Expert Fitting Service

How to Avoid getting a Speeding Ticket

Ticket. Copyright (c) Steve Warren.

What must the officer do, and what should you do.
How to avoid being nicked when you are stopped.
If you were caught on a Radar gun.
What to do if caught.
What to do at the scene.

If you were caught on a Radar gun.
If you were caught on Camera.
Summary of Detection Methods.
Evasion Methods.

What is "Reasonable and Prudent?"
Here's a few tips on how to be reasonable and prudent.

Evasion Devices.
The final word from a Traffic Officer.

What must the officer do, and what should you do.

When you are being reported for speeding, the Police Officer must tell you: "That you will be reported for consideration of the question of prosecuting you for exceeding the speed limit." It must either be given verbally or in writing at the time, or in writing within fourteen days or a summons be issued within fourteen days. Following this Notice of Intended Prosecution, he should then caution you by saying, "You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned, something you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence." Under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act, 1988, section 1, it states, " A person shall not be convicted of an offence to which this section applies, (speeding, dangerous driving, careless driving, failing to conform to traffic lights, failing to conform to stop signs, continuous white lines in the middle of the road and other mandatory road signs) unless the Notice of Intended Prosecution was given. When being booked for speeding or any other offence, if possible switch on a tape recorder or Dictaphone so that you have a record of what the officer says. Be careful, some Police Forces do have the N.I.P. printed on the HO/RT/1 producer form or on specially printed forms for speeding offences.

How to avoid being nicked when you are stopped.

In a word. Act. However much you want to tell the police how crap his last manoeuvres were, you actually do this .....Dependent on how bad the offence is, because remember, by the time he gets to your car he has pretty well made up his or her mind what they will be doing,
Try your utmost to make the officer truly believe that he has really got to your soul. He will always have a cautionary tale of something gruesome that just happens to have occurred right next to where you are. They make these lectures often. They want to feel that by telling you they can 'make a difference' Be craven, make sure you stop the very instant you know you are going to be stopped, be on the pavement looking seriously glum. If your licence has already has points on it, you are going to need talent. Go with the supermiserable, "Oh god, I of all blokes should know better by now," if you can raise a Hollywood tear you are Oscar material. No matter how base, low and s**t it makes you feel, exult in the aftermath when you get a good tickingoff but no ticket

What to do if caught.

Firstly, not enough people who are caught fight it in court, they simply accept it, get the points and pay the fine. If more than 10% fought the ticket I think the judicial system dealing with this would be overwhelmed and brought down on its knees. If in doubt, fight it. The worst thing that can happen is that you will be convicted of you original offence. You can get a heftier fine and more points in court, but unless you were doing silly speeds, its unlikely.

Make the systems life HELL when fighting it. Remember it is going to cost the system a huge amount of money to prosecute you, in the officer's time, court's time, prosecutor's time etc. The best thing you can do is make it worse.

Here are some steps you can take.

What to do at the scene It is critical that you start contesting your ticket at the scene of the alleged offence. . You must judge the officers temperament and situation and decide for yourself . You are more likely to get let off by a normal officer (black hat, black uniform) than by a traffic officer (white hat, green overcoat). Remember, its a traffic cop's job to catch you, the normal cop probably does not want the added paperwork (I know someone who was let off in town for doing 70mph because he said he thought he was still on the motorway). If the officer asks you how fast you think you were going you can take one of three approaches.

  1. You can deny it outright and tell him you weren't speeding, that you checked the speedometer. DO NOT get into an argument, but do not admit guilt. This is unlikely to prevent him from giving you a ticket, but you can tell judge at a trial that you were not speeding and you checked the speedometer, you can have the officer confirm that in your cross examination of him. This will serve to make your case stronger.
  2. You can say that you are not sure, your mind was elsewhere. If he insists you were speeding, then sidestep by saying something like, "I guess I must have been otherwise you would not have stopped me DO NOT admit guilt, this approach simply reiterates the officers accusation. This is difficult to use as evidence in court on both sides.
  3. Be honest and admit guilt. If you are stopped by a traffic officer, then you are going to get a ticket anyway so this is a stupid approach. If it is a normal officer, you may get off for being honest. This approach relies on luck. Forget fighting it in court if you admit guilt.

NEVER admit guilt, even if you do not intend fighting it, none of the I have a plane to catch, I'm late for work, my house is on fire. All speed pacing police cars have to have their Speedo's measured and certified. Only traffic police cars are done, and the Speedo will have increments of 1 mph's. If you are stopped by a non traffic officer, and told that he/she followed you and you were speeding, simply ask as a matter of course when his Speedo was last calibrated. It is likely he will let you go since normal police (Beat) cars do not have certified Speedo's, theirs is the same as mine and yours.

NEVER surrender your licence at the roadside, you will get a chance to take it to a police station. Surrendering you licence at the roadside is an admission of guilt. Surrendering it at a police station later is just abiding by the law.This is unlikely to prevent him from giving you a ticket, but you can tell the judge at a trial that you were not speeding and you checked the speedometer, you can have the officer confirm that in your cross examination of him. This will serve to make your case stronger.

If you are given a ticket, study it carefully before leaving the scene. The officer will ask if you have questions about the ticket, and you will:DO NOT get cocky at the scene, you have nothing against the police officer, he/she is only doing his/her job. It is the system that you want to fight (legally I mean!).

If you were caught on a Radar gun.Ask to have a look at the radar gun and check that the gun displays the speed that you were stopped for. If possible, get the make, model and serial number of the radar gun. Ask the officer to demonstrate that the radar gun is calibrated (he will probably not do this, if not assume it is not calibrated and use it as evidence). Do not regard self diagnostics as accurate, Radar guns are calibrated with a pair of tuning forks, and only this external test may be considered accurate. If the officer refuses to demonstrate the calibration, ask him to prove that he has tuning forks in the car (he will probably not be too happy at this point, but he can not do anything, your requests are legitimate). If he doesn't, tell the judge because this means (at least in your eyes) that that the gun is not calibrated.

If you were caught on a LIDAR gun.Ask to have a look at the radar gun and check that the gun displays the speed that you were stopped for.If possible, get the make, model and serial number of the laser unit.Note the positioning of the unit in relation to the sun or any other bright red or white light. LIDAR uses infrared light., and does not work as well when aimed into infrared light sources like the sun or high beam headlights. Ask when the unit was last calibrated. Ask to see a demonstration of the calibration. The same notes apply for the RADAR gun. These however, are not tuned by forks (I do not know how they are done).

YOU MUST MAKE NOTES AT THE SCENE. The officer certainly will. In court you may be asked if the notes were made while the events were still fresh in your mind. If you want to use the notes, then the answer must be a yes. Note the following:

  • The answers to any questions you asked the officer.
  • Any items you noted above.
  • Positions of OTHER CARS. You may be able to claim that he metered someone else, but stopped you (particularly lorries, since radar is good at locking into a larger object)..
  • The weather conditions.
  • The time and date.
  • Your direction of travel and the source and destination.
  • The lane you were in and the name of the road, also the area.
  • The officer's direction of travel and lane, or note if he was parked
  • A brief physical description of the officer so you recognize him in court (PHOTO if possible)
  • Take the officer's number, and the unit number on his car.

If you were caught on a Camera.

The police MUST send you a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days. If they do not, the case is a nonstarter. Preparing for Trial Examine the ticket a few times. Look for mistakes on the ticket such as a wrong name, time, date, or location. If there are any, you should tell them to the magistrate. Gather evidence, you should write to the police and ask for at least the following items:

  • Full copy of the Instruction manual for the RADAR/LIDAR device used.
  • Copy (both sides) of the calibration certificate.
  • Details of the training (copy of certificate if there is one) given to the officer in the use of the PARTICULAR device.

I also recommend that you return to the scene and take pictures of the area, including any signs which indicate the law. Make sure that your pictures are clear. DO NOT use a digital camera, to the best of my knowledge its not admissible.

If the Crown Requests an Adjournment
An Adjournment is a postponement of the original trial date. The prosecution may ask for an adjournment because the officer cannot appear on the trial date which was set. If possible DO NOT agree to this, tell the judge that you had to take a day off work to appear or something (try not to lie.).Make note of any irregularities in the procedure in your statement to the judge. Irregularities include things such as the wrong ticket number printed on the notice, a silly reason for requesting adjournment (such as a planned holiday, which the police should have known about before setting the date), or receipt of the adjournment notice too close to the trial date. It is possible that if you protest the adjournment, it will be denied. In this case (no pun intended) the charges should be dropped since you can't have a case without the officers presence.

In Court
Check in with the prosecutor and usher and make sure you are on the case list, and that he knows you have appeared for trial. This is just to make your presence known, and hope that may offer a plea bargain at this point, which you could consider. He may not.Look for the officer. If he doesn't appear, the charges should be dropped. This is where it is handy to reference the physical description you should have taken at the scene. If the officer does appear he may approach you and ask to talk to you before the trial. You don't have to, but it is polite to. Ask him to withdraw the charge. He won't likely do that. DO NOT indicate your strategy to him, or show him any notes or pictures. Keep this stuff in a manila envelope or briefcase so that it is out of view prior to the actual trial.

Cross Examining the Officer
This is your chance to put your notes and pictures to work. Ask the officer questions about the day to establish whether he really remembers the incident and you. If he doesn't seem to, ask him directly whether he really remembers what happened that day. Destroying the officers credibility is an excellent way to get acquitted.Ask about the radar or lidar equipment. If the officer refused to demonstrate the calibration, ask why and demand to know if the unit was truly calibrated. Each situation is different, but you should be able to use your notes to develop a strategy which insinuates that the equipment used to clock your speed was not accurate. If you achieve this you will be acquitted.Ask the officer about the laws in the area. This includes turn controls, signaling devices, speed limits, and so on. If he doesn't get it right, use your pictures of the area to prove that he is wrong. Showing that the officer does not understand the laws in effect in the area is another good way to reduce his credibility as a witness against you.You can try to go for the attack that the clocking may have been racially motivated. THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS and proceed with caution. If all goes well, you may make the officer lose his cool and throw a wobbly, this will drop his credibility. Or you may end up with a charge of contempt. Personally, I would leave this side of things unexplored.

Courtesy and Appearance
Do not underestimate the impression of a shower, clean shave, haircut, and nice suit and tie at the trial. You will look more innocent in this type of dress, and your chance of acquittal or fine reduction will be improved. You must also be courteous to the judge and officers of the court. If you make the judge mad, you will be convicted, so don't make him/her mad.

Summary of Detection Methods.

What do policemen use to detect speeders on the road?

Their primary method of detection is to use a laser gun. Being one of the newest technologies and unlike radar guns, a laser beam doesn't spread out much at all, so the police can pinpoint one car and get a precise reading on it. So, why don't police just use laser? You need a VERY steady hand to use a laser gun, because the beam travels so fast there and back and the computer calculates the speed based on perhaps a quarter second burst. So, if the policeman moves his arm so much as a millimetre while shooting the gun, and the beam moves to a point on the car that is closer or further away then the initial contact point, the reading will be totally off. Think about it, if a policeman is pointing the gun at a front licence plate that is 150 feet away, a tiny movement of his arm would move the beam to the windshield of the car.
Because of these problems with laser, some courts in the USA have ruled that police cannot use laser for speed detection unless they can crossreference their speed estimate by either a stopwatch or radar. Radar guns use 3 different bands, these are X, K, and Ka super wide. There isn't a huge difference in performance of any of these bands, they just use different frequencies. Even with all the new technologies out there, police still tend to rely on their radar guns, they are tried and true. They do have a number of drawbacks, however. The beam emitted from a radar gun spreads rapidly, which means it performs poorly in heavy traffic conditions. There are several other methods of detection the police may use. One of them is a speed trap such as Autovision, VASCAR, DS2 etc. Listed in the last pages, in which a portion of road has been measured or had devices fitted in the tarmac, and when you enter the speed trap, the police start a timer, video or similar... and they can calculate your speed based on how long it takes you to get through the speed trap. These can work very well. There's also photo radar, Gatso which may be built into traffic lights in medium to large size cities. The radar beam will calculate your speed, and snap a picture of your licence plate.. and you'll get a ticket in the mail in 14 days.

Evasion Methods Stay alert!!!!

Speeding requires concentration if you don't want to get caught. Keep your eyes peeled for police cars, as well as unmarked vehicles, Look for Video units, twin rear view mirrors. Slow down in areas where you can't see what's on the hard shoulders. Don't pass other drivers at high speeds. They could be an offduty copper. Slow down when approaching other cars, and pass them at a steady pace. Watch in your rearview mirror, cars you pass should be receding. If they began to pick up pace, slow down.
If there are other cars going by at higher speeds, take advantage of it! Get in behind them with plenty of distance between you and follow for a while at a slightly slower speed. Blend back into the traffic after a period and wait for another to come along. Don't keep up a sustained high speed. This is selfexplanatory. The longer you go at a very high speed, the more likely you are to be caught. Drive a nondescript vehicle. Police are only human! They're more likely to go for that shiny yellow Porsche then a dirty grey Volvo. Avoid sporty cars with bright colours. This doesn't mean you have to drive a crappy car! Just keep it simple, after all everybody hates boy racers.

What is "Reasonable and Prudent?"

There are lots of idiots on the roads who floor the pedal and go shooting by everyone. Not everyone is like this, however. There are plenty of people who drive at a "reasonable and prudent" rate, regardless of the posted limit. It's impossible for a set speed limit to be able to apply to every time of the day and the situation. For example, you're going down a busy city street with the speed limit posted at 30. There are a lot of pedestrians and bicycles, and traffic is busy. It's a situation where going at the posted limit or less is the best option.
How about when you're on a country road with miles of straight stretches and no vehicles as far as eye can see, yet the speed limit is only 60? You will find out that your driving performance and the number of tickets you get in your lifetime depends not on your following of the posted limits, but your ability to judge the situation and drive at a speed fitting for it. Police themselves regularly use common sense for what speed is suitable, which is why they frequently let people get away with highway speeds 10 mph over the limit, as long as the driving situation doesn't make that speed dangerous.

Here's a few tips on how to be reasonable and prudent yourself.

Stay at or under posted limits in the cities. Even late at night with little traffic, stay close to those limits. There is a lot more things that can happen on one of those streets than a major highway.
Stay at the limit the first time you go over a country area road. Once you know the twists and turns and what to expect, then you will be more comfortable going faster, and still be safer then you were the first few times you took that road.
Watch your highway speeds and be alert. Never exceed a speed where you do not feel in control of your car.

Evasion Devices

There are plenty of gadgets out there that claim to help you get away with speeding. Most of them don't work!!! But some do.

GPS Systems The best option for fixed speedtrap warnings. This system knows where you are an compares your position with a built in database, most can be updated via a modem or internet. You get a consistent warning every time.

Gadget for the dashboard... Yes ....Ticket saver ......Yes. (SEE OUR OWN TESTS ON GPS Systems)

Radar Detectors Don't rely on all of these, well not all of them. The better ones such as the Bel 990 and Valentine One can give you a good warning on Gatso's

The way a detector works is it picks up a radar signal that might bounce off another car close to you. Automatic Doors, Traffic lights and Temporary Traffic lights also set off these units along with other innocent devices. If the police target you first, you're caught, because then you have no advance warning to slow down. If you're going to get one, make sure it has VG2 detector detection. A VG2 radar can sense if the targeted vehicle is using a radar detector, and police love to pick on people with one! Learn to understand the unit, they can save you if you think about things, learning about the vocabulary of the burglar alarms, traffic light sensors and all that. If you pay attention even the lower cost units could save you. An important note, Radar Detectors do not work through Heated Windscreens, Nor do they Pick up traps like VASCAR, DS2, Speedmaster and alike, They are only good for RADAR signals.

Gadget for the dashboard... Yes ....Ticket saver ......Yes. (SEE OUR OWN TESTS ON RADAR DETECTORS)

Laser Detectors These are absolutely worthless. There's almost no reflection of a laser beam, so the only way a laser detector will go off is if you're the target, its too late then. They pretty much just tell you that you've been caught. Some manufactures claim 360degree coverage, what about door pillars blocking the laser light etc.

Gadget for the dashboard... Yes ....Ticket saver......No

Radar Jammers These work, well sort of, if you are a distance away from the Speed trap you may have enough strength in your signal to jam the trap, but as you get closer it's another story. Read on.....
There are two different kinds of Jammer, active and passive. Active Jammers are illegal in some countries, they beam back garbage to the radar receiver. A passive jammer is running constantly and basically scrambles the radar signal so the police get either an erroneous reading or no reading.
Be warned, radar guns and Gatso's can punch through most jamming at ranges of 150 feet or less.
I spoke recently to a salesman selling the Rocky Mountain Radar unit called, Sprit II he confirmed that he would not speed past a Gatso with one of these units in his car, he didn't trust it to do th1e job at a distance of less than 150ft. So would you spend £250 notes on it... I think not.

Gadget for the dashboard... Yes ....Ticket saver......Not a chance...

Laser Jammers These use invisible IR. beams that break up the laser beam by interfering with the frequencies that the beam uses. They reduce the likelihood of a laser locking onto you by a pretty large margin. Most of the systems sold at the moment give you a warning that the jammer is working while it blocks the signal, some models give only 5 seconds to slow, others like the Blinder jam for as long as a laser is fired at them, giving plenty of time to slow down.

Gadget for the dashboard... Yes ....Ticket saver ......Yes.

GATSO Proof ' Number Plate Protectors. Well some work well and some don't, There are several types on the market.. the Flash buster Type which has a highly reflective backing and letters that have the same reflective properties as the back don't work well, if at all. I have heard that the police can still read the letters and numbers, this is not totally confirmed though, but at between £50 & £80 for the plates I would want a guarantee that they worked.
Another type is from 'ON TRACK', they seam to work in the following way, Photo radar operates at known angles to the direction of traffic flow. Using a passive, stateoftheart lightbending lens, the camera is unable to identify your vehicle because of the angle of the plate in relation to the Gatso. A 5minute installation is all that is required and at less than £40 it could be a good buy. I have tried one and yes they do work.
Are they legal? Well, that's a bit of a grey area, the number plate is still completely readable from straight on, but you could get prosecuted for Perverting the Course of Justice, so one officer told me. They also have the technology to process the picture to get the VRN information if needed, but we could not see how, see the Equipment Test Page for more info.

Gadget for defence... Yes/no... Ticket saver..... Yes / Possibly

Final Word from a Traffic Officer.

I Have been reading your site and cant resist having a little chuckle at the comments on your "Avoid that ticket" page.

"Police officers also read this page and know most if not all the dodges"

I would make a personal comment that it matters not if people contest the speed at the scene, it happens all of the time. If the equipment has been tested properly then there should be no problem.

More often if a speed is contested and the defence requests an expert witness then they will end up paying the bill if found guilty. This is what happened in the case of the individual who ended up with legal expenses totaling £15.000 contesting the accuracy of the LTI 2020 in 1999.

Remember your chances of being found not guilty at Court are very very slim.

If you genuinely believe that you are innocent, then please fight it, but if not be warned that it can cost you dear. I would add that I believe that police officers should use the equipment properly because motorists are NOT criminals they are in most cases decent people who have infringed Traffic Law.

If you state that you checked your speedometer and it did not say the same as the speed detection it matters not because the defence can only challenge the operation and accuracy of the device being used. There is no obligation for the police officer to show the recorded speed, because in the case of a follow check that would not be possible and in any event the officers will not reveal when a device was last calibrated other than in Court.

I accept that we do show the speed recorded as a matter of best practice and in cross examination this can be confirmed with the defence as this will strengthen the prosecution case as to being open and honest. Not all a one way street when it comes to tactics? As for trying to get the officer to let you off a speed, it will most likely fail, if you are stopped you will almost certainly receive a ticket or a summons and any admission that perhaps your attention wandered might leave you open to a more serious offence, perhaps Driving Without Due Care and Attention?

I guess we might be impressed with a really original excuse but you'll have to be good as we've heard just about every combination going and in most languages including sign, repeatable and otherwise. I would say that when someone becomes abusive a professional officer will not react other than remain calm and deal with the individual as he should.

At the end of the day just being really honest might just do the trick because then no one feels insulted or undermined, not the police officer because he knows and not the driver because he knows. A very remote possibility but its human nature and there are no hard and fast rules.

Whatever peoples views are, unless drivers and riders take a slightly different approach to speed then the chances of losing your licence will increase as the speed limits decrease, it is already happening.

Name supplied.



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