Motoring Tips

Chapter 6.1
Driving Tips | Traffic-Stops

Driving Tips
I-270 IL If one knows of or is warned from a CB or a passing motorist flashing headlights of an impending speed trap it's a good idea to drop speed five mph below the limit. This may or may not prevent a ticket, but could help in court if a ticket is issued. If one can claim the vehicle speed was at least five mph below the limit speedometer accuracy will be less questionable.

If a driver believes such as a warning from a radar detector or a visual sighting a radar is operating a good countermeasure is to gently decelerate at a rate of about 3 or 4 mph per second. A microwave or laser radar will experience problems measuring vehicles decelerating, or accelerating.

Some police switch on the radar only when ready to target a vehicle. Some radars transmit only long enough to get a speed reading. Depending on the situation a driver may only have a fraction of a second to respond, and in some cases may not be warned at all until after the radar gets a speed reading. The lesson - do not depend solely on a radar detector to warn a radar is operating in the area.

Laser radars have a narrow beam making it difficult to detect unless the laser is aimed directly at the laser detector. At ranges greater than 500 feet or more a detector may catch the wider beam spread. A laser detector may sense a signal reflecting off another vehicle or a stationary object, but this condition usually has a short duration if it occurs at all. Laser radar detectors are not nearly as effected as microwave detectors.
Police Vehicle If the police light you up pull over and stop at the closest safest place for you and the officer, at night try to find a well lighted area. Curves, blind spots, and mediums are poor stop locations. After you stop most law enforcement officers prefer you stay in your vehicle. When approached be polite and keep your hands visible, at night turn on your interior doom light before the officer approaches.

A typical scenario is the officer request to see a driver license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. Most officers ask if you know why you were stopped. Comply and answer honestly, but do not admit anything that could be used against you in court. Excuses for speeding almost never work and admit guilt.

Common excuses* for speeding (DO NOT USE).
* Factors influencing driver speed choices, Department of Transport (England), Circular Roads 1/95.

Many citations require a bond, driver's license or cash and signature. Before signing a traffic citation READ IT. Make sure you understand the violation(s).
Table 6.1-1 -- Verify Ticket Information
JURISDICTION: State, County, City, Township
COMPLAINT # ________________________
DRIVER: Name, Address, DL # and info
VEHICLE: Year, Make, Model, Type, Color, Description
Day/Month/Year Time:__________________
At or near____________________________
VIOLATION: Speeding _____mph in a _____mph zone.
Other Violation(s) ____________________

Law(s)/ Ordinance(s)___________________
METHOD: ___ HH Radar, ___Radar, ___Moving Radar
___Lidar, ___VASCAR, ___Pace, ___Timing
___Aircraft, ___Other
___Dry, ___Wet, ___Snow, ___Ice
___Rain, ___Snow, ___Sleet, ___Fog, ___Night
___Cross, ___Oncoming, ___Same Direction
___Rural, ___Bus/Indus, ___ Res, ___School
#____Lanes - ___Divided
BOND ___DL License, ___none (promise)
___Cash ___Bond -- $__________
APPEARANCE Location:__________________
Date / Time:________/________
___Appearance Required
___Appearance not Required if Guilty Plea
Any incorrect information discovered on the citation that can be proven or documented in court may cast doubt on the creditability of the violation.

If ticketed collect as much information as possible about the circumstances. Write down everything you can remember as soon as possible. Besides information on the ticket some or all of the information below may be helpful when analyzing events later.
Table 6.1-2 -- Traffic-Stop Notes
1.) Setup - Radar Antenna Distance to target vehicle lane center
2.) Tracking - Target Vehicle Range to Radar
3.) Other Traffic - Near Target Vehicle
- Near Radar / Patrol Vehicle
4.) Potential
- Communication Towers, ground radars, etc.
- Power lines, transformers
5.) Radar or Lidar - Make and Model
- Frequency or Frequency Band
- Antenna Location, and Alignment - Vehicle mounted units
6.) Patrol Vehicle - Dash Camera or other Video / Audio
- Number of Vehicle Antennas
- Patrol Speed if Moving Mode
- Make, Model, Year

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