Monday, September 12, 2011

New York playing big silent type

Out of State Tickets

An attorney says a Floridian driving in New York will not have a ticket reported to her home state. He may be right. But New York would report more serious offenses (DUI) to Florida.

Generally, though, most states report traffic violations to the home state under the Driver License Compact.. There's a catchy motto: "One Driver, One License, One Record."

Noise Ticket

One poster on Yahoo Answers thinks he can beat his noise ticket because the officer didn't have any measuring equipment. This guy should read the ordinance.

But it's likely the judge is going to rate the officer's testimony as expert opinion. Wish cops wrote more noise tickets in my town.

---brought to you by How to Beat a Traffic Ticket


Monday, September 5, 2011

Can you print 93,750 traffic tickets?

One Georgia police department has a request for bids on 93,750 traffic tickets. Not 93,751 or 95,000 or (heaven forbid, fewer doughnuts) 100,000.

If you're in the traffic ticket printing business, check it out. If you're pitching electronic tickets, these folks aren't a good prospect.

~ ~ ~

New Hampshire is moving to requiring a pretrial conference with a prosecutor before you can get a traffic ticket trial.  Partially deployed now, the new policy will go statewide by the end of the year.

If you're looking for a deal, this is good news.

If you think you're not guilty, be careful what you say to the prosecutor--he's not your friend. Don't admit you did anything wrong.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Town cuts traffic tickets 84%

Fewer tickets, less accidents

A Northern California city reduced issuing traffic tickets by 84%--and accidents fell 7%.

Rather than concentrating on issuing tickets, the police chief wants his officers to focus on long term solutions. If collisions are an issue at this location, what can we do about that? A median? A signal? Solving problems, he argues, is more important than writing tickets.

A not so good excuse

Another excuse that didn't work. A teenager tried to convince the officer she was pregnant and needed to get to the hospital right now. After she was arrested for obstruction of justice, the baby turned out to be a wool sweater.

A doctor told a motorcycle cop of my acquaintance pretty much the same thing. He was speeding because he was needed at the hospital for an urgent operation. "Go! Go!" the cop urged him. The motorcycle followed the doctor. They were in the hospital elevator before the doc gave it up. The officer walked back outside with him and wrote the citation.

Double jeopardy?

Interesting question on Yahoo Answers. He gets a ticket for tinted windshield and pays it. Does the double jeopardy clause of the US Constitution protect him from getting such a ticket again?

No--the next ticket would be for a separate offense. (The clause protects against being prosecuted twice for the same crime ("fact pattern")--not for breaking the same law twice.) But it's good that somebody's reading the Constitution and thinking about it.


The officer was about to write a simple traffic ticket when the 14 years old passenger piped up the driver had raped her. Things got a little more complicated after that.

Houston has reportedly joined Los Angeles in kicking out red light ticket cameras.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't try this at home

Not a good way to get out of a ticket

Officers often don't ticket other officers.

The key part to this strategy is you have to really be a cop. One woman allegedly claimed to be, though she refused to show department ID and couldn't decide whether she worked for the local PD or the CIA.

She got her ticket--along with being arrested for impersonating a police officer.

Weird Ticket?

Kuwait denies reports one of its police officer issued a ticket for bad breath and impounded the car for 2 months.

The driver is said to have agreed with the officer about the breath. (Never confess if you want to go to court later.)

One strike--you're out

Driving past a school bus with flashing red lights will get you more than a ticket in Oklahoma. They'll suspend your license. If you're smoking too in a school zone, they'll probably shoot you.


Friday, August 19, 2011

It's back ...............

The fake "you got a ticket in New York" email we first reported July 8 is apparently making the rounds again.

Even the Wall Street Journal ran a story.

Key advice: don't download the ticket.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Be careful out there.

Two goals in a traffic stop

Be very careful around police officers. Most are good people. But in 2006, three Portland, Oregon cops allegedly beat a man to death (his ribs were broken in 27 places.) Nobody lost his job over the "incident."

This July in Fullerton, California, six officers reportedly did the same thing. It took almost a month for the department to put the cops involved on administrative leave. As the father of the Fullerton victim noted, if I'd killed a man like that, I'd be so far behind bars, you couldn't find me.

In 2010, the US Department of Justice brought 52 criminal civil rights cases against cops--the most in the ten years they've been keeping track.

You have 2 goals in a traffic stop:

(1) not saying anything the officer can use against you in court

(2) getting away (alive) as quickly as possible.

It's not who you know--it's who you are

Glancing out the window of a New York restaurant, singer Aretha Franklin noticed her car being given a parking ticket. Rushing out, she was able to trade a song (and autographed envelope) for no ticket.

In New Jersey, TV star Mike Sorrentino (Jersey Shore) got out of a ticket after giving the cop an autograph. The officer may face discipline for letting Sorrentino go.

You think you've got problems?

One woman has a 30 years old phone number. Then the courthouse added a phone number--one digit off from hers. She's fielding hundreds of misdialed calls. When she put a message on the answering machine saying she's not the court, people left messages anyway.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't wait until you see the judge

Hit 'em with a subpoena

See the officer's paperwork for the first time in court, this attorney apparently suggests. Maybe that works for someone with his experience. But you don't have that. You're going to need time to examine and evaluate. The judge, with a packed courtroom, isn't going to give you many seconds.

The better way: get a subpoena duces tecum served on the custodian of records for whatever paperwork or video you're looking for. Do this long before trial. Check with the clerk's office for the form and local rules.

Tearing up the ticket didn't work

Guy is idling his car on the street in front of his house. Court writes him a ticket.

Guy tears the ticket up and throws it at the officer
. Cop arrests the guy.

On what charge is uncertain. While technically throwing the paper at the officer is an assault and battery, it seems sort of wussy for the officer to pursue it. (You can imagine his sergeant asking, "Gee, you had confetti coming at you. Why didn't you shoot him?")

At this point, the family piles out of the house and attacks the officer, Mom jumping onto his back.

What happened to the cop saying "Have a nice day" and driving away?

Can you beat this? She's gotten 45 tickets.

A Pennsylvania woman was pulled over for allegedly passing a school bus. The officer determined she was driving on a license suspended 5 years ago and had 45 outstanding traffic tickets. She received 30 days jail time.

-----the right way to beat a traffic ticket. Only 99 cents!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Cops have problems too

New York City is keeping a closer eye on how its officers perform in court. The city is in the midst of a scandal that suggests officers fixed tickets by not showing up in court or by performing poorly in the courtroom.

10 more cops in Los Angeles sue the department, alleging quotas. Could they be inspired by the two of their brethren who earlier won $2 million from the city on this charge?

---99 cents ebook and freearticles


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Huge city kills red light cameras

Red Light Cameras Gone

The second largest city in the US, Los Angeles, votes to remove red light cameras. Contrary to claims the system generated revenue, officials found the cameras were a net loss to the city.

Odd Traffic Stops

A woman in California got a ticket for wearing sunglasses. The officer thought they impaired her peripheral vision.

A Virginia woman gets a ticket and then runs over the cop's foot. Though injured, the officer manages to flag her down a second time. The driver is taken to jail.

Appealing is technical

A Pennsylvania driver appealed his conviction for possessing what the appellate court termed "prohibited vegetation."

But that court couldn't address any of his 12 points because he had failed to include "the transcript of the de novo hearing." Many legal rules are ignored at a traffic ticket trial. Not so when you appeal.

Traffic amnesty

Ticket amnesty for 6 months in the District of Columbia. If you got it before January 1, 2010, you can take care of it now without the late fees. Their last amnesty was 10 years ago.

---Check out inexpensive ebooks on how to beat a traffic ticket and free articles.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Red Light Lotto

A new law in Arizona reportedly changes the wording on red light photo tickets to say you don't need to respond. This kind of dings the safety argument.

Now it's just a lottery to see how people will write a check (make a donation?) without reading the notice.

9 Months

It takes 9 months to fight a traffic ticket in Los Angeles. With upcoming budget cuts, it will take even longer.


You can't text while driving in Wisconsin, as of last December.

Can a card save you from a ticket?

Get a PBA card and you'll never get a ticket, this web site says. Supposedly this is a card from the police union handed out to families and friends. Reportedly, a cop is less likely to write a ticket to a family member or friend of a fellow officer.

My friend Bill didn't get the memo. He pulls over a car and a cop flashes his badge through the window. Bill tells him to roll down the window. Cop doesn't. Bill goes back to his motorcycle and gets one of those really long flashlights. Bang. No more window.

(The driver complained. The driver's sergeant told him he should have lowered the window.)

Some people can't take a joke

Creative financing hasn't hit the courts. A Mississippi man gets a speeding ticket. Judge tells him it's $171.50, you've got 60 days to pay. About a week later, allegedly, the court receives a promissory note for $175 redeemable at the US Treasury.

In my court, we would have laughed and filed it. Instead, he's under indictment in federal court--$25,000 bail and a possible 55 years prison sentence.


Monday, July 18, 2011

DMVs using facial recognition software

At least 34 states use facial recognition software. This scans drivers license photos looking for duplicates and possible terrorists.

The problem, as one Massachusetts man discovered, is false positives. The computer thought he looked liked somebody else. Without any hearing or fact finding, the Registry of Motor Vehicles revoked his license. Ten days of fighting later, he's OK to drive again. (Law suiting pending.)

No matter where you get a ticket in South Carolina, you can pay it in one place. The state site now takes those payments.

When you're carrying drugs, drive carefully. A woman, stopped for weaving in traffic, was subsequently arrested when 2 syringes (one in plain sight) and a baggie of heroin were allegedly discovered.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't tear up that traffic ticket--just wait till it expires (?)

What not to do after getting tickets--one guy got several tickets. As he drove off, he tossed the traffic tickets out the window. Ignoring the First Amendment protected speech implications, the cop pulled him over again and wrote a fourth ticket--for littering.

An Oklahoma legislator is promoting a bill which would put a 5 year limit on traffic tickets. If the driver avoids getting pulled over for that time (and going to jail for the warrant), the ticket would go away.

--Ebook on how to beat a traffic ticket and free articles here

Image courtesy of EA

Friday, July 8, 2011

Marshal selling 1/2 price tickets?

One Connecticut marshal allegedly approached defendants and offered to "fix" their tickets at half price, cash. When given the money, he pleaded "nolle" for them.

Since prosecutors claim he pocketed the cash and pleading nolo contendre doesn't normally make the fine go away, it's unclear what happened to the cases. The marshal's attorney intends to contest the charges.

If you get an email from New York saying here's a traffic ticket, delete it. The state troopers say they don't send you traffic tickets electronically. Their lab is analyzing the ticket the email wants you to download.

---how to fight a traffic ticket, step by step: ebook and free articles

Image courtesy of nixxphotography

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cops tackle man trying to turn off stove

An Ontario, Canada man says he asked the officer writing the ticket to follow him the short distance home so he could turn off a boiling pot on the stove. He also wanted to check on his severely disabled daughter. The cop refused.

When the man drove home anyway, the police allegedly tackled the 68 year old on his front lawn. (Then an officer went inside to turn off the stove.)

They take their law enforcement seriously up north. Though it was never like that on Due South.

In California, drivers by themselves in hydrid cars have been allowed to use the carpool lane for 7 years. That ended on July 1.

A West Palm Beach police chief and a Palm Beach sheriff commander are under investigaton for canceling traffic tickets. Reportedly, only the issuing
officer can do that in Florida.

Hale Center, Texas is looking to round up almost $100,000 in unpaid tickets, some 5 years old. The cops are knocking on doors. Windcrest, 450 miles to the south, is doing much the same thing.

What's the most common traffic violation? Speeding? Red light? Police in Ohio Valley say in their neck of the woods it's driving without a license.

Cities sure need money. In one Tennessee town, the collection agency for unpaid traffic tickets supposedly got the wrong file. 4,000 people who'd already paid up got collection notices.

---Ebook and free articles about fighting traffic ticket

Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old warrants return to haunt drivers

One guy had a cracked windshield ticket in 1982. Claims he paid it. 29 years later he gets pulled over and told he has a warrant. The court claims he never took care of it. Save those receipts!

This problem could become more common. St. George, Missouri reactivated traffic warrants from as far back as 2003, apparently trying to make some money. The current city administration is re-thinking the move.

Warning drivers without issuing tickets in order to educate them has become a formal program in Benicia, California (population 27,000) for minor offenses. The warning is noted in the computer, though. So next time you get pulled over for a similar offense, good luck.

Some Texas homes are getting calls saying you must pay this red light ticket now, over the phone, or a warrant will be issued for your arrest. What's your credit card number? The caller claims he's from the Department of Public Safety. Three problems: DPS doesn't collect traffic fines, supervise red light cameras or issue warrants.

Texting or emailing while driving becomes illegal in Indiana July 1, 2011. That includes both sending and reading.

---How to Beat a Traffic Ticket

Image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Florida city refunds red light camera fines

Pembroke Pines, Florida jumped into the red light traffic camera business a little early--before state law authorized participation. So they're refunding about 3,000 fines for tickets issued prior to July 1, 2010. Lest you think the city thought of this on its own, the refunds are the result of a lawsuit. The city admits no fault.

The Los Angeles City Council put off re-authorizing red light ticket cameras. Concerns that the program (sold as a moneymaker) actually costs the city are being weighed against an apparent reduction in accidents. One council member says there is no enforcement mechanism. He apparently believes the court cannot issue a warrant if you fail to pay the ticket received in the mail.

The city of Windcrest, Texas (population 5,600) is getting serious about warrants. They've got a little over 9,000 open cases from the last 11 years. On the last Monday and Tuesday of June, they're sending 8 officers out to homes, offices and schools to click and book. If the arrestee can't make bail (at $200 per violation), it's off to the county jail. (By the way, all cattle brand registrations in the county expire August 30 so be sure and get those taken care of.)

A police chief has been charged with receiving extra, unearned money for his Pennsylvania department. He allegedly filed inflated overtime and traffic ticket figures.. (It is unclear whether he is still in that position.)

---the essential guide to fighting traffic tickets is available here

Image courtesy of scottchan

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cop GETS ticket. What's the world coming to???

Yes, police officers do get tickets (sometimes). One officer totaled his police cruiser while making an improper U-turn. He was cited. No word on whether the guy he was chasing got away or not.

In one Georgia county traffic tickets issued are down 27% due to budget constraints.

More ways not to get out of a ticket:
  • pretending you're a police officer and trying to get the ticket waived.

  • using your brother's ID
  • Each charge on a Tennessee ticket will cost you $13.75 extra if you pay before the appearance date.

    Is all your traffic citation money going to a good cause? Maybe. A Georgia courthouse noticed some of that money was missing. They suspect a (now former) employee with 24 years on the job. No charges have been filed.

    ---How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide
    Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download

    Image courtesy of akeeris

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    100,000 tickets found & California changes traffic school

    We reported June 2 that Greenburgh, NY is unearthing tickets from as far back as 2000 and charging people.

    We didn't report that they'd reportedly discovered 100,000 misplaced tickets because we didn't believe it. But here's another report that says, indeed, the court found that many tickets "crammed into cabinets and buried in corners".

    This town of 86,764 was apparently losing almost 25 tickets a day for 11 years. Surely somebody in all that time came in, wondering what happened to their ticket?

    Traffic school in California will no longer keep a point off your DMV record as of July 1. The ticket will still be hidden from insurance. Ouch.

    Apple no longer accepts DUI checkpoint apps for sale on its Iphone. It's hard to believe that someone checks his Iphone for DUI spots before choosing where to drink. Or that afterwards, she's sharp enough to review the DUI app.

    ---brought to you by How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide
    Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download

    Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Cop writes ticket, then asks for date

    A little extra with your traffic ticket? One Indiana woman got a speeding ticket--with the officer's phone number on the back. He allegedly asked for a date. The officer has since retired,
    amidst an investigation. Hopefully he's working on his timing.

    Get a ticket in California--and you contribute to a slew of state causes. In the last 2 years, legislators have tacked on fees. So you're not only paying your traffic citation--you're kicking in for a state conviction fee, new courthouse construction, and emergency air transport services. The legislature is thinking of adding spinal cord injury research and DNA identification.

    Right, right--traffic tickets are about deterrence. Not revenue. Sure.

    New York drivers will now get 2 points if convicted of using a cell phone while driving. Previously the charge reportedly involved a fine but no points.

    Image courtesy of Idea go

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Florida judge: red light tickets unconstitutional

    One judge in Florida rules red light tickets written by police are unconstitutional.

    His reasoning is that the difference in fines between red light camera tickets and red light cop tickets violates the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.

    This almost certainly exceeds the federal Supreme Court's understanding of the Clause. The state is planning to appeal the judge's ruling.

    Still, he's going to be a really popular judge for a while.

    ---In case you get a different judge: How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide
    Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download

    Image courtesy of digitalart

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Officer writes 10 year old a ticket

    A Texas cop wrote a traffic ticket to a 10 year old boy for improperly wearing a seat belt. The 4th grader told a reporter he was scared. Reportedly, Texas law says you have to be 15 to get a traffic ticket.

    The assistant chief of the police department is reviewing the matter. Yeah, why wasn't the kid arrested?

    Update: The officer later wimped out and asked the court to dismiss the little lawbreaker's ticket. The court did.

    Running your license plate number doesn't come cheap. Alberta will spend about $77 million (Canadian) doing that this fiscal year. Starting September 1, they'll pass the cost along to the municipalities--at $15 a pop. The cities are expected to add the cost to the fine a motorist pays.

    ---the best way to fight traffic tickets whether you're 10 or 80:
    How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide
    Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download

    Image courtesy of Idea go

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    You know it's a bad day when ...

    You know he's having a bad day when a person ....

    ---leads the police on a merry chase, then climbs up on the roof and pelts them with tiles

    ---steals a computer which photographs him in his car and sends pictures to the owner

    ---posts a threat to the chief of police on Craigslist over a traffic ticket

    Diamonds aren't the only thing that lasts forever. Greenburgh, New York thinks traffic tickets do. A new court administrator found thousands of open tickets, some from the 1990s. The town is trying to collect on those from issued in 2000 and later.

    Some people are complaining they already paid the tickets 11 years ago. But they can't prove it--who keeps records that long? (Well, probably my dad.) They may be right. A town that can sit on all those tickets for so long might be a little sloppy in connecting payments too.

    ---How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide
    Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download

    Image: graur razvan ionut

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    The President gets a traffic ticket

    President Obama got a ticket. The mayor of London reportedly cited him for the congestion his motorcade caused last week.

    Mr. President, I don't usually say this but just pay it. Do you have the time for traffic school?

    But, hey, if you want to fight it, I know a good book! How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook or instant PDF download

    Image courtesy of Matt Banks

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Cops admit quota

    Each Gary, Indiana police officer is required to write 10 traffic tickets per shift.

    Oddly, the police department's web site is down. Guess they're not taking any questions on this one.

    The department has 296 officers. Supposing that 1/2 of them are out there writing traffic tickets on any given day, that's 1,480 tickets a day. Do that year round and it's 540,200 tickets. The problem is, Gary only has 80,294 people.

    So either every woman, man and child in Gary gets almost 7 traffic tickets a year or tourists watch out!

    At least one prosecutor believes this is going to make it tough to get jurors to believe cops on criminal trials. You think??

    Lila, in this Sunday comic is looking for a traffic ticket.

    People start lining up at 5 am to get into the Alameda, California courthouse.

    Image courtesy of Simon Howden

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Seat belt tickets unconstitutional???

    A Toronto police officer wrote a traffic ticket for having a blue-tinted protective cover over the license plate. He claimed this obscured the number. Oddly the numbers were clear enough for the cop to write them on the traffic citation.

    Citing a motorist for not wearing a seat belt is unconstitutional in Costa Rica. This is because the court found the required fine (US $604) disproportionate to the offense.

    Beating a traffic ticket for seat belt or anything else---How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Image courtesy of TCJ2020

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Traffic blitz and will my state find out?

    Who needs a quota when you have the blitz? Edmonton, Canada cops periodically go on a 24 hours ticket writing binge. On May 19, they wrote 2,723 speeding citations, beating their previous personal best by 85%.

    No word on how this is impacting the donut shop business.

    A Texas police officer was indicted for allegedly entering the wrong time on tickets. This reportedly created "documentation" for overtime that was paid but never actually worked.

    Will your state know about a ticket you got when traveling elsewhere? 44 states belong to the Non-Resident Violator Compact and, yes, they'll tell.

    Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Mistake on an electronic ticket ..

    I saw a driver cut across the path of a sirens-blazing ambulance--and he waved at the emergency vehicle.

    Waiting for a ride yesterday, I saw drivers still texting as they sailed past (illegal in my state). I also saw 3 cop cars during the same period. Easy pickin's.

    Read before you sign. Or not. With one electronic ticket system, the officer has to input your driver's license number. If she types one number wrong, the ticket comes out for someone else. One attorney had this issue and the judge dismissed his ticket.

    --brought to you by How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Leave the drugs at home when going to court

    Bit of advice: if you go to pay a ticket but you've got a suspended license, don't drive to court. Plus clean out your pocket and car.

    One guy in Texas allegedly did all this. A cop in the station next to the courthouse saw him drive up. Knowing the guy had a suspended license, the officer arrested him.

    In the course of patting him down, the cop reportedly found cocaine and a syringe. When the police looked in the car, they found a scale, possible drug pipe and material commonly used for drug sales.

    Some mornings you should just stay in bed.


    Washington State is thinking of offering payment plans on the back of its tickets.


    A lawyer in South Florida is reportedly beating red light camera tickets. One of his techniques is what I keep recommending--knowing the law and making sure every part of it is met.

    Image courtesy of nixxphotography

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Name, rank, and serial number if you get stopped

    One newly elected council member gets pulled over and promises the cop he will disband the police department. That went over big. He got a ticket. Plus the officer put the conversation in his notes, which made it into the newspaper.

    Unless something odd happens, you can't win on the road. It's name, rank and serial time. Be polite, admit nothing. Doing anything more will hamper your attempt to beat a traffic ticket.

    Sometimes though .... I had a friend who was a highway patrol sergeant. He was riding along when an officer pulled a car over. Walking up my friend noticed a dog in the backseat. He fed the driver a line from a Pink Panther movie.

    The driver came back with the right response. No ticket.


    Some guy writes you should never ask for a continuance when trying to beat a traffic ticket, read the law, or ask to see what the other side has (audio or video, for example). Apparently you're supposed to show up in court and wait for inspiration. Not a recommended technique!


    The Delaware driver was texting while driving, had a suspended license and no insurance. The passenger reportedly had 21.8 grams of marijuana. The cop pulled the car over for the texting and discovered the rest.

    Just a thought but maybe with that kind of baggage, a hands-free call would have been better.

    A passenger on another traffic stop was unhappy and sassing the cop. He was even more ticked off when the officer found the cocaine. If it were me and I had contraband, I'd play Joe Citizen when I was stopped.


    Houston is planning a traffic warrant amnesty. If you don't settle up, they're planning to start knocking on doors. Usually, people with traffic warrants are only caught at traffic


    Washington state has tightened the penalty when a car kills or injures a pedestrian or person on a bicycle. The maximum fine will be $5,000 and a 90-day license suspension.


    Fighting traffic ticket done right: How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Image courtesy of bigjom

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Senators ask for no dui apps

    4 US senators have asked cell phone companies not to sell apps that identify dui checkpoints. Yeah, guys. We're spending all this federal money on checkpoints that don't catch drunk drivers. Don't make us look even worse.

    How to double the effectiveness of federal funding for dui checkpoints:

    At California dui checkpoint, it costs $2,800 to arrest one drunk driver.

    What if I at the shift briefing held up a check. "The first officer to make 2 dui arrests out on patrol tonight gets this check for $2,800."

    What do you think would happen? The effectiveness just doubled.


    Missouri has a law that a city can only make 35% of its revenue from traffic tickets. The officers in Lone Jack were a little too successful--the city had $19,000 of traffic ticket money it couldn't keep. (The money went to the state.)


    Michigan is using federal funds to step up seat belt enforcement during May. 95.2% of the state's drivers use seatbelts.


    Des Moines, Iowa is about to go live with its "automated traffic enforcement system" (what the rest of us call red light cameras). The local newspaper asked what happens if someone makes a legal right turn at an ATES intersection. No answer on that one.

    The system can be used to alert police officers when a certain license plate is detected.

    Image courtesy of xedos4

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    More than 1,000 tickets a month

    A speeding camera in Ridgeland, South Carolina (population 2,518) has been responsible for 10,000 tickets along Interstate 95 in 9 months.

    A bill in the state legislature would tell Ridgeland to knock it off. There is a state law which bars tickets based solely on photographic evidence.

    A driver, about to receive his 19th traffic ticket, allegedly shot the officer. This is the kind of thing cops worry about.

    My book spends a lot of time talking about how to behave when a cop walks up. Doing it right defuses concern, making the stop safer for both of you.

    Eating or drinking while driving in California can be cause for a distracted driving ticket, this attorney writes. Am I allowed to talk?

    More traffic ticket tips from How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download

    Buy Now

    Image courtesy of winnond

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Pitfalls of community service to pay off a fine

    A six month payment plan or community service help people deal with traffic fines in some Florida courts.

    Unfortunately, each hour of service knocks only $7.25 off the fine. So a $300 ticket takes more than a full-time week to work off.

    60 Minutes aired a segment on the sovereign citizen movement. Though I have no connections with either side, the reporting seemed less than objective.

    We had people like the sovereign citizens come into the courthouse on traffic tickets. They claimed the court had no jurisdiction over them.

    The court disagreed.

    60 Minutes never explained what the movement believes or what percentage of adherents fit the crazy, murderous profile the broadcast painted. (It never dawned on the reporter that, to the British, George Washington looked a lot like a 'sovereign citizen'.)

    Image courtesy of renjith krishnan

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Can someone stand in for the officer in court?

    A law student recently had a traffic ticket. When he arrived at court, the officer wasn't there. But a woman told him she was appearing for the officer. Huh?

    The Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution provides

    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to ... be confronted with the witnesses against him ..."

    Since the woman wasn't at the traffic stop, she cannot be a witness against the driver. She can't be cross-examined because she has no firsthand knowledge of the incident.

    If she's trying to represent the officer, is she an attorney? Is the unlicensed practice of law a crime in that state? (Probably--lawyers have a strong lobby.) She still can't testify.

    Your questioning of her might proceed like this:

    You: Does the United States Constitution apply in this state?

    Her: Yes

    You: Are you familiar with the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution? ....

    ~ ~ ~

    A New York police officer was in his car writing a ticket when an allegedly drunk driver rammed him from behind. Unfazed, the officer finished issuing the traffic ticket before going to the hospital. The driver who struck his car drove off, to be apprehended by other police.

    St. Clair County, Illinois is having a clean up day. Anyone with a minor traffic warrant can come in to try and settle up. They promise there'll be no arrests.

    Image courtesy of Graeme Weatherston

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Cash strapped governments look to tickets

    It used to be if you got a warrant for not paying a traffic ticket, nothing much happened unless you got stopped again.

    But now, strapped for cash, states are using warrant round ups to make money. There's a lot of potential income out there, this article says. For a 27 month period, almost 15% of the traffic cases filed in Fort Worth, Texas went to warrant, representing $78 million in potential revenue.

    Think you pay the fine at the courthouse and it's all over? Not in Michigan. There you can get hit with a Driver Responsibility Fee of $250 to $1,000 if you violate certain vehicle code sections or acquire sufficient points. Don't pay? Your license is suspended. (Update: 5-25-11: Texas has a similar program.)

    Try not to plead guilty: How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    This stop is being recorded ....

    At least one of the electronic ticketing devices police are using also has the ability to take pictures. Police have used this to photograph the driver and contraband.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma is equipping its police cars so that each traffic stop is recorded, both on video and audio. Smile.

    Need to appear at the clerk's office to get a court date but don't have the time? For $12, one company will stand in line for you.

    Enjoy more inside information at How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Image courtesy of jannoon028

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Vigorous defense -- but no lying

    Don't get too creative in your defense when fighting a traffic ticket. One New York man is now charged with perjury for allegedly lying during his traffic ticket trial. Some day it's better to just stay in bed.

    Elgin, Illinois is moving towards electronic tickets. Yesterday we reported on Oklahoma highways doing the same thing.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Electronic tics up, red light camera down

    Oklahoma is implementing electronic tickets on its highways. No longer will the officer have to write a traffic ticket up. Instead it will be printed on site for the driver.

    The ticket will be transmitted electronically and immediately to the traffic court. We haven't heard whether the driver will sign anything with the new system. The technology is expected to cut the time for a traffic stop by up to 66%.

    Red light camera tickets going out in Florida? That state's House has passed a law that would ban them. The measure still has to pass the state senate and the governor.

    ---brought to you by How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    3 more ways NOT to beat a traffic ticket

    Another blogger cites 3 ways NOT to beat a traffic ticket with the officer standing there:

  • Reaching into your pocket for money. One kid trying this allegedly got arrested for bribery.
  • Offering sexual favors (If you do try this, first ask the cop if there's a camera in the police car videoing the stop.)
  • Pulling rank. Bill, a cop friend of mine, pulls a car over. The driver flashes a badge and refuses to roll down the window. Bill gets his 5 cell flashlight off the motorcycle and pops the window out. Moral:  if you do try to pull rank, do it through an open window. (The driver's sergeant told him Bill acted properly.)
  • Saturday, April 30, 2011

    TV station tests red light warning app

    A TV station checked a cell phone app designed to warn you about red light cameras, dui checkpoints and speed traps. They got warned right at the intersection--a little late to help.

    The app uses information compiled by users so the information is not complete. Cops worry about motorists constantly glancing down to check the cell phone and rear ending the car ahead.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    2 ways NOT to beat a traffic ticket

  • Cop stops driver. Driver makes 911 call. Officer rushes off to the shooting. Nothing there. Cop calls the number which called 911. Driver answers. Oh boy.

  • A New York City PD deputy inspector faxed a lieutenant, beating a traffic ticket for a friend. He asked for this on departmental stationery. Nothing low key here.

  • Traffic cameras on school buses? The state of Washington is considering the idea.

    --brought to you by How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
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    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    How much does it cost to eat ice cream in a rental car?

    This car rental agency can charge you $100 if you get a traffic ticket while in their car.

    What did they do for that $100? Nothing.

    No word yet on what they charge to eat ice cream in their car.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Police captain gets traffic ticket

    A North Carolina police captain was ticketed for not stopping his cruiser at a school bus which had halted with flashing red lights.

    He hired an attorney and mounted a vigorous defense.

    He was convicted but the sentence was suspended.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Pay the DA and walk away?

    In some New York counties, if a driver pays a fee to the District Attorney's office and goes to traffic school, the DA will ask for a dismissal or not prosecute the traffic ticket. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct questions the practice.

    I wonder what people would think if the driver paid the judge (instead of the court) and went to traffic school and the ticket got dismissed? Is there a difference?

    Nevada has a requirement that police departments audit their traffic tickets twice a year. There is a proposal to reduce that to annually.

    How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
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    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Surprise! Who got your traffic fine?

    Where does your traffic citation fine go? In Pennsylvania, possibly into the pocket of the cashier. One (former) court employee was allegedly keeping the cash and changing the computer records to cover her take.

    Reportedly she did this more than 150 times for $60,000. American ingenuity is doing fine.

    A cop in Florida has been arrested for allegedly forging a motorist's name on a traffic ticket. I'm not sure how you do that--or why. But if this goes viral, who needs quotas?

    Officers in Trinidad ticketed a government driver with the Minister of Works and Transport in the back seat. Gutsy.

    How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
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    Friday, April 22, 2011

    2 new ways to beat a traffic ticket (?)

    New ways to beat a ticket:

  • A 60 year old Rhode Island man asked a judge to dismiss a traffic ticket received when he was 23. The judge granted the request. The man paid $100.

  • One gentleman claims he got a traffic citation taken care of in Chicago by slipping the court janitor $20. Obviously a while ago. While I'm not recommeding the method, it does go to show it's who you know.

  • Cadets in an Indiana training class were warned people who exit cars at traffic stops are trying to hide something. So don't get the officer excited--stay in the car.

    You've heard the warnings. Don't drive through high water--you don't know how deep it is. In Athens County, GA, there's another reason: they'll write you a traffic ticket.

    How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
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    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    What the courts let one cop get away with

    In Connecticut, here's what an officer did, according to facts accepted by the appellate court:

    1. in "great rage and anger" threw a traffic ticket onto the driver's chest while the driver was in a hospital bed

    2. after his sergeant tore up the traffic citation, the officer submitted another copy to the police department

    3. arrived at the driver's home at 5:30 am three weeks after the traffic incident, asking for insurance information

    4. refused to provide the driver with a copy of the police report even after telling his department's internal affairs division he would do so
    The driver sued the officer alleging emotional distress (among other things). The appellate court concluded that while the officer's behavior may have been "bad manners", it did not rise to the level of inflicting emotional distress.

    Behavior in Connecticut must be "extreme and outrageous" to inflict emotional distress.

  • Gee, re-writing a traffic ticket your own sergeant tore up?

  • Banging on a guy's door in the dark, 90 minutes before sunrise, for insurance information?

  • Not supplying a report his own department told him to fork over?
  • Maybe if the officer had shot the guy, the court would have ruled for the driver.

    Nah, people get shot every day. What's outrageous about that?

    How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Big trouble for a couple of fuzzy dice

    It is illegal in Pennsylvania to have things hanging from the rear view mirror which "materially obstruct" the driver's view. The officer must have reasonable suspicion that this law has been violated before she stops a car.

    One defendant got pulled over for this. During the stop, the officer determined the driver was under the influence of a controlled substance and made an arrest. The driver was convicted but appealed, claimiing the officer had no reasonable suspicion to make the stop and therefore all evidence obtained from the stop should be ignored (like the driver's condition?).

    Unfortunately for the defendant, the officer opined in court that foam dice and at least 4 pine air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror would hinder the driver's view. The court agreed. The dice rolled the wrong way for this driver.

    A search of the California Vehicle Code (under "rear view mirror" and "mirror") turns up no similar law. It is widely believed in that state that hanging things from the rear view mirrior is illegal but I don't see the law. (Probably they would cite you under a general obscured vision section.)

    More information on traffic tickets available: How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download
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    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Getting their man in Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania is rough. Constables allegedly drove almost 500 miles round trip to arrest a man (in shackles) who had underpaid his traffic ticket by $47.

    One of the constables, when questioned, saw no discordance in traveling 8 hours to collect a $47 fine.

    Update: 4-17-11: Gas averages $3.87 a gallon in Pennsylvania. Assuming the constables got 30 miles to the gallon, they spent $60 in gas to go after that $47.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Traffic Ticket Scandal in New York City?

    A not too coherent article in the New York Daily News suggests some cops were willing to take money or a bottle of booze to lose a traffic citation or not show up at court. Some officers reportedly have retired as a grand jury investigates.

    Update: 4-22-11: Senior city officials had traffic tickets fixed, the grand jury discovered, an unnamed source told the Associated Press.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Speed limit 85 miles per hour?

    Texas is thinking of raising the speed limit on some roads to 85 miles per hour. Texas, along with Utah, already has the highest speed limit in the nation--80 mph. 33 other states have top limits between 70 and 79.

    Second chance ignored. Gwinnett County, Georgia offered people with traffic warrants the opportunity to pay their fines without additional penalties, cancelling their warrants. The offenders weren't impressed and participation was minimal.

    If you get a traffic citation, do it in Baltimore. 83 year old guy allegedly runs into a 20 year old bicyclist. The victim has "catastrophic brain injuires". The driver is going to jail, probably prison, right?

    Nope. In Baltimore, she got 2 traffic tickets. Her maximum criminal exposure is $1,000 and points on her driving record. No word on whether she's going to traffic school.

    Get the real story: How to Beat a Traffic Ticket: The Six Steps Guide. Available for just 99 cents from Kindle or Nook. Or instant PDF download Buy Now