Being pulled over and handed a speeding ticket not only takes valuable time from a busy schedule, but it also makes any day more stressful. However, speeding citations are fairly common, so if you see the flashing lights of a police cruiser behind you, stay calm. Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road or designated area and wait for the officer to approach the driver’s side window.

Listen carefully.

Before assuming the worst, hear what the police officer has to say. Often, he or she will simply issue a warning and let you go without a citation. The office may point out some important things about the way you were driving that led to the citation, including the speed you were traveling without knowing it. Drivers sometimes miss speed limit signs or fail to adjust their vehicle’s speed when traveling through changing road zones, such as a school zone or business district. This information will help to clarify why a ticket is being issued now as well as prepare you to drive the correct speed in that area for the future.

Speak politely.

If you feel the officer has misinterpreted your driving speed, or if there are extenuating circumstances that should be mentioned, do so politely without raising your voice or criticizing the officer. Avoid jokes or sarcasm. Speak in a matter-of-fact tone. At the very least the officer will likely listen respectfully and perhaps be persuaded by your comments to void the speeding citation. Stick to the truth and facts without exaggeration or falsehoods.

Follow up appropriately.

If you and the officer cannot agree, accept the ticket courteously for the time being. Then after giving it more thought, you can plan an appropriate response. This might mean calling or writing the traffic court to contest the ticket, including a rationale explaining why you feel the ticket is undeserved. You might decide to make a court appearance to argue your side in person. Keep in mind, however, when fighting your speeding ticket that you might not win. Alternately, even if you feel the ticket is unfair, it may be best to pay it, especially if you get speeding tickets on occasion, to avoid collecting a slew of speeding ticket fines.

For many drivers, speeding citations are one of life’s nuisances. However, with careful monitoring of your vehicle’s speed gauge, you may be able to avoid or reduce the number of speed tickets you receive.