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Safety Information

Ticket Avoidance (Jan 2008 newsletter)

by Ted and Joyce Strutz

While we may not be riding our steeds right now, the tips for this month can be as handy in your cage as well as on your bike. The following is a Top 10 Ticket Avoidance List.

  1. Stay as far to the right as possible on multi-lane highways unless passing. Properly passing another vehicle will not single you out, but hovering in the passing lane will - regardless of your speed.
  2. Beware of guilt by association. In other words, do not ride with people who do stupid things like driving recklessly, weaving in and out of lanes, failing to routinely use their turn signals, or anything that smacks of racing and road rage.
  3. Never exceed the posted speed limit in residential areas, no matter how ludicrously low.
  4. Never exceed the posted speed limit in a school zone, even if no kids are in sight.
  5. Be alert when crossing state lines, particularly when traveling on an interstate or when there is a change in the posted speed limit. A good rule of thumb is to be especially careful for 10 miles on either side of the border.
  6. Be alert when passing by rest stops, truck stops, and weigh stations. Police tend to watch closely places where people congregate and areas that generate the highest number of calls.
  7. Be aware of any vehicle that suddenly appears in your rearview mirror. While not a hard and fast rule, most departments do not allow the use of radar or laser equipment at night. Officers will then rely on pacing, where a cruiser follows behind a driver for a period of time before initiating a traffic stop.
  8. Never be the fastest person on the road. Even if a cruiser is not equipped with radar or laser or the officer is not able to pace for the required distance, a ticket can still be issued for "failure to obey a highway sign," such as the posted speed limit.
  9. Do not go more than 9mph over the posted speed limit even when passing a slower vehicle on interstate or U.S. highways. In reality, it is impossible to be invisible to the police while simultaneously being conspicuous to other motorists. And going 10+ mph faster than the speed limit, regardless of the reason, is usually not safe or prudent and increases the likelihood that you will be spotted by the police.
  10. Never, ever pass on a double yellow, exceed the speed limit by 20 mph or more, or drive in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of any person. These activities constitute reckless driving and, in most jurisdictions, require the operator to appear in court. This could be a very expensive lesson.

 

Seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror is a very unpleasant experience. There are some things you can do to help reduce the chances of receiving a ticket.

    • Immediately pull over to the right shoulder, turn off the motorcycle, put the side stand down, but remain seated on the bike.
    • Remove your gloves and helmet and place them on the gas tank. It is always best for an officer to speak with a person face-to-face rather than a helmeted stranger. 
    • Stay on the bike with your hands on top of your helmet and keep your attention focused forward, not to the rear or on what the officer is doing. Keeping your hands in plain view is a courtesy that reduces any anxiety the officer may feel.
    • When the officer approaches and asks for your driver’s license and registration, let him know where they are before reaching for them.
    • Lastly, do not lie when asked if you know why you were stopped. You do know. It is appropriate, even expected, to be remorseful, apologetic and sometimes tearful, to minimize your involvement, and even to blame your mother for your stupidity. To lie though is disrespectful and just plain insulting.