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A quick check of the rearview mirror and all you see are flashing lights. Oh it goes.....Your heart races and sweat forms on your brow as the realization sinks in. You were speeding and this time it could be expensive. Just as your foot reaches for the brake pedal, the police officer pulls out and accelerates past. His target is someone else today, but next time it could be you. AND this will increase you Insurance rates after 2 tickets. Think careful...there is no rush. But here are a few ideas.

We all have faced this situation at least once in our lifetime. Convinced we are not at fault, the relief of not being pulled over is as equally heart stopping as the realization we were guilty. Here are several tips to help you stay on the good side of the law.

  1. How fast is too fast? Generally speaking, police officer's will allow between 9 and 15 km's over the posted speed limit. Anything above this and you are at the mercy of the local or provincial police department. Insurance rates also soar for any speeding violation 20 km's over the limit.

  2. Drive appropriate for each situation. If you are in a 20 km/h school zone, limit your speed to what is posted. When it comes to areas where children may be playing or crossing on a regular basis, the police have no reason to be tolerant of speeders. If your child was crossing the street and someone decided to speed through the area, how lenient would you be?

  3. Traffic flow is important, so try not to stand out from the crowd. Use cruise control when driving on the highway. By maintaining a level speed, even if it slightly exceeds the posted limit, police are less likely to notice your vehicle. Keep pace with other vehicles around you. If someone is riding your tail and wants to pass, let them go. Never be the quickest person on the road. Let that dubious privilege fall to someone else. In addition to maintaining a steady speed, fuel savings provided by cruise control can be substantial.

  4. Watch your surroundings and oncoming traffic for signs of police activity. Back in the day, it was common for drivers to signal approaching traffic of potential roadblocks and speed traps by flashing their headlights. Today, most drivers are content to let others take the fall instead. Something about morbid curiosity I guess. That said, a small number of driver's will flash their headlights to warn you, so take note and maintain the appropriate speed when this happens.
  5. Learn where police choose to lie in wait on well travelled routes. Be alert as patterns will develop based on traffic flow, speed limit changes, etc. Favorite places include overpasses, "emergency vehicle only" crossroads and on-ramps to the highway. Pay attention as you drive back and forth to work on a daily basis and watch your speed closely.

  6. In almost all of Canada, radar detectors are illegal. Transport truck drivers employ CB communication to learn where speed traps are. Following behind a truck at a safe distance is a less costly way to achieve similar results to a radar detector.

  7. When a police officer pulls you over, they generally have three options available; offer a warning, write a ticket or arrest you. Option number three is something you definitely want to avoid.

If you are stopped by the police, pulling off to the side safely and as soon as possible are sure ways to let the officer know you respect their authority. Pretending you didn't notice them in your rearview mirror and extending the "chase" is never a good idea. Provide enough space for the police officer to approach your vehicle without the need for concern of oncoming traffic. Turn on your four-way flashers as a further means of creating a safe environment.

Relax and allow time for the officer to approach your vehicle. They may be checking your license plate, so don't make any sudden or strange moves by trying to locate your insurance and registration. Roll down your window and remove any sunglasses you may be wearing. Rest your hands on the steering wheel where they are easily seen. You may be surprised at the reaction you receive.

When addressing the officer, be polite and have your information close at hand. At night, turn on your interior lights as proof you have nothing to hide. Be honest. If the officer asks do you know why you are being pulled over, tell them yes, you were speeding. Whether it means the difference between getting a ticket or not is entirely up to them.

If you spend enough time driving a vehicle, a speeding ticket is probably in your future. Drive smart and be respectful of local authorities as they are simply trying to provide a safe environment in which to drive. Not speeding is the still the best way to avoid a costly ticket and above all, drive safe!

RIBO JD Smith & Associates Insurance Brokers Inc.
105 West Beaver Creek Rd.
Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 1C6
Tel: 905-764-7868
Fax: 905-764-9618
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