Alright, many of you are probably thinking that this article should really only be about two words long. And the truth is that, to some extent, the best advice for not getting a speeding ticket can be boiled down to, “Don’t speed.” But we live in the real world, not in a fantasy land where everyone drives exactly the speed limit in affordable flying cars on their way back to from the Money Tree to beautiful mansions. The real world has problems. The real world has lawbreakers. And the real world has speed.
Who among us does not treat five-over as the unofficial speed limit? OK, many of us don’t, and I’m sure plenty of people reading this are perfect rule followers, and, if so, you don’t have to read this article. In fact, go ahead and log off the neighborhood and go drive 45 in a 45 on the dot without ever going higher to your heart’s content.
But for everyone else – those imperfect drivers – here a few practical, easy-to-remember tips for avoiding speeding tickets, which don’t involve developing a sixth sense for the presence of law enforcement.
#1 – Watch Out for Speed Traps
We’ve all seen them on road trips: Those little towns, often with only one red light, where the speed limit drops rapidly from 60 to 40 to 30 m.p.h. and before you know it you are doing 15 over without even thinking about it. Be cognizant of these speed traps; yes, those small towns need their revenue, but you don’t have to be the one to furnish it. If you see a sign that says “reduced speed ahead,” go ahead and let your foot off the gas. And if someone starts tailgating you, don’t let them pressure you into getting busted for speeding. Remember, you’ll have to pay that ticket, not them, and law enforcement only cares that they catch speeders and keep people safe; they don’t share your antipathy for the person behind you.
#2 – Trust Your Gut
If the pace of traffic slows all around you and you start to get the sense that this is an area where people drive slowly and carefully, do as the Romans do and slow on down. In some areas, five miles an hour over the speed limit will get you pulled over and ticketed. It is a violation of the law, after all. So, if you start to get the sense that everyone around you is slowing way down, think about why that might be the case and follow their lead; you don’t want to be the odd one out who gets a ticket because you didn’t follow the cues.
#3 – Don’t Be In Such a Rush
The most important factor in whether you get someplace you want to go in a reasonable time is whether traffic is congested or there is a detour. That’s in. Excess speed will only marginally decrease your total journey time. Rather than speeding and breaking the law, plan your trip carefully, check traffic updates, and familiarize yourself with local traffic patterns if possible. If you’re on a long trip, use a traffic mapping app with real-time traffic updates so you can dodge the worst of it.
Driving carefully and safely and diligently preparing for your trip will put you in a better position to arrive safely and on time than speeding ever will. So, ease off the gas a bit and plan to leave just a little bit earlier and research your route a little bit more. You’ll avoid speeding tickets, and after saving on the cost of a ticket and increased auto insurance, your wallet will thank you.