Getting a traffic ticket can provoke strong emotions. You may feel anger and confusion, seasoned with a dash of desperation. Or you may just feel dumb. Speaking of dumb, here are some of the dumbest ways to get a ticket.
Ramming a police vehicle
When the police are at the scene of a traffic stop, there is typically serious business afoot. The last thing you want to do, whether you’re involved in the traffic stop or not, is to either purposely or accidentally strike a police vehicle with your own. Citations for destruction of police property, reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter or something even more serious can follow.
Giving police lip
There are times when it pays to hold a healthy respect for authority. During a traffic stop is one of those times. While you do have the right to question an officer’s judgment, odds are that doing so will anger the officer. That will make the odds of avoiding a ticket slim indeed. If you carry on to the point of belligerence and even exit your vehicle to argue further with the officer, you may be tackled or Tased.
Laying rubber in front of the cops
This should be obvious, but the number of aggressively stupid pseudo-rebels in society has grown exponentially. If you peel out in front of a police officer or do something else that can be classified as speeding or reckless driving, they can’t help but notice. City coffers will await your funds.
Riding outside your car
A Jalopnik reader from Florida tells the story of being ticketed for riding outside of their vehicle. Yes, there is an applicable ordinance for such occasions, Florida State Code 316.2015. Apparently, a photographer in the back seat of a Mitsubishi Evo decided he wanted a unique perspective for a picture. So he leaned across the seat, opened the door and leaned out to snap shots – while the vehicle was traveling at 30 mph. An undercover cop happened to be driving right next to the Evo when this happened, too. The result was a $90 to the photographer and a $160 ticket to the driver for allowing it to happen.
Passing the fuzz
When you see a police vehicle driving down the road, remember that there is no standing invitation to race. Keep behind them, if you know what’s good for you. Passing up a squad car attracts attention of the traffic ticket variety, because generally speaking, police will assume you’re speeding if you driver faster than they do. Since more police vehicles are equipped with speed-measuring equipment, the police will even have hard evidence on their side.
Cars were made to go, not to stop
If you’re driving on the freeway and find the whole affair rather intimidating, find an exit ramp as quickly as possible. Driving slow enough to feel comfortable may feel right to you, but it presents a hazard for faster-moving drivers that can cause accident and injury. If Segways and old people with walkers can pass you, you’re asking for a reckless driving ticket for driving too slowly.
Tailgating the police
A companion piece to striking a police car, riding their back bumper is also a sure-fire way to receive a traffic citation. If you’re angry, don’t operate a motor vehicle.
Adult activity in full view
If you’re an exhibitionist when it comes to sex and enjoy practicing inside your car in broad daylight, someone will find you. When that someone is the police, be prepared for a nudity and/or public indecency ticket. It doesn’t matter whether you’re by yourself, with a partner or with multiple partners. Don’t indulge while driving. If you can’t keep your in-the-car desire under wraps, make sure the windows have enough tint, the sunroof is closed and the vehicle is safely secured.
Driving drunk, impaired or distracted
Whether it is due to drugs, alcohol, electronic devices, fatigue or some other medical condition, impaired or distracted driving can be deadly. It’s dumb to even try, not just because you can receive a traffic ticket or be arrested, but because you can take a life.