Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting out of a ticket

Within the past twelve months I've been pulled over by the Dublin Police, Fremont Police, & Union City Police for traffic violations that I've managed to get out of, ticket-free.

I wanted to share a few observations I've learned that have been key in helping me get out of such sticky situations.

1) Disarm them right away with utter calmness & respect

The Police have one thing in common no matter what city they're from: they risk their lives everyday to do their jobs. That alone in my opinion, deserves some respect. No matter what your feelings are about the Police, understanding this is key in getting them to see that you do not pose any kind of threat to their well being.

2) Tap into your own inner calm

The first thing I do when I get pulled over is to turn off any music I happen to be listening to. When the cop asks for my license & registration and goes back to his/her vehicle to run my data I quickly turn my cell phone on silent. Then I take a few deep breaths and fully accept that I may have committed some kind of infraction. The three times I was pulled over, I was unaware of what I did. (Dublin: female cop pulled me over for making an illegal u-turn. Fremont: male cop pulled me over for driving without a front license plate. Union City: male motorcycle cop pulled me over for going 15 mph over the speed limit.) If you do this correctly, you should feel completely calm and fully receptive of what the officer will tell you and ready for the next step.

3) Ace your two minute interview

This is the make or break time when they return to inform you of what they think you've done

a) If you've prepared adequately and followed Steps 1 & 2 to the T, you should be very calm and centered at this point. The energy that should be emanating from you should be peace and tranquility.. I guarantee that they will feel it too.

b) It is important to note that the more calm you are, the better of a listener you'll be, and the better your response will be.

Whatever you say NEVER ARGUE WITH A COP. Remember the first step of disarming the officer? Once you engage in argumentative behavior, you've LOST any chances you've had of successfully getting out ticket-free. Yes, you still have your pride (foolish) but you stand to lose more with 1) your time and/or 2) your money addressing that ticket.

c) I can't tell you what to say but I can only share the gist of what I said:

i) Dublin- "Officer, I was not aware that u-turns are not allowed in this intersection. I met up with some girlfriends for dinner and got lost since I'm not from the area.."

ii) Fremont- "Officer, I was not aware that my vehicle needed front plates. Our vehicle is fairly new and now I know I need to ask my husband to put front plates on when I get home.."

iii) Union City- "Officer, I did not realize that I was going so fast..We've recently lost a loved one and I think my mind is elsewhere..I'm very sorry :( .."

All the statements I made were truthful, fairly brief, respectful, and sincerely delivered. As a result, I managed to get out of three tickets, unscathed, and pretty darn proud of myself :)

P.S. My ticket-free days came to an abrupt end when I got caught on camera (photo & all) running a red light after a 4am bleary-eyed-gym- session. I totally remembered the flash from the camera, thinking FML!!! Now the machine got me. Oh well, I fully deserved it and there was no person to potentially win over this time around...LOL.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adventures with the boy

After toddler time at the library today, Gavin and I decided to do some exploring. We found ourselves at the Niles Depot train station. I've never really stopped and looked around this area, and I figured it would be a fun first for the both of us. Here are a few pics from this morning:

Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday and a very happy birthday to Helen Chou!!