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Old 03-02-2009, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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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...

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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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...
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveedo View Post
I don't know if I'd mention hypermiling, some bad press about that in the news lately.
Agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveedo View Post
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.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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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.

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