If you've ever driven around NYC for an extended period of time, then you've probably come across (if not fallen prey to) a police trap, whether it's near the West Side Highway or Coney Island. Maybe you forgot to put your seatbelt on, or decided to check your iPhone at a stop light, or crammed too much junk into the back of your vehicle. Regardless of why you got stopped, former NYPD officer Jerry Kane gave ABC some tips about how you can avoid being handed that ticket.
Drive Slow: Here's the most important piece of advice he offered to avoid being stopped in the first place: keep your speed less than 10 miles per hour over the limit. “If you were my brother or my cousin and asked me, that’s what I would tell you,” he said.
Imagine You Are A Cop Who Thinks He Is Going To Be Killed: But okay, let's assume that didn't work. In order to not get a ticket, you need to understand the cop. Unless you're telepathic, that means you'll have to conjure up whatever empathy you can: “Cops get killed on car stops,” Kane noted, so they are on high alert when they stop you. Make no sudden movements, and consider asking an officer how their day is going. Or maybe carry around some token gift (chocolates?) you can give them.
Show Your Hands: It's just like the Super Furry Animals once sang: you gotta show your hand now. “The most dangerous thing to the cop when he comes up to the car are the hands of someone, because they could hold a weapon,” Kane said. “If he can see everybody’s hands, immediately his blood pressure goes down, his pulse gets a bit slower. If it’s nighttime, turn on the interior lights in your car. If it’s night or day, lower all the windows on your car…And put your hands up on the steering wheel — high, where the cop can see them.”
Play Dumb: Now you're off to a great start with the officer! But don't get fooled into think you'll be going out for a post-ticket beer anytime soon. You may be part of a symbiotic, revenue-generating, limbs-saving relationship, but you're not friends. And you don't have to tell them the whole truth and nothing but the truth: “You can play dumb. You can say, ‘What did I do?’ And if he tells you what you did, you could say, ‘I must have…you know, I just didn’t realize it,’”
Ladies Perks: When it comes down to it, the best thing you can do to avoid a ticket is be a (pretty) lady. “Since men and women were created, attractive women get more breaks,” Kane said. He added that crying sometimes works for women as well.
As for cyclists who might want some advice about how to avoid receiving multiple tickets at bogus traffic stops, Kane had no advice, because you're screwed no matter what you do.