How To Avoid Speed Traps, And Not Get Pulled Over For Speeding

Published 10/30/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Over the years I've spent way too much money paying speeding tickets and appearing in traffic court to contest routine moving violations. Despite my recent out of state $1,000 speeding ticket, my in-state traffic record continues to indicate zero points and ironically, my auto insurance premium even recently went down. Due to the nonuniform enforcement of out of state traffic violations, I've been lucky so far in terms of my insurance premium not going up, but eventually my luck might run out. As someone who preaches the wisdom of frugality, I have to include speeding tickets and moving violation penalties such as reckless driving, improper lane changes, and running red lights, as examples of frivolous and terribly unnecessary expenses that ought to be prevented.

Speeding tickets are a complete waste of your hard earned money. The best way to avoid having to pay the high price of an expensive speeding ticket is to avoid getting a speeding ticket to begin with. Obviously, the no-brainer way to avoid getting one is to simply not speed. But if you're like the majority of people who safely travel above the limit on occasion, here are strategies I've learned to adopt that help to minimize the chances of being pulled over by the police for speeding or getting nailed at a speed trap.

Tips On How To Avoid Getting Busted By Traps and Cops

1) Don't Speed - This one is obvious. If you don't speed, you have nothing to fear. Unless you are a baby boomer over the age of 65 though, chances are you will likely speed, so this advice is probably not practical.

2) Know the Speed Limits and Where Popular Speed Traps Are - I frequently travel through certain interstate highways where police cruisers and speed traps are plentiful. I've learned to slow down more when I approach these danger areas. The police have certain areas they like to patrol. Beware of their favorite speed trap locations - less congested down hill slopes are their favorite areas, particularly ones that follow a long uphill climb. They like to wait at the bottom of the long hill with their radar detector guns and clock you as you appear at the top of the hill crest.

3) Don't Rely On a Radar Detector Or Jammer - In my opinion, radar detectors are absolutely useless and a complete waste of money. I've sat in my friend's car armed with a radar detector only to have it go off randomly every few minutes whenever it detects stray signals, like the signal given off by automatic doors at grocery stores. Pretty much everything sets them off and their warnings are unreliable. Even if it detects a positive signal, most likely it's already too late because the officer has already gotten a positive lock on you. Jammers are illegal in most jurisdictions so you should not own one to begin with.

4) Behave Like Fish - This is my most valuable advice. Fish swim in large schools because there is great security in numbers - you should adopt their strategy. The more cars are around you the less chance you will be targeted by the police and they are likely to go after someone else. If you find yourself driving alone or as the lead car, be very careful because you are now a prime target. Always try to stay behind a faster driver or around drivers traveling at similar speeds.

5) Avoid the Fast Lane - It's not referred to as the fast lane for nothing. The left lane is the passing lane and where police frequently focus their speed trap efforts. Try to avoid driving on the passing lane for extended periods, unless you are following a faster car.

6) Piggy Back Frequently - The lead car is the one in most danger of getting clocked by police waiting at a speed trap. Always try to make sure there is someone in front of you to take the brunt.

7) Be Very Aware of Your Surroundings - When I drive, I always try to be aware of what is going on around me. I scan far ahead and in my rear view mirror for patrol cars. I try to follow the stream of traffic and avoid standing out from the pack in terms of speed.

8) Recognize What a Police Patrol Cruiser Looks Like - Police cars come in different colors but they are usually the classic Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor model shown above. They are pretty easy to recognize due to their distinguishable front grill. Police cruisers also usually have a red and blue siren light mount on the top with numerous antennas sticking out in the back. They also rarely have things dangling on their rear view mirrors. If you see a car with one of those fuzzy dice decorations, chances are he or she isn't a cop.

Good luck and drive safe!

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10 Responses to “How To Avoid Speed Traps, And Not Get Pulled Over For Speeding” 

  1. Joseph says:

    New York is unique in that it does not report violations occured in NY to other States. (It also doesn't point penalize NY drivers with NY licenses for out-of-state violations.)

    Michigan is the only other State like NY.

  2. Raymond says:

    Most states, including New York participate in the Driver License Compact (DLC) that is supposed to ensure uniformity of traffic violations across state lines.

    However, my state of Maryland only applies the DLC for out of state points involving major violations. I exceeded the highway speed limit by over 30 mph, but I guess the officer didn't consider it a major violation because there was no one else on the highway at the time. I still speed, but not that fast anymore.

  3. CarFan says:

    Thanks for these great tips. I really like the behave like a fish one. Considering the risk and possible the cost in tickets or insurance premium going up and considering you don't usually gain any time especially in urban condition, speeding isn't really worth it. But most people will especially on highway and during long trips, so these are great tips to follow.

  4. Steve says:

    If you do see a cop ahead its just rite that u pump ur brakes so cars behind you can see brite lights flashing!

  5. dave says:

    In m country whenever a driver spots a cop will fush the headlights for the next 3 miles to let the upcomming drivers of the trap.
    start it here in the states, it works great

  6. Raymond says:

    Dave,

    I do that sometimes. When I zoom past a speed trap successfully, I oftentimes will flicker my high beam lamps to warn oncoming cars on the other side of the road.

    I've heard that you aren't permitted to set up home made signs warning others about speed traps however. There's been at least one story out there of people getting arrested for alleged obstruction of justice for doing just that. Apparently such altruistic actions to help other drivers get out of a potential speeding ticket is not permissible by legal standards.

    But flickering the high beams should be all right though.

  7. Grace says:

    Police cars are very easy to spot. If you want to prevent yourself from getting busted at a speed trap, simply learn to scan the horizon as you drive. Of course, don't forget to watch the car in front of you as well. Definitely learn to recognize what police cars and their Crown Vics look like from afar. Slow down when you see one approaching and learn to recognize when they are scouting you out and trying to match your speed.

    The best advice offered up by the blogger is to drive like you would if you were a fish. Stay amongst other cars and be extra vigilant if you find yourself driving alone without other fellow cars, trucks, and SUV's as cover. It's sort of like that Omaha beach D-Day storming scene in the World War 2 movie - Saving Private Ryan. If you are the only one emerging, you become a prime target for easy pickings by the cops. But if you are one of numerous soldiers, chances are higher that you will be able to avoid the watchful gaze of our men in blue.

    Know your surroundings as you drive - and avoiding speeding tickets and speed traps ought to be a piece of cake. I've never had to pay a speeding ticket ever!

  8. Police Office Mike says:

    I always view these types of blog posts with some amusement. The best way to avoid speeding tickets or to avoid getting caught with one of our speed traps is to simply not speed to begin with. Driving at a high rate of speed is not only illegal, but it's detrimental to the safety and health of others and yourself. You put yourself in jeopardy everytime you decide to stray even 10 mph above posted limits. Stay within properly displayed speed limits and you'll be able to keep yourself away from my watchful laser gun and my ticket book.

    Hopefully I won't be seeing any of you out there on the roads. And don't even try using radar jammers (highly illegal) or radar scanners. They don't work as well as advertised and are a complete waste of money. Besides, in many state and local jurisdictions, they are also highly illegal and will be confiscated on the spot if discovered. Plus you may also be slapped with heavy fines and penalties if they are found on your dash board.

    You can try to recognize our police cruisers on approach, but understand that we are trained to spot cars from afar. We have a disciplined knack for sneaking up on you...so simply don't speed and you'll have nothing to fear from cop cars and even stationary high speed cameras.

  9. Will College Student says:

    LOL, Police Officer Mike:

    You are probably right. But let me tell you something that you don't understand as a cop. The true reason for people not to speed is for their safety. The true reason for cops hiding at somewhere and jump out all of a suddent and give out tickets is for our safety too, AND MONEY!

    I know everyone has a quota and it irritates me this year that when the police department isn't make as much as they are supposed to be, their simply make this up by giving out more tickets. Some cops are just arrogant dicks who enjoy giving out tickets. Most cops are not that educated. They may appear to be, but hello, besides those tedious regulations and patrol routine, what do they do? They are getting a decent income because they are putting their lives in danger, that's why. Some of them hate people who are better than them at school or something but can't do anything to them in real life, so they became cops to feel empowered and in control. I do respect some of them though, don't get me wrong. But my point is just some regulations are simply not practical. I am not a cynical person but in this case, I have to say everyone is innocent if he or she doesn't get caught. There are always ways to get it around. Trapster is something my fellow drivers should look at for your mobile device. When you cops or gov invent something, there will ALWAYS be something to counter against it. Because the People are the real Geniuses.

    And hey, Mike, "but understand that we are trained to spot cars from afar. " We are experienced drivers too. and "so simply don't speed and you'll have nothing to fear from cop cars and even stationary high speed cameras."

    Fear? lol, that's what should be called "amusement"

    Peace out.

    P.S. Ford Crown Victoria is perhaps the most popular cop car model.
    But guys, be cautious of BLACK, OR DARK BLUE DODGE CHARGER TOO!!!
    I saw one of those squeezed in front of me and pulled over the guy. So just be careful.

  10. mohammed says:

    My theory says that cops and law enforcement do not give a damn about our safety. They only want to make profit from us by issuing pricey tickets. The facts that these cops are always using traps and hiding behind bushes is enough indication of that, drivers cannot see them so we will speed. If they are in the open, then we will definitely slow down and obey the law more. I definitely have no respect to these law enforcement people and the system overall.

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