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#162881 - 28/05/2003 11:44 Re: Speeding [Re: tfabris]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
Their reasoning was that the officer might be one of the "chip on his shoulder" types, in which case you would need to take a different conversational stance than you would with a more laid-back person, in attempting to talk your way out of a ticket.


I would agree wholeheartedly. As I stated earlier in this thread, unless I was really given a hard time by the motorist, they would wind up with a written warning. This served several purposes. First, it allowed others to see that enforcement was occurring and caused them to modify their behavior accordingly (at least while a marked car was in sight ). Second, the vehicle stop was documented so that a record of the incident existed should questions arise in the future. The important thing here is that the public was served without the issuance of a citation in most cases and my officers remained free to conduct routine preventative patrols in residential areas and to answer calls for service.

That having been said, I have been told by many officers that they have made up their minds as to whether or not to issue a citation before they even get out of their patrol cars. Because of this fact, the safest bet when faced with one of these unpleasant situations is to err on the side of caution and be very respectful to the officer at the scene (while quietly documenting the circumstances of the alleged violation for a challenge in the most appropriate forum - i.e. a court of law).
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#162882 - 28/05/2003 12:00 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
That having been said, I have been told by many officers that they have made up their minds as to whether or not to issue a citation before they even get out of their patrol cars. Because of this fact, the safest bet when faced with one of these unpleasant situations is to err on the side of caution and be very respectful to the officer at the scene (while quietly documenting the circumstances of the alleged violation for a challenge in the most appropriate forum - i.e. a court of law).
Yup, exactly. The book went into great detail about this.

In order to talk your way out of a ticket, you first need to be certain of whether or not the officer got a decent clocking, and how the clocking was obtained. Like you said, in many cases the officer is ready to write you up before he even walks up to your car. If he got an ironclad clocking, giving him a hard time is only going to solidify that decision. If you are respectful and polite, you might be able to admit your speed, apoligize, and throw yourself on his mercy. It's worked for me (once...).

However, you might have reason to believe he didn't actually get a good clocking, and he's the type that's pulling you over just to be snarky and make you admit your speed verbally. In that case you can (respectfully) ask what proof he's got, and intimate that you'd challenge the citation. In those situations, he's going to get REALLY MAD, but he won't cite you because you've just called his bluff. These days, this sort of thing doesn't happen very often and certainly not with the CHP (they're too professional about clocking you and have always-on video equipment). But sometimes you can get away with it with underequipped small town cops. I've never been in this situation, but the book cited some great anecdotes about those kinds of situations.
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#162883 - 28/05/2003 16:32 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you plead not guilty to a traffic violation like speeding, and you are found guilty, is the penalty usually the same as the original fine, or can the judge increase it for court costs or just because he feels like it?

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#162884 - 29/05/2003 04:26 Re: Speeding [Re: cushman]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Well, while lots of people here (Croatia) use cell phones while driving (which is legal if you have any kind of hands-free gear, even just an earpiece), seeing people read (and not just glancing at a map but actually read a newspaper or a book) while driving in LA was genuinely shocking to me. Likewise, cup holders are still not common on these shores.

Driving lessons do tend to be somewhat more thorough here. I think (it was 25 years ago) there is something like 10 hours of theory followed by 20-30 hours of driving with an instructor. Test includes written and practical part, and even first aid is kind of covered. One also has to pass a medical checkup (things like epilepsy are disqualifying, while high blood pressure, need for glasses or diabetes will earn you recurrent mandatory checkups every five or so years). However, both driving instruction and test are done in immediate environment, so that I, for exemple, never overtook another car on two-lane road before getting my license, while my cousin from the country never drove on divided highway or passed through semaphore-regulated intersection...

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#162885 - 29/05/2003 04:39 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
As to my background, I spent 15 years working for the Baltimore City Police Department in numerous capacities (mostly with investigative focus I left as a Detective in the Homicide Unit) before taking a position as Chief of Police in a suburb of Madison, WI.

Wow, real-life Det. Munch or Lt. Giardello!
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#162886 - 29/05/2003 04:50 Re: Speeding [Re: ]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
In Croatia the fine itself will be the same, but you will also pay $30-$50 of 'court expenses'.
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#162887 - 29/05/2003 04:56 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Well said, Nick!

Some European police forces sometimes put cardboard officers and inflatable patrol cars at dangerous road spots, in order to slow the traffic down. Now, that's having priorities streight!

I have never been stopped unless I was actually speeding (or otherwise breaking the rules). I found that looking a bit sheepish and turning the conversation to funny side sometimes help. For example, I was once stopped for running the red light. The policeman asked me 'What was the color of the light you just passed?' I answered 'Dark yellow, very, very dark yellow' and got away with good laugh and written warning.
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#162888 - 29/05/2003 06:18 Re: Speeding [Re: ]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
A judge can do whatever he or she wants, so in theory the answer is yes. However, it would be highly unusual for that to happen. The real danger of this would be in a small town court where the "bring in the next guilty party" mentality rules the court and there is far less scrutiny applied to a judge's actions. Again, having worked in that type of environment (i.e. small town), a reduction in fine is infinitely more likely than an increase in fine.
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#162889 - 29/05/2003 06:22 Re: Speeding [Re: bonzi]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
Actually, fans of the original book Homicide by David Simon (on which the television series was based) may recognize my last name. My brother, who was a homicide supervisor at the time, gets several mentions.

I was a lowly patrolman at the time the book was written...
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#162890 - 29/05/2003 06:35 Re: Speeding [Re: bonzi]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
Some European police forces sometimes put cardboard officers and inflatable patrol cars at dangerous road spots, in order to slow the traffic down. Now, that's having priorities streight!


During my tenure in Baltimore, I know that the Maryland State Police used this tactic quite often by putting dummies in their cars (I know I am leaving myself wide open for a comment there!) and parking them along the I-95 corridor. This tactic does, however, have its drawbacks as evidenced by a case that I was told about where the same vehicle was allowed to sit in one place for a little too long. Troopers who finally responded to move the vehicle found that someone with a sense of humor (and a rather large set of balls) had slim-jimmed the door, put women's make-up and a dress on the dummy and left a dozen doughnuts on the passenger seat. I would have loved to have been there for that one!
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#162891 - 29/05/2003 06:40 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
During my tenure in Baltimore, I know that the Maryland State Police used this tactic quite often by putting dummies in their cars (I know I am leaving myself wide open for a comment there!) and parking them along the I-95 corridor. [...] Troopers who finally responded to move the vehicle found that someone with a sense of humor (and a rather large set of balls) had slim-jimmed the door, put women's make-up and a dress on the dummy and left a dozen doughnuts on the passenger seat. I would have loved to have been there for that one!

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#162892 - 29/05/2003 06:43 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Anyway, that was one of my favorite TV shows. Does it (and others like it - NYPD Blue etc) bear any similarity to real life?
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#162893 - 29/05/2003 06:53 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
davec
old hand

Registered: 18/08/2000
Posts: 992
Loc: Georgetown, TX USA
the safest bet when faced with one of these unpleasant situations is to err on the side of caution and be very respectful to the officer at the scene

In all the years of watching COPS on TV, the one thing I've learned is you don't win arguements with an officer on the side of the road. "Yes sir" and "No sir" is all that needs to be said at the scene. Someitmes they even let you go the rest of the way home if you promise that they won't see your vehicle on the road again for the next 12 hours...
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#162894 - 29/05/2003 06:54 Re: Speeding [Re: bonzi]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
Actually I think that the two you mentioned (Homicide & NYPD Blue) come as close to real life as I have seen. In particular, Homicide's portrayal of some of the small details (such as an endless fleet of identical Chevy Cavaliers for the homicide detectives to use) were exceptionally well done.

In the final analysis none of them come close to real life for a reason. Law enforcement is generally comprised of 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror (American law enforcement officers are not paid for what they do as much as for what they may have to do). Watching a detective wade through a sea of paperwork may be more realistic but it wouldn't make for a very entertaining show .
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#162895 - 29/05/2003 06:55 Re: Speeding [Re: davec]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
I couldn't agree more!
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#162896 - 29/05/2003 07:00 Re: Speeding [Re: ]
davec
old hand

Registered: 18/08/2000
Posts: 992
Loc: Georgetown, TX USA
can the judge increase it for court costs or just because he feels like it?

As long as you don't use the BBS for character witnesses, you'll be OK d33zy...
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#162897 - 29/05/2003 07:23 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Law enforcement is generally comprised of 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror...

Ah, one of my favorite episodes was one where actually nothing was happening - it was very hot day, air conditioning was broken, everybody was nervous, and baby found in a parrot cage in the basement was put there by cleaning lady who couldn't afford daycare. And the one with the guy killed in the subway, for which Andre Braugher got Emmy, of course...
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#162898 - 29/05/2003 07:30 Re: Speeding [Re: bonzi]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
As a fan of the show, have you ever read the book? I think you would find it a terrific read as it (the book) is completely factual. It was written by a reporter for the Baltimore Sun who somehow gained unprecedented access to the Homicide Unit for a year. The book pulls no punches and tells it how it really is (or at least was in the late 80's).
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#162899 - 29/05/2003 15:55 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
I *did* recognize the name and I am a huge fan of that great book! Cool.

I will respond to your post about discressionary enforcement when I get the rest of my thoughts in order...

Jim

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#162900 - 29/05/2003 15:57 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
How has it changed since the 80's? I'm assuming the obvious advances in forensic science, but how about other ways?

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#162901 - 30/05/2003 02:01 Re: Speeding [Re: njtomlin]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Thanks for the recommendation. The book is on its way.
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#162902 - 30/05/2003 05:59 Re: Speeding [Re: bonzi]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
I'm sure you'll love it! Let me know...
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#162903 - 31/05/2003 02:51 Re: Speeding [Re: tfabris]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3159
Loc: Portland, OR
If you are respectful and polite, you might be able to admit your speed, apoligize, and throw yourself on his mercy. It's worked for me (once...).


Yeah, that can certainly work. I've only been pulled over twice, both times within a year of getting my license. Once I got pulled over for doing 98km/h in a 50km/h zone. The cop that pulled me over asked if I wanted to see the radar printout as proof, to which I said "No, I trust you." I think he was a bit surprised by that one, and he reduced the ticket to a 15 over. The second time, I made a bonehead pass on a rainy morning, doing 120km/h in an 80km/h zone. The oncoming traffic was led by a cop. I saw him pull over and turn his flashers on in my rearview mirror, so I pulled off onto a sidestreet, out of traffic, where he could see me, and just waited for him. That, I think, helped me go from getting my license suspended (he could have ticketed me for a combination of speeding/dangerous driving) to getting off with nothing but a stern lecture.

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#162904 - 31/05/2003 05:08 Re: Speeding [Re: canuckInOR]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2582
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Being on the force myself I have experienced this numerous times before. Though traffic/road policing is not my primary job, I am qualified to intervean if I see need to.
I normally let a LOT of behavior slip, but +/- once a month I see something that really is not acceptable anymore and in which I intervean.

This doesn't always result in a ticket for the offender. I can honestly say that -for me anyway- the behavior of the offender when he/she is spoken to is the real reason why he/she receives/gets out of a ticket.

Therefor, here goes :

Archeon's top 5 ways of getting out of a ticket :

5) If you are signaled to stop, do so immediately. DON'T keep on driving, making the officer pull you over himself. This is NOT a good way to start a neutral conversation. Justifying your behavior with a "Oh, I didn't notice you were signalling me to stop" WON'T work. We all have the natural reflex whenever we see a cop in the street (especially if we've just done something wrong) to watch their every move. Cops know this too.
(Cop's thoughts at that moment : "Oh, and lying too? What does this guy take me for?")

4) Don't try to justify your own offence with pointing to somebody else's. So never, and I mean NEVER say to the officer something along the line of : "Hey, that guy over there is doing the exact same thing as I did, so why aren't you stopping him?"
(Cop's throughts at that moment : "Cause now I'm a bit busy ticketing your ass, that's why !")

3) Don't try to be a smartass. Saying things like : "Haven't you got anything better to do ?" won't help your case. It still surprises me that so many think it will. About 60-70% of all people that get fined feel the need to say things like that. Of course 100% of those people get the ticket they deserve.
(Cop's throughts at that moment : "I don't know of any place I'd rather be right now than right here writing you this nice big ticket")

2) Don't argue. Not about the way you commited your offense (after all, the cop saw it with his own eyes), and certainly not about the way the officer does his job. Admit to your fault.

And most importantly...

1) BE POLITE ! I can't stress this enough. God knows how many people have already gotten out of a ticket by a simple "yes, Sir".
Most people don't understand this however. They think : "if I'm going to get this ticket, I'm going to give this cop a piece of my mind. At least I'll get some stress relieve for my money's worth then". These (most) people think when they get pulled over they will get that ticket no matter what. Wrong, absolutely wong. It's mostly their behavior at that particular time that will them the ticket, NOT the traffic offence itself.

So the "ideal" conversation between officer and offender would be something like this.
Say you've just ignored to give way, creating a dangerous situation for the people coming from your right.

"Good day Sir. I've notice you've just ignored to give way at that last intersection. How do you explain that ?"
* "I don't really have an explanation for it Sir. I wasn't really paying attention. I was stupid of me and there really is no justification for my action".
"That's right. You know I should give you a ticket" (notice the should. At this point you're halfway home)
* "You're right Sir, I won't argue about it. I'm sorry"

At this point I can guarantee you that you've got a 90% chance to get out of the ticket. In the case of the other 10% the offence was probably just too big to let go unfined or the officer is too dutiful or just a plain a**hole. (I won't argue that there are some like that in every corps. Most of them aren't though)
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#162905 - 31/05/2003 07:35 Re: Speeding [Re: BartDG]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
You know, your conversation sample matches 95% of the conversations I've had in the past when pulled over. So far I'm three for three in the last 12 years not getting a ticket (knock wood). They were: 55 in a 35, 62 in a 35 and 80 in a 65.

The way I figure, I know I was speeding, the cops are doing their jobs, they know I was speeding, so what's the point in getting stressed out. Might as well be polite and get things over with.

-Zeke
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#162906 - 31/05/2003 09:20 Re: Speeding [Re: BartDG]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12139
Loc: Sterling, VA
Unfortunately, the numbers are skewed where I went to school. I've gotten 3 tickets there. TWO for 45 in a 35, and one for a "rolling stop." In all situations I was very polite and humbled, but it didn't help me any. They aren't the nicest cops in that area (they've got a rep for it).
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#162907 - 31/05/2003 09:32 Re: Speeding [Re: Dignan]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2582
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
They aren't the nicest cops in that area (they've got a rep for it).

Sorry to hear that. The 90-10% estimate I made was of course influenced by my personal experience. This might differ in your specific location, but I don't believe it will differ all that much.
I still believe that if you are nice and polite to people they'll do a lot more for you than if you're not. I also believe this is only true for people above a certain IQ. (and yes, I know this works both ways. )
Unfortunately this does not applie to most of the people I deal with on a daily basis. I'm not a traffic cop, so I rarely deal with 'the average citizen'. Mostly I deal with die-hard criminals of which most aren't too bright, hence the IQ remark.
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#162908 - 02/06/2003 08:14 Re: Speeding [Re: TigerJimmy]
njtomlin
stranger

Registered: 28/05/2003
Posts: 25
Loc: The Ohio Valley (USA)
Actually it has changed quite a bit since the 80's. Leadership changes brough slow reforms to an often antiquated system. The Baltimore Police Department has been around since 1784 so you can imagine the traditions developed over all of those years and the difficulty anyone would have in trying to change it. For example, the department's move to replace the espantoon (a term specific to the "tree trunk with a strap on it" carried by the Baltimore Police since the beginning of time) caused a near revolt among the rank and file. Also, the fairly recent trend of "command staff swapping" between NYPD and BPD has resulted in a sort of homogenization of the two agencies in terms of style and direction while leaving the very distinct and rich traditions of the agencies intact.
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#162909 - 16/06/2003 19:32 Re: Speeding [Re: Dignan]
Anonymous
Unregistered


It's an old thread but I saw this book on Amazon that seems relevant.

You & the Police, by Boston T. Party

Excerpt:



Attachments
164287-book1.jpg (62 downloads)


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#162910 - 16/06/2003 19:34 Re: Speeding [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered




Attachments
164288-book2.jpg (58 downloads)


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