When it comes to tickets and citations issued to Americans with driver’s licenses, speeding tickets alone make up over half. That equates to nearly $2 billion a year generated from taxpayers for speeding. Wisconsin has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. So if a speed limit sign reads 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law.
The experienced attorneys of Hupy and Abraham wish to share their tips to avoid speeding tickets, and hope that they will benefit you the next time you’re on the road. Of all the tips that we can, it’s important to remember that in the end, the best way to avoid a speeding ticket is by NOT speeding.
- Do not be a reckless driver. Choose to always signal properly and change lanes smoothly to avoid bringing attention to yourself. Making sure your car is well maintained will help keep you from being pulled over as well. Also be aware that many states have harsher penalties for excessive speeding, such as felony charges for 20 or more mph above the posted limit. Never speed in residential areas, school zones or construction zones.
- Be a defensive driver. You can avoid a speeding ticket by being extra aware of your surroundings and watching the drivers around you. If a driver in front of you drastically drops their speed, it’s safe to assume that there may be an officer or accident up ahead. Take the hint and slow down for the benefit of everyone. If interested, anyone can take a defensive driving course at their local DMV.
- Be polite and be quiet. When you’ve been pulled over, it’s often better to say nothing at all opposed to lying or accidentally admitting fault. Either state your intention to remain silent, or ask to have any questions fielded by an attorney. But under no circumstances should you be snide or testy with the officer, or assume that acknowledging your mistake should result in a warning. Be sincerely apologetic and appeal to the police officers desire for safety.
- Don’t make excuses. The "broken speedometer" excuse will not work and you'll just get another fine. The law requires you to have a working speedometer. Do not assume that most officers have a cap in their mind of how many mph above the limit is acceptable. Instead, go to court and make your case there. For more information about dealing with police officers, request your “10 Rules for Dealing with the Police” wallet card from Hupy and Abraham HERE.
- Fight every ticket. In court, consider the legality of a speed limit sign or the chain of evidence that led to your ticket. Don't assume the officer won’t appear in court if you challenge your ticket. In many cases, the officer will be paid overtime for being in court. However, the officer may act in your favor for dismissal of the ticket if you were polite and respectful. But know that you have the right to demand to have your accuser present, and access to evidence such as the calibration of the radar gun.