The Best Things to Say if You’re Pulled Over
You’re driving down the road and get that sinking feeling. The twirling lights of a police car are flashing in your mirror. You pull over. He gets out of the car and approaches. This is it, the moment of truth. What you say and do may determine if you get a citation or get off with a warning!
Here are some helpful tips for when you get pulled over:
1. It’s likely that 99% of the time the officer will ask if you know why he pulled you over. The best answer is short and simple: “I honestly don’t officer, what did I do?” Obviously, this won’t work if you’ve knowingly blown past a stop sign or going 35 miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone. In those cases, the best answer would be, “I think I have a pretty good idea, officer, and I’m sorry.”
2. “Well, officer, I wish I had an excuse, but I don’t. I was just preoccupied and didn’t realize that I was moving so fast.” You might also throw in something like “I’m on my way to a very important appointment with a client and my anxiety got the best of me.” Now, who’s going to write you a ticket when you’re nice, polite, respectful and admit that you’re wrong. Attributes such as, courtesy and accountability will go a long way with most law enforcement officers.
4. “Officer, would it be possible to use your radar gun to do a calibration test on my speedometer? it was reading 38 mph, not 41 mph, and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Sure, this is going to backfire when it turns out that your speedometer is 100% accurate, but it might buy you the benefit of a doubt!
5. You could try something like, “I’m in a hurry and under a great deal of stress.” And then explain your situation for some sympathy.
The bottom line is, police officers are human and they deserve respect. As an authority figure, an officer may feel resentful if he or she sense a hostile attitude on your part. When you’ve been caught speeding or guilty of a traffic violation, it’s not just the words you use but the attitude you convey. There’s an old saying “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” Likewise, you can save a lot of money in traffic fines when being nice!