How Likely Are You To Get A Traffic Ticket? Police Officers Respond!

traffic ticket

Photo from Indiana Stan

Speeding tickets and traffic violations are a bane to the existence of many drivers. Once one goes on the record, it can definitely affect auto insurance premiums, and if it becomes a recurring problem, you can even be dropped from your insurance altogether. After all, speeding is the number one cause of most traffic accidents, so if you’ve gotten multiple tickets, it is likely that you’re speeding A LOT MORE than just the amount of times an officer caught you.

Obviously, you want to obey the traffic laws. This is one of the surest ways of keeping your auto insurance reasonably priced anyway. But what beyond that? What if you want to get out of a traffic ticket? What are your chances, and what do police officers look for when determining your fate during a traffic stop?

These latter questions were asked in an informative Quora post. Here were some of the more popular shares, but for a full rundown, make sure you check out the entire thread.


Justin Freeman, Former Patrol Officer

My gauge was always reasonableness.

“If your license plate tags expired one month ago, I can see you not noticing and would probably cut you a break. If they expired one year ago, not so much.

“If I pull you over for plates expired months ago, and you say, “I’ve been trying to get money together so I could renew them,” but there are $300 worth of cigarette butts in the ashtray and the backseat is full of bags from the mall, you’re getting a ticket.

“If you don’t have insurance, you’re almost certainly getting a ticket. People who didn’t want to pay for insurance figured if they could get less than three tickets a year, they could get out of paying a premium and just pay their insurance fine, which would actually be less expensive since they were high risk. I never gave them the satisfaction.”


Tim Dees, Retired Cop And Criminal Justice Professor

“If I saw or heard some reference to a radar detector being in the car, I wrote the ticket every time. A radar detector sent me the message that ‘I intend to exceed the speed limit and get away with it.’”


Rick Bruno, Former Police Commander

“The driver’s attitude was a huge factor. If I stopped you and the first thing you said was, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” you could expect a ticket. If you knew you were wrong and expected a warning, that didn’t work either. In my opinion, warnings are for people who don’t know what they are doing is wrong.

“If you were reasonable, and the infraction was not reckless or dangerous to others, you’d usually get a break from me. Once. I had a long memory.”



Attitude and attentiveness are two big qualities that can lessen your chances of getting a traffic ticket. Attitude is something that you have to show in the moment, and it’s worth noting that if your attitude fails to get you out of a ticket, you’re not doing yourself any favors by using that failure to lash out at the officer and make matters worse. If you really feel it’s an unjust citation, you can always fight it.

As for attentiveness, this is something that you can start working on today. Make sure that your car’s lights are in working order and that your tags are current. If you’re out drinking with friends, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink.

Above all, realize that driving isn’t a right, but an enormous privilege that one is only deserving of if they’re willing to take it seriously. Remember that laws are in place for a reason, and if you want to keep your rates down, your coverage in place, and money in your pocket, you’ll make safe driving priority one.

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