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1337 03-02-2009 11:49 AM

Speeding ticket WHILE HYPERMILING! I can't win...
 
Yesterday, I was gently puttering back to college, going 50-52mph on 55mph country roads. As I was coming into a small town, I flicked the shifter into neutral and engine-off coasted past a 45mph and a 35mph sign. I let the car coast down to 25mph before starting it up.

The next thing I knew, I had flashing lights in my mirror. I turned the engine off and coasted down to 0mph and pulled over. The cop asked me if I knew why I had been pulled over, and I honestly had no idea. It turns out that I had been doing 40mph in a 35 while coasting into town.

I tried to explain that I drive slowly and conservatively, but it was no use.

So, I got slapped with a $75 ticket for going 40mph in a 35 zone in a podunk town while hypermiling. Damn small town cops...

Christ 03-02-2009 12:06 PM

Take it to court, and explain to His or Her Honor EXACTLY what you were doing. Let him know that you were simply coasting down to the posted speed, rather than wasting momentum and contributing to pollution by releasing asbestos dust into the air (brake pads).

Explain to him that coasting is easier on fuel consumption. The very worst thing that will happen, is that he will tell you that it's illegal to coast in neutral (in many states, there are laws about it.) and that you should have left it in gear to allow the engine to slow the car down to an acceptable speed.

Normally, you can contest a speeding ticket of less than 5mph or less by simply stating the obvious: There is a margin of error on car's speedometers, even given that all things are OEM and the same, two seemingly idenical cars will travel different actual speeds at a given "displayed" speed.

Tire wear and associated drivetrain wear will actually make your speedo not read correctly, and there's not much you can do about it, which is part of the reason you don't see many people complaining of getting a ticket for 1-5 mph above the speed limit.

Whatever you do, don't "just pay it". That's what they would like you to do, and everyone else as well... if you do that, you're bowing. It only costs another $6 to take it to court, and often times, it costs the state more than the ticket to actually perform the proceedings. 9 times out of 10, the officer won't show up, and you win by default.

Also - google this term: "Never talk to an officer" or "Why you shouldn't talk to cops"

It's very enlightening, and in one of the videos, it's actually a cop explaining how talking to a cop, even telling the whole, complete, unabridged truth, can NEVER help your case.

1337 03-02-2009 12:12 PM

Christ-

I wish I could take your advice, but this happened in the first 50 miles of a 205 mile trip. The cop recognized that I'm a college student and subsequently scheduled the court date for a Wednesday, 150 miles from my school. There's no way in hell I can make the court date without missing a midterm exam.

Christ 03-02-2009 12:18 PM

Call the Judge and ask for a different court date, due to exams and college scheduling. They're usually pretty lenient.

I held off a street racing ticket's court date for nearly a year, and won by default b/c the officer that issued the ticket was no longer employed in the area - he had transferred to another state, and wasn't available to defend his citation.

The only excuse that I ever gave the Judge was "I can't get out of work that day."

Often, that won't work... but you can always come up with something, but never use the same excuse twice, never lie, and don't give in. The worst that can happen is they'll say no.

Inversely, you may be able to re-schedule your exams due to pending court appearance. You'd have to speak with your Prof's and Dean about that though.

1337 03-02-2009 12:32 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll give the judge a call and see if I can reschedule the court date. I wonder if I can just keep putting it off until the summer...

Daveedo 03-02-2009 01:11 PM

Even though its a relatively minor ticket and will likely cost you more to take the day off and drive there than just paying the fine, it will possibly be worth fighting it in the long run. This is mainly due to the hidden costs of tickets...higher insurance rates, affected credit scores, etc.

Fight it even if you have to hire a lawyer.

If it was just $75 and no other repercussions then it'd be an easy decision but the private sector tends to nail you for years afterwards. I don't know if I'd mention hypermiling, some bad press about that in the news lately. Look for technicalities such as the radar gun isn't listed in the accepted list they keep (they do that here) or the gun wasn't calibrated on schedule like its supposed to, or the officer made a mistake on filling out the ticket, or didn't file it correctly within the time allotted, etc etc.

PS I'm not a speed demon and have only gotten one ticket ever but fought it cause I know the hidden repercussions.

Clev 03-02-2009 06:13 PM

In California (last time I checked), you can plead not guilty by mail. If they still find you guilty, you can still request a court date. Then if the cop doesn't show up (since he'll have to make a special trip separate from all of the other tickets he wrote on the same day as yours), you'll automatically win.

Formula413 03-02-2009 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daveedo (Post 90364)
I don't know if I'd mention hypermiling, some bad press about that in the news lately.

Agree.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daveedo (Post 90364)
Look for technicalities such as the radar gun isn't listed in the accepted list they keep (they do that here) or the gun wasn't calibrated on schedule like its supposed to, or the officer made a mistake on filling out the ticket, or didn't file it correctly within the time allotted, etc etc.

They are ready for that stuff, they do this all the time. Best approach is to keep stalling, postponing, appealing.

99LeCouch 03-02-2009 07:53 PM

Make it a hassle, and they'll cut a deal to get rid of you, such as making it a non-moving violation that does not carry points on your license, or reduce the number about to go onto your license. They may throw it out completely.

Worst thing to do is plead guilty. Then you're stuck paying for it for a long time.

Unforgiven 03-23-2009 07:14 PM

One thing that I noticed, is the ticket was for 5 over posted, and you stated you were coasting down... hence you were going faster than that perhaps. Calling the court or county clerk will allow a chance at getting an extension to the court date. Good luck on the midterm exam.

95badbird 03-25-2009 02:33 PM

the cop will show up.....he has written many tickets for that court date.

Christ 03-25-2009 03:29 PM

i dont know about your state, but in PA - they can't modulate the number of points that go on your license for a violation... those are set in stone, the best they can do is change the conviction to something that carries less points.

Either way, the goal here is to not be convicted at all. You want to walk away without a scratch, for the best possible effect. The next best thing would be to plead to a non-traffic offense, such as failure to heed traffic control devices (don't ask why it's a non-traffic offense). Most states (that I'm aware of) don't carry a point penalty for that, and it's only about $75 fine here in PA.

Drive Stick 04-01-2009 01:39 PM

Coasting or not, you can't break the speed limit. 1 mph over, 5 mph over, 20 mph over. The police are the authority which keep the majority of us abiding by the rules of the road. Sometimes their personal life and stress off-duty follows them into the cruiser. They may sit and watch you drive past them doing 50 in a 35 and do nothing 6 out of 7 days a week, but on that 7'th day when they are out to hurt somebody's feelings or their quota isn't met you will see a ticket like this get issued.

I was pulled over for going 47 in a 45, by a very angry police officer - quite obviously had nothing to do with the fact that I was going 2 over the speed limit downhill. I got to talking with him, and when he realized I too was working on becoming a police officer he cooled his jets (you can't hate on family) and told me to have a great day.

In this situation, my best advice to you as an ex habitual-speeder and possible future PO, go to court and explain your case after pleading not guilty by phone. The prosecutor will probably hit you with a careless driving ticket which is no points, and maybe $150 in fines. Tis better to lose some cash, that gain some points which will raise your insurance premium and have the state hit you with surcharges for having points on your license.

1337 04-01-2009 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drive Stick (Post 95169)
Coasting or not, you can't break the speed limit. 1 mph over, 5 mph over, 20 mph over. The police are the authority which keep the majority of us abiding by the rules of the road. Sometimes their personal life and stress off-duty follows them into the cruiser. They may sit and watch you drive past them doing 50 in a 35 and do nothing 6 out of 7 days a week, but on that 7'th day when they are out to hurt somebody's feelings or their quota isn't met you will see a ticket like this get issued.

I was pulled over for going 47 in a 45, by a very angry police officer - quite obviously had nothing to do with the fact that I was going 2 over the speed limit downhill. I got to talking with him, and when he realized I too was working on becoming a police officer he cooled his jets (you can't hate on family) and told me to have a great day.

In this situation, my best advice to you as an ex habitual-speeder and possible future PO, go to court and explain your case after pleading not guilty by phone. The prosecutor will probably hit you with a careless driving ticket which is no points, and maybe $150 in fines. Tis better to lose some cash, that gain some points which will raise your insurance premium and have the state hit you with surcharges for having points on your license.

The ticket is $75, plus $35 for driving school. Driving school removes the ticket from my record.

I should use the "I want to be a police officer" card sometime. I do run firefighter's memorial license plates...those have helped me to get off with warnings a couple of times.

Cop: I see you have firefighter's memorial plates. Is anyone in your family a firefighter?
Me: Yeah, my parents are both volunteer firefighters, an my grandpa was one too.
Cop: have a nice day!

(I'm not actually related to any firefighters. :P)

Drive Stick 04-01-2009 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1337 (Post 95172)
I should use the "I want to be a police officer" card sometime. I do run firefighter's memorial license plates...those have helped me to get off with warnings a couple of times.

Cop: I see you have firefighter's memorial plates. Is anyone in your family a firefighter?
Me: Yeah, my parents are both volunteer firefighters, an my grandpa was one too.
Cop: have a nice day!

(I'm not actually related to any firefighters. :P)

That's very funny! Saying you want to be a cop, and actually showing them your academy acceptance letter are 2 different things though. The first would more than likely get you the ticket. "then why are you speeding, shouldn't you be setting a good example?"


:thumbup:

1337 04-01-2009 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drive Stick (Post 95176)
That's very funny! Saying you want to be a cop, and actually showing them your academy acceptance letter are 2 different things though. The first would more than likely get you the ticket. "then why are you speeding, shouldn't you be setting a good example?"


:thumbup:

In my experience, cops usually speed and drive like they own the road. More often than not, I see them recklessly changing lanes without signaling at 80mph.

rkcarguy 04-03-2009 05:47 PM

Most likely the judge in the little town will have his hand out just like the cop, and wont give you a break. We had a school zone area with flashing lights that were malfunctioning(one direction on the other off) and several people got stopped and ticketed for speeding. Despite the fact my wife was doing 28 in the 20 zone(normally 40mph) with the lights her direction off, and saw the policeman, she still had to pay the ticket. The judge cut her every explaination short and said you just didn't see the lights. Same thing with the 2 other people there for the same thing. They just want the money....

theunchosen 04-03-2009 11:52 PM

My right front headlight went dead while I was on my way home one day. I had already bought new bulbs because I buy new ones every once in a while to avoid accidently getting slammed(my headlight beams are VERY close together and unless someone tells me I can't tell the difference).

I had come from autozone ten minutes previous. Cop Pulls me over and and demands my license, insurance registration and all the normal. Walks back to her cruiser. There is another cop standing by his cruiser not too far back and he hops in the car with her. A long time passes before she comes back.

Meanwhile I am sitting there with no clue why I have been pulled over and assume they are looking for someone matching my car. Another officer shows up and parks in front of me and steps out and just watches.

She comes back and asks if I knew why I had been pulled over, I replied no.

She said something along the lines of I was providing a moving traffic hazard because I only had one functioning headlight(I actually have 2 sets of full power headlights and one of the four total was out). I explained I had just been to autozone and had the lights. No dice. I switched it for them to prove that I meant to. still no dice. I was being nice because another officer had been very polite in a similar no reason stop a few days earlier. Gives me the ticket says I have to appear at the Courthouse the next day(its 9:00 P.M.) with a functioning headlight(she can see that its working right now.)

I went in and proved it worked(took a sick day off work) and got a court date because I refused to pay it. TN law is you just have to have 2 functioning lights of no specified brightness or color. the only limitation on lights is you cannot having FLASHING blue AND flashing red at the same time.

The judge made me sit a half hour after my timeslot while he sat there and did nothing. I appealed it and he said that the officers said I had been belligerent and weaving dangerously in traffic. Had to pay ticket, driving school 16 hour class, and court fees.

If I had ever acted like that to any client of any of my employers I would be fired instantly, no questions asked and no guarantee of getting all my recent pay. I have lived in that county and paid local fees for several years(their salary). IF there is a dual standard for people who hold a public office it ought to be they have to jump through more hoops not less.

theunchosen 04-03-2009 11:59 PM

Oh, and if your area gets speed cameras for your red lights you ought to protest it. They work like most electric companies they predict whether or not you will run the light not whether or not you actually do.

For instance if you are going over XX speed within forty feet of the light it snaps your license plate. Even if you stop and bills you for the ticket. Officer signs off on them and you can appeal it but another judge just asked if the officer had lied about the ticket. Unless you can prove the officer lied don't say yes. Depending on the judge you might get away with it or you will get a massive fine. Brother is a lawyer and was there with me for it. I don't run lights its a very good way to get killed when you drive a compact.

1337 04-03-2009 11:59 PM

theunchosen-

I'm sorry to hear that. Traffic cops seem to cause far more problems than they solve.

theunchosen 04-04-2009 08:05 AM

Yeah For a long time after either of those incidents I would intentionally cause problems for them if I knew I could get away with it.

But lately I've acted on the knowledge that most of them are probably not scum, that are power abusers.

I'm pretty good friends with the cops in cookeville. They instructed alot of us on how to get around Concealed Carry bans. In TN its illegal to carry on a college campus(which there is legislation to change that so CC permits are allowed to), but the phrasing they use allows a loophole. two actually. If you have a permit for a class you are attending that requires it(marksmanship, handgun safety, and firearms for personal defence) you can carry the ammo on your person not in the gun, and the gun at the same time for 1 hour on either side of the course. I know the professor and he believes in CCW so he hands those out to anyone who attends his courses.

The other is more difficult. Its the phrase "With the Intent to go armed." long-short as long as I don't carry the bullets I can carry the gun. but my class mate can carry my bullets and I can carry his. It involves loaning out one or two of your magazines but thats worth it in my opinion.

Since I've had run ins(in the firearms defence course) with the police here I'm only inclined to believe its specific officers and then request a state trooper to attend when I get a ticket or another officer. Getting two bad officers is not as likely as one. And the other might not have the same court date and then I can get an uncontested case. Unless I broke the law then I pay the fine as demanded and take a hit. Otherwise, if its something bogus like the light incident they will not stick me with that crap again(killswitch for each light so I can shut the set that don't work off to avoid it).


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