Traffic Violation:

When You See the Flashing Lights

Dealing with a traffic ticket can be inconvenient and expensive. There are some simple steps that you can take, as soon as you are pulled over, that will reduce the likelihood of getting a ticket and strengthen your position, should you need to contest a ticket in court.

As soon as you see the flashing lights of a police vehicle or hear the sirens, you should pull over to the right, as quickly but safely as possible; be sure to use your turning signal. Keep in mind that the officer, who is only human, may be annoyed or angry, so do your best in the way that you drive not to create any further sources of aggravation. For example, while you want to pull over quickly, you don’t want to become a danger to the police officer or other drivers by slamming on your brakes. Also, you want to be sure to pull over as far as you can to the right, giving the officer sufficient room to approach your window. Officers are far more likely to be understanding and open to leniency if they don’t need to fear for their lives every time a car passes in the right lane.

An additional benefit of stopping quickly is that it will give you a better idea of the exact location the officer claims the violation took place. If you do receive a ticket and decide to challenge it in court, it is advisable to return to the scene of the alleged violation to ensure any and all of the officer’s claims are valid (where he was, how he judged your speed, and any other details).