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Traffic Ticket Myths: What’s Fact and What’s Fiction?

Date posted: 08/07/2012

by Kat Saks on
in Tickets & Violations

3315 Traffic Ticket Myths: Whats Fact and Whats Fiction?

When it comes to speeding tickets and other traffic violations, long-accepted “facts” are often myths, and things we think can’t possibly be true actually are.

What if your ticketing officer doesn’t show up to court? How valid is the “faulty radar” defense? If there aren’t any signatures on the ticket, does it still count?

Knowing these common traffic ticket myths and facts can help save you time – and money – in the long run.

Test Your Traffic Ticket Knowledge! Fact or Myth?

Courts drop tickets if officers don’t show up.

Depends.

Some states don’t require the officer to appear in court for a traffic ticket hearing; the judge will still try the case, regardless of whether the officer shows.

Some states, though, require an appearance; without one, the judge will toss the case.

Radar inaccuracy helps you plead “not guilty” to a speeding ticket.

Myth.

While many drivers will try to cite the possibility of radar device inaccuracies as a reason why their traffic tickets should be dismissed, this excuse won’t fly with most judges unless you have evidence to support your claim.

As a layperson, the only evidence you might be able to provide is proof that the officer’s equipment hasn’t been re-calibrated recently.

If you’re dead set on this defense, ask the officer for his calibration records and hire a traffic ticket attorney to assist you from that point.

Driving with traffic flow is not a valid reason to contest a speeding ticket.

Fact.

It doesn’t matter if your neighbor was going 90 mph in a 50 mph zone or not. If you were driving above the speed limit, your traffic citation stands.

Passing another vehicle is a valid reason to go over the speed limit.

Myth.

If you want to pass a slow-poke on the road, stay within the speed limit. If you go over the posted speed limit, you can receive a ticket.

The officer forgot to have you sign the traffic ticket. You’re off the hook!

Myth.

A traffic citation is still valid, even without your signature. Your signature simply serves as a promise that you will appear in court on the specified date.

Tickets with mistakes on them are still valid.

Fact.

You cannot contest a ticket due to a clerical error on the officer’s part. Judges consider incorrect dates and misspellings on traffic tickets to be mistakes and won’t allow typos as a defense.

Out-of-state tickets don’t impact your driving record.

Fact and myth!

Most states are part of an Interstate Driver’s License Compact (DLC) whereby participating states forward reported traffic violations to the ticket recipient’s home state. A handful of states do not participate in the DLC and therefore don’t receive notice of out-of-state violations.

But, rule and regulations change constantly, so don’t count on sneaking out of a ticket this way!

Know of any other common traffic ticket myths? Did any of these results surprise you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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About Kat Saks

Kat Saks is a Denver-based writer and yoga teacher. She is also Firefly Partners' Client Solutions Manager. She blogs for DMV.org and shouts safe-driving tips to teens while driving the city streets. More articles by Kat Saks

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