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The Birthday of the Speeding Ticket

I read this morning that today is the birthday of the speeding ticket.  Many of us have gotten speeding tickets over the years, but no one likes the sudden appearance of blue lights flashing behind them when they’re on their merry way home from work, or anywhere else for that matter.  Especially if you drive an exotic sports car, such as some of the ones that we sell here at Select Luxury Cars, the police just might assume that you’re going to speed just because you drive a car that can go double, triple, or more over the highway speed limits.

In the immortal words of Joe Walsh in “Life’s been good,” “My Maserati does 185.  I lost my license, now I don’t drive.”

(For you fans of the song, here’s a video of Joe Walsh performing it live at Wembley Arena)

So in honor of, or perhaps in a warped tribute to, the first speeding ticket, here are a few facts and tips.

From Wikipedia’s entry on “Traffic Ticket,” here’s some speeding trivia:

  • The fastest speeding ticket in the world allegedly occurred in May 2003 in Texas. It was supposedly 242mph in a 75mph zone. The car was a Swedish-built Koenigsegg CCX, which was involved in the San Francisco to Miami Gumball 3000 Rally.[5]
  • The fastest convicted speeder in the UK was Daniel Nicks, convicted of 175 mph on a Honda Fireblade motorcycle in 2000. He received six weeks in jail and was banned from driving for two years.[6]
  • The fastest UK speeder in a car was Timothy Brady, caught driving a 3.6-litre Porsche 911 Turbo at 172 mph on the A420 in Oxfordshire in January 2007 and jailed for 10 weeks and banned from driving for 3 years.[7]
  • Also, in the UK visiting from Japan, Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata did 324kph (201mph) on the A1M in a RB26DETT powered Toyota Supra tuned by the company he founded, Top Secret. He was arrested, fined, and banned from driving in the UK. Numerous videos on YouTube show the top speed run, which was filmed by Video Option reporters. One of the reporters hid the tape in his jeans to avoid it being confiscated and being used as evidence against Smokey.
  • The most expensive speeding ticket ever given is believed to be the one given to Jussi Salonoja in Helsinki, Finland, in 2003. Salonoja, the 27-year-old heir to a company in the meat-industry, was fined £116,000 for driving 80 km/h in a 40 km/h zone. The uncommonly large fine was due to Finnish speeding tickets being relative to the offender’s last known income. Salonoja’s speeding ticket was not the first ticket given in Finland reaching six figures.[8]
  • Film actor and director Harry Myers received the world’s first speeding ticket in 1904, Dayton, Ohio, police ticketed Harry Myers for going twelve miles per hour on West Third Street.[9][10]
  • (Note: according to the US Census Bureau, as referenced on the blog Ask MJ : May 20th, 1899, Jacob German (a New York City cab driver) was arrested for speeding. He was also driving 12 miles per hour, down Lexington street in Manhattan.  He was imprisoned in the East 22nd Street station house.  He didn’t have to surrender his registration and license, as those weren’t required by law until 1901 in New York.”)
  • Another early speeding ticket was issued in 1910 to Lady Laurier, the wife of Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, in Ottawa, Canada, for exceeding the 10 miles per hour speed limit.[11]

Now for the advice:  What do you do if you get pulled over for speeding?  What do you do if you can’t talk your way out of a ticket?

Well, this post on Lifehacker offers 18 tips, both to avoid getting the ticket in the first place, and to get it dismissed if possible.  The first 4 tips I’ve quoted here, but for the rest visit their site via the link above.

1. Get your attitude right.

Fighting with the police officer never increases your chances of leniency. You want him to like you. Prepare to achieve this goal.

2. Turn your car off, and turn the interior lights of your car on.

Place your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and remove your sunglasses or hat. Some people even advise you to place your keys on the roof of your car as a sign of total submission. Never, ever get out of the car.

The whole point of this is to take any unnecessary tension out of the encounter. You want the officer to be comfortable. Imagine the types of people and the dangers that most officers have had to deal with. Be just the opposite.

3. Be very polite and do exactly what the nice cop with the big gun says.

Save your pleas until after the basics are finished. Many officers will never speak to you until after they’ve done the basics. It’s almost a litmus test for jerk drivers.

4. Once the officer has gotten your information, ask him politely if you may speak to him about your violation.

If you know you broke the law, admit it vehemently and tell the officer that he was completely right for pulling you over. Honest officers will admit that there is a lot of pride in police work, and, if you can sufficiently satisfy the pride factor, sometimes officers don’t feel it necessary to punish you any further. The better you make the officer feel; the more likely he’s going to like you enough to let you go.

One thing I’ve found helpful is to have your driver’s license and proof of insurance in hand by the time the officer gets to your car.  They’re going to ask you for it anyway, so start things off right and have it ready.  You want to show them the courtesy of making their job easier.  If you’re going to have to reach into your glove compartment or anywhere else not in plain sight, let the officer know where you’re reaching and why.  You may not be a criminal, but the officer never knows what will happen when they pull someone over.  Making them feel at ease works in your favor as well.

Another suggestion: pull over somewhere out of the way – if you are on the highway and an exit is coming up, put your turn signal on and go ahead to the exit, then pull over in a parking lot or somewhere safe.  The officer won’t be as happy if you pull over on a highway full of fast-moving cars as he or she will be if it takes an extra 30 seconds or so to go somewhere safer.

We hope this is both helpful and entertaining!  If you’re in the market for a used luxury car or a preowned sports car, visit our website or stop by our Atlanta pre-owned auto dealership. Or click here for Mapquest directions to Select Luxury Cars.

Select Luxury Cars | 985 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta, GA 30060 | 770-421-0070 | 1-800-283-7224 | info@selectluxury.com

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