a cop lurking ahead of you, there is little warning time if the police officer is using instant-on to clock you with a short radar burst.

    Look behind you: Always keep a watch of what is going on around you. If you see sudden movement of a car turning around, or accelerating towards you it might be a cop. Not all police have their radar on constantly and if they see someone that looks like they are driving fast they will come after you. You will get no warning even with a radar detector (because they are not using one, or are getting closer to hit you with instant-on).

    Turn on your radar detector: I think some of you would be surprised by the number of people that get caught with a radar detector unplugged or turned off.

    Don't be an idiot: Many police, particularly city cops are not out to pull everyone they encounter. They are looking for people that are breaking the law in multiple areas. So do not drive a car that has an expired inspection sticker, no license plate, busted taillight, and one working headlight while not wearing a seat belt and talking on the phone. This also goes for soccer moms and dads that should be driving not texting and yelling at the kids and not paying attention to the car they almost hit.

    Don't be an ass: If you tailgate and change lanes constantly you will attract attention.

    On the way to the beach: The roads to popular tourist destinations are often heavily monitored. While some places tell their police to take it easy on visitors, the next county over you have to drive through will have no such concerns.

    Fast lane, slow lane: Police expect people in the passing lane to speed. If you are just passing someone they may ignore you, but if you are cruising faster than everyone else you will attract some interest. The same goes for large multi-lane highways. The far lanes on each side are watched closer than the middle lanes. Try to keep to the center lanes except to pass someone.

    Everyone is slowing down: Chances are there is a cop ahead or a known speed trap. Check your speed and if you are not certain what the speed limit is, you might want to fade in with everyone else.

    Check out my other articles on What to do When Pulled Over by the Police and How to Avoid Being Noticed by Law Enforcement.

    I hope this helps save some of you from speeding tickets. If you have any comments please feel free to let me know what you think here on our radar detector blog. If you have any questions about radar detectors, laser jammers, or other defensive devices please give us a call (1-800-584-1445) or send us an email. Be a smart, protected and safe driver. - Danny

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