police http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3030/all en-US 10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wallet-with-money.jpg" alt="Wallet" title="Wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article is made possible by our underwriter </em><a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fclk%3B255963740%3B79617016%3Br&amp;k4=3441&amp;k5={banner_id}"><em>Equifax</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>We all know that sense of panic when we realize that our wallet or purse is missing. If you&rsquo;re like me, half of your life is in your wallet. Credit cards, debit cards, ID, insurance cards, money &mdash; you name it, it&rsquo;s in there. And if it falls into the wrong hands, it could be devastating. The least that can happen is you lose a little money. But you could be the victim of identity theft and fraud that could have repercussions for years.</p> <p>So what do you do should the worst happen? Here is a checklist for you, featuring some very important numbers and a little advice that you should follow <em>today</em> to help you keep your valuables safe and make reporting a lost wallet a lot easier.</p> <h3>1. First of All, Is It Actually Lost or Stolen, or Just Misplaced?</h3> <p>I can&rsquo;t tell you the number of times I thought my wallet was lost only to realize that it had fallen out of my pocket in the car or I left it in my desk drawer at work. The steps that follow are designed to render the contents of the wallet useless to any would-be thief or opportunist. <em>But</em> they also make life very difficult for you if you later find your wallet down the side of the sofa.</p> <p>You may want to call some of the places you&rsquo;ve been recently, like restaurants, stores, and the mall. People are more honest than they&rsquo;re given credit for, and will usually hand in a wallet or purse if they find one.</p> <p>So before you continue, make sure you&rsquo;ve looked in all the places it could be, and know for certain that it has gone for good. If it really is missing, start with number two.</p> <h3>2. Call the Issuers of Your Credit, Debit, and ATM Cards</h3> <p>Now, many people will tell you to cancel your cards immediately, but that&rsquo;s not actually what you want to do. Cancelling the cards puts wheels in motion that could leave you in a mess, especially with your credit score. What you actually want to do is report the cards as lost or stolen. This is very different than canceling, and every card issuer has a procedure that will suspend those numbers to keep your money safe.&nbsp;</p> <p>The numbers for the four major card companies are as follows:</p> <ul> <li>MASTERCARD: 1-800-627-8372 (US) or 1-636-722-7111 (Global)</li> <li>VISA: 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-8472-911) or 1-303-967-1096 (Global, call collect)</li> <li>AMEX: 1-800-528-4800</li> <li>DISCOVER: 1-800-347-2683</li> </ul> <p>If your cards are issued by a bank or credit union, call them as well. If checks (including travelers checks) were in your wallet, they can handle that accordingly.</p> <p>After that&rsquo;s done, make sure you get new cards sent to you ASAP with brand new account numbers. You&rsquo;ll want the same credit limits as before, the same (or lower) APR, and any miles that you accrued to be transferred.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, if any of those cards were used for automatic debits, you need to inform those companies within a day or two. If you don&rsquo;t, your account will not be paid, as the card will be rejected. You could go past due and owe fees, or even have your service suspended. If it&rsquo;s a debt that doesn&rsquo;t get paid, your APR could shoot up, or you could get a black mark on your credit score.</p> <h3>3. Put a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze on Your Accounts</h3> <p>The three major credit-reporting agencies &mdash; Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union &mdash; need to know about your loss immediately. With a fraud alert in place, any creditor will have to verify your identity before approving any new credit. This is usually done with a phone call to a number you put on file with the fraud alert and makes it almost impossible for a thief to run up huge bills on your behalf. The numbers you need are as follows:</p> <ul> <li>Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)</li> <li>Equifax: 1-800-525-6285</li> <li>Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289</li> </ul> <h3>4. Report the Loss or Theft to the Local Authorities</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t trivialize your loss as something that the police don&rsquo;t have time to deal with (but also don&rsquo;t think they&rsquo;ll be jumping on the case; there won&rsquo;t be a crime squad trying to track down your wallet). The reason for this step is to provide evidence in your favor should you become a victim of identity theft or fraud. If it happens, you don&rsquo;t want to be explaining why you didn&rsquo;t report the loss. Some information the police may ask you includes:</p> <ul> <li>Where and when you believe you lost your wallet</li> <li>What was actually in the wallet (amount of money, credit cards etc.)</li> <li>A description of the wallet itself</li> <li>If stolen, any suspects or a description of anyone suspicious</li> </ul> <p>When you&rsquo;ve finished filing the report, keep a copy for your records.</p> <h3>5. Go to Your Local DMV to Report Your Missing Driver&rsquo;s License</h3> <p>Everyone I know keeps their driver&rsquo;s license in their wallet or purse, and it&rsquo;s something that can be used in identity theft and fraud. So you want to get in touch with your DMV as soon as possible to report the loss. Although you can call, it&rsquo;s much better to have someone drive you there so that they can process your application quicker. They will then follow steps to reissue a license, which varies from state to state. You may be liable for fees as well.</p> <p>The DMV will almost certainly ask you to file a police report, too, which is why step four is so important.</p> <h3>6. If Keys Are Missing, Change the Locks</h3> <p>If your wallet contains a house key, you don&rsquo;t want to risk a break in. Even if the wallet is returned in tact, someone could very easily have copied the key. In fact, it&rsquo;s a known way to rob a house &mdash;&rdquo;lift&rdquo; the wallet or purse, jot down the address from the driver's license, copy the key, then hand it all in to the police.</p> <p>So if you know for certain that house keys went missing with the wallet, change the locks. You can easily do this yourself these days; stores like Home Depot and Lowes have a vast selection of locks. Or choose a reputable locksmith to do it for you.</p> <p>If the car keys went missing, that&rsquo;s not as easy to replace. But your car may also be at risk of being stolen, so contact your local car dealer or garage and ask for their assistance.</p> <h3>7. If Your Social Security Card Is Missing, Inform the Authorities</h3> <p>Most of us know our SSN by heart and have no reason to carry it with us (mine is filed away safely at home). If, however, your SSN card was in your wallet, you need to report that loss immediately. The Social Security Administration will not issue you a new number, just a new card, so calling them won&rsquo;t help with fraud and ID theft. You should take the following steps to reduce your risk of being an ID theft victim:</p> <ol> <li>Call the IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-4490</li> <li>File the loss with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT</li> <li>Report the loss to the <a href="http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx">Internet Crime Complaint Center</a></li> </ol> <h3>8. Try to List Everything Else That Was in the Wallet</h3> <p>There are other items in your wallet that may seem insignificant but could come back to haunt you. These include memberships to movie rental stores, work ID cards and access badges, medical insurance cards, computer passwords, and padlock keys.</p> <h3>9. Order Credit Reports</h3> <p>Every year, you are entitled to a <i>free</i> credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, without any strings attached. The easiest way to obtain these is to visit the <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp">Annual Credit Report</a> site. Then, take a close look at them to spot any possible fraudulent spending.&nbsp;</p> <h3>10. Replace the Wallet With a New One</h3> <p>New is a relative term. You may have another perfectly good wallet or purse at home, perhaps a gift you haven&rsquo;t had a chance to use yet. Or you may need to run out and buy a new one. You could even make one from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-10-unusual-uses-for-duct-tape">duct tape</a>. But you need to get your life back on track and fill this new wallet with replacement cards, checks, and all the other important stuff you had in your old wallet. Sure, your old wallet may actually turn up, but you can&rsquo;t hang around waiting for that to happen.</p> <h3>Some Steps You Can Take to Prepare Before You Lose Your Wallet</h3> <p>Hopefully you&rsquo;re reading this article to be informed should the worst happen. But there are steps you can take right now to be prepared. If you do lose your wallet, you&rsquo;ll be in a much better position to protect yourself and get the steps above done more quickly.</p> <p><strong>Strip Your Wallet of Anything You Don&rsquo;t Really Need</strong></p> <p>Is there a reason you&rsquo;re carrying all those credit and debit cards? If you use one 99% of the time, like most people do, then it&rsquo;s not wise to carry the others for those &ldquo;just in case&rdquo; moments. Carry one back up with your main card, and keep the rest at home. The same goes for anything that could help an ID thief, including SSN cards, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and other personal info.</p> <p><strong>Scan or Photocopy Everything That&rsquo;s in Your Wallet</strong></p> <p>I just did this recently, and I should have done it a lot sooner. Everything I keep in my wallet that&rsquo;s important has been scanned into my computer. I keep it in a handy file on my desktop, and I&rsquo;ll be updating it every three to four months. From my driver&rsquo;s license and credit cards to health insurance cards and gift cards, they are all now available at the touch of a button. I also have a PDF of this file stored on my phone (password protected, obviously). If I do lose my wallet, I know instantly what has gone missing and all the numbers to call.</p> <p><strong>Try a &ldquo;Lost Wallet&rdquo; App</strong></p> <p>They do exist, and many of them are free. Just do a search in the marketplace of your smartphone, and you&rsquo;ll find something that works for you. What these apps do is replicate the contents of your wallet, just like above, and then store the information with a secure password. Some apps also have a list of emergency numbers on hand that you can call straight from your cell phone.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Things%20You%20Should%20Do%20Immediately%20After%20Losing%20Your%20Wallet.jpg&amp;description=10%20Things%20You%20Should%20Do%20Immediately%20After%20Losing%20Your%20Wallet" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Things%20You%20Should%20Do%20Immediately%20After%20Losing%20Your%20Wallet.jpg" alt="10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next">‘Tis The Season To Get A Speeding Ticket! Are You Next?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen">18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-own-identity-what-to-do-when-yours-is-stolen">Get Your Own Identity! What to do when Yours is Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-increase-the-chance-of-someone-returning-your-lost-wallet">How to Increase the Chance of Someone Returning Your Lost Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs credit card cancellation police stolen identity wallet Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Paul Michael 924163 at http://www.wisebread.com You're Going to Get a Traffic Ticket Soon http://www.wisebread.com/as-sure-as-night-follows-day-youre-going-to-get-a-traffic-ticket-soon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/as-sure-as-night-follows-day-youre-going-to-get-a-traffic-ticket-soon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pulled_over.jpg" alt="Getting pulled over" title="Getting pulled over" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How soon? Well that depends on what kind of shape your state's economy is in. But from the experiences I have been gathering from friends, relatives, co-workers, and of course my own life, I think it's safe to say you'll be paying some sort of penalty within one year.</p> <p>I've written about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next">speeding tickets</a> before, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">parking tickets</a>, too. There was a time when a traffic violation was a rare thing in your life. In fact, some people (like my own Father In-Law) have never once received a ticket. But the clock is ticking on his perfect record, and if you have one, it could soon be tainted.</p> <p>The reason is simple. Money. Actually, a severe lack of money. Every state in America is feeling the ill effects of the past decade, and they are all desperately looking for ways to balance the budget. And time and again, one reliable source of income in tough times has been traffic tickets.</p> <p>Check out this lovely fact, discovered by researchers from the <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Government+Bodies/Federal+Reserve" title="More news, photos about Federal Reserve">Federal Reserve</a> Bank of St. Louis and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock:</p> <blockquote><p>A 10% decrease in revenue growth caused a 6.4% increase the following year in the growth rate of traffic tickets.</p></blockquote> <p>That's no coincidence. No way. What are the odds that when times are tough, and people have less money, they suddenly throw caution to the wind and start speeding more, or tailgating, or running red lights? It would have the opposite effect actually; the less money you have, the less likely you are to do anything to jeopardize it.</p> <p>And yet, in tough times, tickets go up. Nationwide, the average speeding ticket is around $150. And in the U.S., 93,000 speeding tickets are issued every day! (That is an updated, and more accurate, number from the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next">previous article</a> I wrote.) Simple math will lead you to the princely sum of $5.1 billion! That's not exactly a sum you can slash from the budget. In fact, it's easy money for the state to collect. And now that the cupboard is bare, your Old Mother Hubbard state is looking at you for the cash. (Those and many other engrossing facts are listed <a href="http://www.autoblog.com/2010/04/12/speeding-tickets-65-issued-per-minute-and-other-fun-facts/">here</a>.)</p> <p><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2694/4454230687_7682c7de40.jpg" style="width: 255px; height: 269px;" alt="" /></p> <p>As <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-30-speeding-cushion_N.htm ">USA Today</a> reported (and I myself recently experienced) the old 5-10mph cushion that officers used to allow for motorists is disappearing, and fast. Several officers I talked to in the course of researching this article told me that anything more than 2mph over the speed limit is a moving violation, and subject to a fine and points. That 2mph is basically a margin of error for their equipment, they are not saying 2mph over is ok.</p> <p>At the same time I was being told this, I also learned about &quot;ticket hauls.&quot; What are they, you may ask? Well, on the days that the officers assigned to traffic duty, they have to bring in as many tickets as possible in a certain period; usually around four hours. You will recognize a ticket haul when you see several police cars and bikes pulling over motorists on the side of the road, usually in a notorious speed trap for that area.</p> <p>My recent incident involved an area that should by all accounts be a 55mph zone (I say this because across town there is an identical road, in the same urban surroundings, that has 55mph and 65mph posted limits). The road was a 30mph zone, rising to 35mph, which I find so odd as the roads around my home, a very suburban neighborhood, are 45mph. Anyway, I didn't see the 30mph sign (thank you tree), stuck to a few over 35mph and got a ticket. The officer had to explain why I was pulled over as I was clueless, and even had to show me the exact point at which the road went from 30 to 35, and how they clocked me just before it. He said it looking down at the ground. I think it was shame, I can't be sure. Now I have a $110 fine and 2 points on my license, not to mention a nice hike in my insurance rates.</p> <p>And because of all of the above, it means everyone is now a candidate for a ticket, whether it's speeding or something else. Even if you drive like Miss Daisy, you are in the crosshairs now.</p> <p>You see, speeding may be the most popular form of traffic ticket, but it's not the only one. Aggressive driving tickets are on the up (check out <a href="http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/tact/">TACT</a> for more information) and you will get a fine and 2-4 points on your license for driving aggressively. This includes cutting of other cars and trucks, tailgating, passing on the wrong side, staying in a truck's blind spot and more.</p> <p>Then there are the other violations that used to be just a warning. A headlight out, for instance, is a ticketable offence. Texting and driving, or any other kind of cell phone use, is very ticketable (with good reason). Technically, you're not even supposed to eat or drink anything whilst driving, despite the cup holders. And then there are those red light cameras. They have been proven not to deter anyone from running a red, but there are more of them going up daily. The reason? Ticket revenue.</p> <p>You can bet your bottom dollar that the authorities are now using every traffic violation available to increase their ticket hauls. And before you go cursing out the officers, don't. They have about as much choice in the matter as you do. These are orders, and are imposed because of budget issues. Basically, issue the tickets or watch jobs and equipment get cut. And it's all done under the banner of &quot;making the roads a safer place.&quot; While that's obviously true, and we all want safer roads, why is safety so much more of a concern when your state has a budget crisis?</p> <p><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4426610518_3c086ff470.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>That's the bad news. Now, what can you do about it?</strong></p> <p>Not much. For those who say &quot;don't speed then&quot; you are making a more complex issue way too simple. Sometimes, you genuinely believe you are obeying the speed limit, hence the name &quot;speed trap.&quot; You may even be so careful that you go too slow, and once again the ticket book can come out. But here are a few tips you can use above and beyond your usual driving ways. They probably won't prevent the inevitable, but they may help delay it significantly.</p> <p><strong>Use Your GPS to Monitor Your Speed</strong><br /> If you have a GPS in the car, and it's any good, it will tell you not only how fast you are traveling but what the posted limits are for the roads you are on. I switch mine on whenever I'm driving now, and keep my speed in the green bar, which occasionally turns yellow (you're a few mph over). If it goes red, even for a second, I take my foot off the gas.</p> <p><strong>Do Not Just &quot;Go With Traffic&quot; and Expect to Be Safe</strong><br /> It's a common excuse that used to carry water, but not any more. If you are doing 65mph in a 55mph zone, because everyone else is doing it, then you can still get a ticket. True, it may be harder for the officer to single you out, but it doesn't mean they won't do it. Use the slow lane if you have to. And that leads nicely to my next point.</p> <p><strong>Do Not Give in to Road Hogs and Bullies</strong><br /> I was doing 41mph in a 40mph zone today. The pick-up truck behind me was so close, I could see the driver hadn't shaved in a few days. He was weaving around, putting his hands up in the air, making obvious gestures that I was a slow coach, before finally leaning on his horn and then overtaking me on a blind corner. It's not easy to drive under that pressure, but you are doing nothing wrong. And the people who tailgate you, they'll be getting their ticket, and financial lesson, long before you will.</p> <p><strong>Watch Your Speed at all Times</strong><br /> It can creep up on you, especially if you use cruise control. Keep your eyes peeled for signs and stay at the speed limit or just a fraction above it.</p> <p><strong>Do Not Be an Aggressive Driver</strong><br /> TACT is being enforced now, in various states. If you get too close to a truck or car, or cut one off, you could see a ticket. Give every car on the road plenty of room. I think one car length for every 10mph of speed is good.</p> <p><strong>Keep Your Vehicle in Top Shape</strong><br /> If you don't have a modern car, it may not inform you that a light is out. Check the lights regularly, you do not want a ticket for something as small as a $15 bulb change. Also, poorly maintained vehicles stick out like a sore thumb. You want your car to be something that does not attract attention.</p> <p><strong>Avoid Driving on Public Roads</strong><br /> Not easy this one, but try taking a bicycle to the library or coffee shop. Take the bus or light rail to work. Those are ways to virtually eliminate the chances of a traffic ticket.</p> <p><strong>Wear Your Seatbelt At All Times</strong><br /> Seems like a &quot;duh&quot; suggestion, but if you get pulled over for a traffic violation and your seatbelt is off, that's another ticket. Of course, you have no reason not to ear a seatbelt anyway, so &quot;click it or ticket.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Stay Away From the Fast Lane</strong><br /> This is reserved for overtaking, or at least it should be, but is usually inhabited by drivers who like to floor it. And if you keep up with these guys, you're in the ticketing zone.</p> <p><strong>Watch for the Police</strong><br /> They will park their cars in similar spots each day, and will drive unmarked cars that are covered in mirrors and aerials. Keep your eyes peeled. Don't rely on a radar detector either, they are not reliable and only serve to really annoy a cop if you're pulled over.</p> <p><strong>Pay Attention to the Headlight Flash</strong><br /> Other motorists will warn you if they notice a cop car ahead of you by flashing their lights. If you notice it, they're not being friendly, they're telling you to slow it down.</p> <p><strong>Watch Motorists Around You, Especially Ahead</strong><br /> If you notice more brake lights coming on than usual, there may be a speed trap ahead. Truckers also communicate with each other, so if the trucks around you slow down, do the same. They may already know of a police car in wait.</p> <p>I'm sure you can think of more ways to stay alert, so please, leave them in the comments area. Now, I'm not advocating speeding in this article, I am against anything that is unsafe driving. But I think that we are now, as a society, having to pay for our government's shortfalls by getting these tickets that are completely unnecessary. Drive safe everyone.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/as-sure-as-night-follows-day-youre-going-to-get-a-traffic-ticket-soon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next">‘Tis The Season To Get A Speeding Ticket! Are You Next?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/safety-tips-for-holiday-driving">Safety Tips for Holiday Driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-your-speeding-ticket-save-yourself-some-dough">Fight Your Speeding Ticket, Save Yourself Some Dough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation General Tips driving law enforcement police speeding ticket Thu, 03 Jun 2010 13:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 113432 at http://www.wisebread.com ‘Tis The Season To Get A Speeding Ticket! Are You Next? http://www.wisebread.com/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3090392251_911be4dfaf.jpg" alt="Lights Cop" title="Lights Of The Police Car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yes, speeding tickets suck. And yes, they&rsquo;re also a necessary deterrent; they come not just with fines and points on your license, but insurance rate hikes. This is also the time of year when more speeding tickets are issued, and you may be more likely to get one based on a few factors.</p> <p>So, why is this time of year open season on drivers? And how could you be more likely to get a ticket? Well, there are several factors, which some police officer friends of mine recently let me in on. The most obvious is that it&rsquo;s party season, with the Holidays and New Year's. And parties mean drinking, which means bad driving. There are more cops on the roads, and more cops means more chances of getting a ticket. Simple math. But what about your own situation? What are the circumstances that put you in a higher-risk category of getting a speeding ticket? Here are some questions that will help.</p> <h2>Where do you live?</h2> <p>This is not just party season; it&rsquo;s also budget season. People in businesses everywhere are having huddled conversations with accountants and tax attorneys. And unfortunately, every state in America is also trying to balance the budget (or these days, get somewhere close to breaking even). If you happen to live in a state that&rsquo;s got way more money problems than it should have (sorry Californians) then you&rsquo;re going to be on the receiving end of some budget-boosting strategies. Enter the police force. They have the ability to create revenue for the state in the form of traffic violations. For example, the average traffic cop will cost a city about $75,000 per year in salary, bonuses, and benefits. This same police officer will make the city an average of $200,000 per year in traffic ticket fines. That&rsquo;s $125,000 in pure profit!</p> <p>Make no mistake, this is lucrative. Here are just <a href="http://www.trafficticketsecrets.com/speeding-ticket-facts.html">a few stats</a> I found on the kind of money this can bring in (and this is JUST for speeding tickets &mdash; this doesn&rsquo;t include any other type of traffic violation):</p> <ul> <li>Over 100,000 people a day receive a speeding ticket in this country. That equates to over 41 million speeding tickets per year.</li> <li>One in every six drivers will get a speeding ticket this year.</li> <li>The average speeding ticket costs $150.00.</li> <li>41,000,000 x 150.00 = $6,150,000,000! That&rsquo;s right&hellip;over $6 BILLION.</li> <li>The average raise in insurance costs for one speeding ticket over the course of 3 years is $900.00.</li> <li>41,000,000 x 900 = $36,900,000,000 in extra insurance money in 3 years.</li> <li>Over 95% of people who receive a speeding ticket never contest it and just pay the fine. That includes me by the way.</li> <li>The 5% who fight the ticket usually have their case dismissed and/or receive reduced charges that don&rsquo;t get reported on their driving record. (Oh, and at least 50% of the time, the officer who gave you the ticket doesn&rsquo;t show up.)</li> </ul> <h2>What do you drive?</h2> <p>AOL.com recently released a list of the top 10 makes and models of cars that have <a href="http://autos.aol.com/gallery/vehicle-traffic-ticket">increased chances of getting a speeding ticket</a>. If you&rsquo;re on it (and if you drive a Scion, you probably are) then you increase your chances of getting the ticket. Scion drivers tend to be younger, preferring the cheaper, highly-customizable car. And the Hummer &mdash; well, it&rsquo;s hard to miss one of these suckers.</p> <ul> <li>#9 (tied) Toyota Matrix: 2.64 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#9 (tied) Audi A4: 2.64 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#8 Subaru Outback: 2.66 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#7 Scion xA: 2.75 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#6 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG: 2.76 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#5 Toyota Camry Solara: 3.06 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#4 Mercedes-Benz CLK: 3.97 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#3 Scion xB: 4.03 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#2 Scion tC: 4.60 times higher-than-average</li> <li>#1 Hummer H2 / H3: 4.63 times higher-than-average</li> </ul> <h2>How old are you?</h2> <p>Hold your breath for this staggering stat. <strong>The age groups between 17 and 24 years of age receive the most speeding tickets.</strong> I know, I was shocked, too. I figured it would be retired nuns. But seriously, at this age the lack of road experience, the determination to disregard rules, and the attitude of thinking they will live forever, keeps this age group at the top of the speeding ticket pile.</p> <h2>What sex are you?</h2> <p>This one is all against men. First, men seem more willing to speed. Next, men have a harder time getting out of a ticket than women. I&rsquo;m not saying why, but just ask around and see how many men compared to women have ever been let off with just a warning. And finally, more women than men are smart enough to fight the tickets. So, if you&rsquo;re a guy, you&rsquo;ve got it all working against you.</p> <h2>And finally&hellip;are you a doctor?</h2> <p>Doctors receive the most speeding tickets than any other profession. Maybe this has something to do with emergency calls. Maybe it just goes hand-in-hand with psyche of someone who wants to be a doctor. But, whatever the reason, if you answered yes to that question, your chances of getting a ticket just went up.</p> <p>So, if you&rsquo;re a 23 year old male doctor, living in California, driving a shiny Hummer H2, I&rsquo;d say you may just be better of taking the bus for the next few weeks.</p> <p>Have a safe holiday season everyone.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tis-the-season-to-get-a-speeding-ticket-are-you-next">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/as-sure-as-night-follows-day-youre-going-to-get-a-traffic-ticket-soon">You&#039;re Going to Get a Traffic Ticket Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-your-speeding-ticket-save-yourself-some-dough">Fight Your Speeding Ticket, Save Yourself Some Dough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Consumer Affairs court driving fines penalty police speeding ticket Tue, 22 Dec 2009 20:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 4200 at http://www.wisebread.com Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2046188221_dbd7640faf.jpg" alt="Scam" title="Scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Any long-time readers of Wise Bread know that I like to keep up-to-date on hustles, scams and con jobs. They change all the time, and new ones are invented daily. A US version of the UK show The Real Hustle has been trying out some very simple but effective cons on the American public, and they&rsquo;re getting away with some serious money. Watch, learn and stay alert. One of these could catch you out the next time you leave the office or home, even if it&rsquo;s just to grab some quick cash from an ATM or a small bite to eat. </p> <p><strong>The ATM Hustle</strong><br /> Here, two ways to grab your cash at an ATM are outlined, and in both methods you never even know you&rsquo;ve been the victim of a scam. The second version is more prevalent and has many variations as it requires no technology. Street teams work areas in busy cities, I was victim to a version of the second one about ten years ago in London. When using an ATM, keep your wits about you and if anything looks or feels suspicious, walk away. </p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.trutv.com/video/embplayer/truPlayer.swf?PID=C_EaYT7pkYZfjPgmhgnE57YCh1go1VlX&amp;feedPID=NkdkaqXR_sXW88L24x_8SJ9lQiETubcc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"></embed></p> <p> <strong>The Laptop Switch-Off</strong><br /> Right now I&rsquo;m on the hunt for a used laptop for my wife, so this one really caught my attention. If you&rsquo;re a fan of Craigslist, you may be tempted by a used laptop at a great price. In this case, a $1000 Macbook for $500. But listen to that voice in your head, and realize that deals too good to be true usually are. When you buy a laptop, keep your eye on the machine at all times, test it thoroughly and most important, don&rsquo;t hand over your cash until the actual laptop is in your possession. </p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.trutv.com/video/embplayer/truPlayer.swf?PID=dyGkeqs6THGTxkqGCmcLNLsMm19mUzSf&amp;feedPID=NkdkaqXR_sXW88L24x_8SJ9lQiETubcc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"></embed></p> <p> <strong>The Caf&eacute; Manager Scam</strong><br /> This one is all about questioning authority, or in this case, never questioning it. In most cases, we believe what we are seeing and hearing because we have no reason not to. When a guy in a suit approaches you in a caf&eacute; or restaurant and says he is the manager, why wouldn&rsquo;t you believe him? Big mistake. It just goes to show how far confidence can get you (hence, con man). At a restaurant table, there should be no reason at all to hand your credit card before the start of a meal, even if you&rsquo;re ordering drinks. And if you want to open a tab with a card, do it at the bar.&nbsp; </p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.trutv.com/video/embplayer/truPlayer.swf?PID=Jy0t_nuDRWTy3DNakCWiJZGJhjlTvr8X&amp;feedPID=NkdkaqXR_sXW88L24x_8SJ9lQiETubcc"></embed></p> <p> <strong>The Bag Snatch</strong><br /> So simple and yet so effective. All it takes is a small distraction, just a conversation or someone asking the time, and your valuables are gone. Never put your bag down in a busy place, or if you do, keep one foot on the handle or strap. </p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.trutv.com/video/embplayer/truPlayer.swf?PID=DB___c28VZ3ynJgcHSthwfi9PWsBgfxM&amp;feedPID=NkdkaqXR_sXW88L24x_8SJ9lQiETubcc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"></embed></p> <p> <strong>The Distract &amp; Conquer Con</strong><br /> Here, the con artists take advantage of the Good Samaritan syndrome. BY posing as tourists and asking for help, they&rsquo;re able to get close to people and walk away with some very nice valuables. Again, keep these items on you, there&rsquo;s no need to have a cell-phone laying out on the table when jacket pocket will do the job just as well. </p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.trutv.com/video/embplayer/truPlayer.swf?PID=hBld8p5_222dCFFr3t8NCMzinTi_bbhY&amp;feedPID=NkdkaqXR_sXW88L24x_8SJ9lQiETubcc"></embed> </p> <p> You can find many more examples of hustles and con jobs at <a href="http://www.trutv.com/shows/real_hustle/">TruTV.com, under The Real Hustle</a>. Stay safe and aware folks.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-mystery-shopping-scam-that-could-cost-you-a-fortune">The mystery shopping scam that could cost you a fortune.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-vicious-home-rental-scam-dont-get-conned">The vicious Home Rental Scam – don’t get conned.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-will-cash4gold-offer-me-cash-to-kill-this-story">So, will Cash4Gold offer me cash to kill this story?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs General Tips ATM cash con hustle police robbery scam theft Thu, 07 May 2009 19:50:17 +0000 Paul Michael 3138 at http://www.wisebread.com Avoid speed-trap tickets with a radar & laser detector - Under $30 http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-speed-trap-tickets-with-a-radar-laser-detector-under-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/avoid-speed-trap-tickets-with-a-radar-laser-detector-under-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/344975_velocity.jpg" alt="speed" title="speed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I know I am going to get a bunch of negative feedback on this one so let me put those issues on the table immediately. <strong>This article is NOT intended to help people speed</strong>. In fact, I'm absolutely against speeding, being the father of two young children and a very careful driver. Radar detectors are a constant reminder to keep your speed down, and if you do happen to enter a dreaded speed-trap, this little device from Buy.com will save you the cost of a ticket and those inevitable insurance hikes.</p> <p>Speed-traps are exactly that. They're places where high numbers of tickets are issued by police due to several factors, including poor signage, quickly changing speed limits and the demand for increased ticket revenue.</p> <p>When my state (Colorado) had budget problems a few years ago, the number of tickets issued spiked significantly. My wife and I both got a ticket within 7 days of each other, on a stretch of road that goes from 55mph to 45mph to 35mph in the space of around 1-2 miles. The resulting tickets issued, and insurance raises, cost us well over $400 that year. And those costs continued until the tickets came off last year.</p> <p>My best friend alsogot a ticket recently. He wasn't going above the speed limit, he was accelerating quickly from 10 to 30. The radar gun flagged him as doing over 50mph in a 30mph zone, but he had never even reached 30mph. THis is something that could probably have been successfully argued in court, but he did what most of us do...he just paid the ticket and took the point and insurance raises.</p> <p><img width="250" height="250" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/202487060.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Enter the<a href="http://www.buy.com/prod/rocky-mountain-radar-rmr-d240-radar-laser-detector/q/loc/111/202487060.html"> radar detector from Buy.com</a> . It's less than $30 ($28.99, down from $99.95), comes with FREE shipping, windshield mount and power cord, and should help to make your driving both safer and less costly. Like I said earlier and I will restate, this is not a license to speed. Quite the opposite, it's something that you should use to stay legal, kill your speed and monitor your driving habits. I know plenty of people will have opposing opinions, and sure, there are boy-racers out there who are clearly using them for the wrong reasons. But my intent is to ensure you aren't caught in those speed traps that can take any of us by surprise, and end up costing us a fortune.</p> <p>Is it legal? This should explain it all:</p> <blockquote><p><em>The FCC passed the Communications Act in 1934 to give all citizens the right to receive all types of radio transmissions. The same radio frequencies used by police radar are also used by other devices, such as automatic door openers, burglar alarms, and some amateur radio equipment. Since the RMR-D240 is just a radio receiver tuned to a specific portion of the public radio spectrum, it is protected under this act.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>and this:</p> <blockquote><p><em>The use of a radar detector in a passenger vehicle <strong>is legal </strong>in all states with the exception of Virginia, Washington DC. and on military bases. </em></p> <p><em>Radar detectors are illegal in all commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds</em></p> <p><em>In Canada, the only three provinces that allow their use are Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.</em></p> <p><em>Many overseas countries also ban their use, such as Portugal, Finland and Spain.</em></p> <p><em> In areas that radar detectors are illegal, law enforcement use a device called the Spectre that is able to detect the use of radar detector in your car or truck.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>Remember, stay safe and legal folks. Happy driving.</p> <p><em>Note: $28.99 + free shipping deal correct at time of publication.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-speed-trap-tickets-with-a-radar-laser-detector-under-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-your-speeding-ticket-save-yourself-some-dough">Fight Your Speeding Ticket, Save Yourself Some Dough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-student-discounts">Big List of Student Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joy-of-life-club">Joy of Life Club</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals law police radar detector road speeding ticket Fri, 18 Jan 2008 20:02:59 +0000 Paul Michael 1646 at http://www.wisebread.com Fight Your Speeding Ticket, Save Yourself Some Dough http://www.wisebread.com/fight-your-speeding-ticket-save-yourself-some-dough <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/ticket.jpg" alt=" " width="309" height="208" /></p> <p>I&#39;ve never fought a speeding ticket before. I usually just pay it and forget it. By &quot;usually&quot;, I mean, for the two tickets I got before when I was 16 and 19 years old.</p> <p>My recent ticket was an anomaly for a couple of reasons. And I&#39;ve decided that I have to fight it, so I&#39;ve been researching ways in which you can fight your tickets. Here&#39;s what happened to me, and what I found out about fighting the system.</p> <p class="heading">Country Road, Take Me Home, Late at Night, With a Big Truck Following Me....</p> <p>I was driving home to Seattle from my parents&#39; house, which is a few hours&#39; drive. I had gotten a late start, and had chosen a quieter, more remote route to avoid the death race that is I-90 westbound. I was driving behind a small car that was going well under the speed limit. When I reached a passing lane, I passed him, going over the speed limit to ensure that I made it past him (the passing lanes weren&#39;t that long). </p> <p>As I was slowing down in the passing lane, a large truck came zooming up the left lane, so I pulled into the right one to let him pass. He didn&#39;t.</p> <p>The truck followed me at an uncomfortable range for the next 2 miles. His headlights were shining in my rearview and side mirrors, and it was making me nervous. I sped up to get away from him, but he kept pace with me. I&#39;m not exaggerating when I say that I was scared. This was a huge truck that appeared intent on sitting on my car&#39;s tail for the rest of the drive. </p> <p>I am female, driving alone, on a more-or-less deserted road, at 11:30PM. My cell phone just died, so I couldn&#39;t call anyone. I couldn&#39;t pull over, as it was a narrow, twisting road and there wasn&#39;t much of a shoulder, and besides, what single woman would pull over and let some nutcase in a giant Chevy kill her in the mountains? I tried a few times to speed up and get away from him, since he didn&#39;t want to pass me, but he wouldn&#39;t pass.</p> <p>Finally, as I was reaching a small hamlet with a gas station, and preparing to pull over, the truck behind me began flashing police lights.</p> <p>That really threw me for a second. Police lights? On a truck? Oh. State patrol. Washington State Mountain Patrol. </p> <p>I pulled over, and got all my papers ready. I have to admit that I was in shock. Looking back, the reaction that my have been more appropriate would have been to shout, &quot;What the hell were you thinking? Why were you following me like that? You scared the living daylights out of me, you sonofabitch! You don&#39;t do that to single women late at night on a mountain road! Give me your badge number!&quot; Not that I advocate screaming at cops. But righteous indignation might have gotten me farther than silent stewing.</p> <p>But instead, I was fuming. I was mad at him for following so close that I couldn&#39;t see his police lights. And it was all I could do to KEEP from shouting, although I&#39;m sensing now that a bit of outspoken anger may have been a better response to his questions than quiet, seething rage. I probably came across as someone who was angry to get caught, rather than someone who was infuriated that she was being intimidated into speeding.</p> <p>My explanation that I thought he was trying to kill me apparently wasn&#39;t enough, and I felt too drained to fight. I also sincerely believed that my clean driving record would mean that I would get a warning. But I was handed a $132 ticket.</p> <p class="heading">I&#39;ll Fight the Law, But Will the Law Win? </p> <p>I have several options:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Pay the damn ticket and forget about it.</strong> This is a tough one for me, because I feel like I don&#39;t deserve it. This will save me time and effort.</li> <p> <li><strong>Plead guilty but explain the circumstances.</strong> Perhaps pay a lower fee, perhaps have a point added to my driving record. If I&#39;m lucky, I might be able to request deferred adjudication, where I pay a fine, but no point is added to my driving record should I be convicted of no further violations for a specified period (usually one year) thereafter.</li> <p> <li><strong>Fight it in court on my own.</strong> Plead not guilty and tell them why I&#39;m not guilty. This requires significant time and effort, and may or may not result in a dropped ticket or a reduced fine.</li> <p> <li><strong>Get a lawyer.</strong> Hiring a lawyer will cost a decent chunk of money. In my case, a flat fee of $350 for a successful lawyer who may be more apt at explaining to a judge why it&#39;s not cool for a cop in a large truck to tail someone on a dark mountain highway for several miles. I&#39;m wary of this because $350 is a heftier hunk of change than $132. However, I&#39;m unable to determine how much my insurance would increase by (if at all), should I plead guilty to a speeding ticket. My insurance agent attempted to run the numbers for me, but admitted that even if the system doesn&#39;t seem to want to increase my premiums now, they most likely would do so once the traffic conviction was processed and would MANUALLY enter an increase into their system.</li> </ul> <p class="heading">Tips for Fighting Your Ticket</p> <ul> <li>While the incident is still fresh in your mind, write down everything that you remember. You can take pictures of the scene if you want to. If the officer was particularly nasty (mine wasn&#39;t, but I had one before who was), make note of that. </li> <p> <li>Send in your paperwork within a week. I know you have 15 days, but do it within 7. Don&#39;t let it wait, or you&#39;re screwed. </li> <p> <li>If you chose to fight it, when you get your court date, ask for an extension immediately.</li> <p> <li>Subpoena the officer, and request all of the evidence that will be used by the prosecution.</li> <p> <li>If you don&#39;t receive this paperwork within 3 days of the court day, request another extension.</li> <p> <li>Some states let you challenge the radar gun&#39;s accuracy. In other states, you can try to establish whether or not the gun was accurately calibrated.</li> <p> <li>Look for discrepancies on your ticket and between your ticket and the officer&#39;s notes. I&#39;m curious about mine, for instance, because the officer gave me one explanation for assessing my speed, and noted a different method on my ticket. Discrepancies are nearly a sure-fire way to get the charges dropped. The color of your car wrong? Dropped. The time was wrong? Dropped? Your address was wrong? Dropped.</li> <p> <li>The notes you took earlier about the incident. Type them up, and keep them with you. Make sure that it&#39;s all true (it&#39;s harder to remember a lie than it is to remember the truth, and plus, you don&#39;t want to lie in court). Bring all of your evidence with you, labeled, and in a folder. </li> <p></ul> <p>Here are some links with speed-ticket fightin&#39; advice (none of it is <em>legal</em> advice, just tips, so don&#39;t go thinking that you&#39;re getting actual law advice).</p> <p>As usual, <a href="http://lifehacker.com/software/cars/how-to-beat-a-speeding-ticket-or-at-least-better-your-chances-208611.php">Lifehacker</a> is a good source of info on how to charm your way to what you want.<br /><a href="http://www.magma.ca/~fyst/">FYST</a> (Fight Your Speeding Ticket)<br /><a href="http://www.motorists.com/info/speeding_tickets.html">NMA</a> (National Motorists Association)<br /><a href="http://www.gearlive.com/index.php/news/article/google-maps-helps-fight-traffic-tickets-07160942/">Fun story</a> about how Google Maps exonerated a driver.<br /><a href="http://www.nolo.com/article.cfm/ObjectID/C1508DD2-4803-44AB-BB191DC8E3579EE9/catID/CF015A63-6B69-4EED-A34B6F4035C8BE0E/104/263/ART/">Nolo.com</a> gives 5 strategies for fighting a ticket.</p> <p>Remember, time is money, but sometimes you lose out on both. As Fringeweb points out:</p> <p class="blockquote">Losing isn&#39;t terribly traumatic. Yes, you&#39;ll have to pay the fine and get a point on your insurance. On the bright side, the assessed fine will often be <em>less</em> than the standard penalty, and you have the right to appeal. Of course, you&#39;re already out the time you put into the case...</p> <p>I think I&#39;d rather waste the time and know that I tried to fight something that I find injust, rather than to just give up. But I&#39;ll update as the case goes on.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-your-speeding-ticket-save-yourself-some-dough">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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