How to avoid a speeding ticket (besides driving the speed limit) - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

How to avoid a speeding ticket (besides driving the speed limit)

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Most people have experienced getting pulled over by a police officer at least once in their lives.

It is not a fun feeling. 

Heartland News rode along with a few Heartland officers on patrol for tips on where, when and why you might get a speeding ticket.

Marion Police Sergeant Justin Francis works the evening shift and says the first part of his day is usually very busy.
 
“Everybody going home. That's usually your speeding. A lot of your traffic crashes occur between the hours of 4 and 6,” Francis said.
 
And he says both are most likely to happen on Route 13 in his coverage area.
 
“75 to 80 percent of our citations for speeding are going to be on Route 13,” Francis said. “It goes from a 65 mile an hour zone to when you get into the city of Marion, a 55 mile an hour zone and reduces to a 45 and then it further reduces to a 35. A lot of people continue to come through town anywhere from 65 to 70 miles an hour.”
 
When he makes a traffic stop, Francis said he often waits until he talks to the driver before he decides whether he's going to issue a warning or a ticket. 

During our ride-along, Francis pulled over a vehicle going 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, but the driver’s actions before Francis approached the car made a difference.

“This guy has went through the courtesy of actually pulling off of route 13 onto a side street and he's pulled completely off of the roadway for my safety,” Francis said. “So this has already awarded this guy with a lot of points.” 

There are other things you can do beyond that if you end up getting pulled over. 
 
“When I walked up there, he had both hands on the steering wheel,” Francis said. “He was not fishing around in the car. Just very compliant and cooperative driver. So, that goes a long way with me. So this guy's definitely going to be getting a warning.”
 
But remember, each officer and each department is going to be different when it comes to how they issue traffic citations.

“I'm pretty lenient,” Sikeston DPS officer Martin Simmerman said. “I like to give a grace speed. So you're doing nine under, I understand, just slow it down.”
 
If you find yourself traveling through Sikeston, keep your speed in check on Ingram Road. 

“Everyone coming into town doing 55 in a 35, 60 in a 35,” Simmerman said.
 
Simmerman says at least five police units patrol the city at any given time and sometimes even more than that.
 
“From 3 to 11, that's your busy shift,” Simmerman said. “We have what's called a power squad that will intervene and start pulling people over, start helping us with our calls if our load exceeds what we can handle.”

If you find yourself getting pulled over, compliance and attitude can make a huge difference in the way the officer responds.

Consider keeping your registration and proof of insurance somewhere easily accessible.

Doing so will keep you from having to fidget around in your car.

And finally, find a safe place to pull off the road.

Having the officer's safety in mind will go a long way.

If you are interested in doing a police ride-along, check with your local department. 

Many departments have programs in place that allow members of the public to see what's it's like for officers on patrol.

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