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Got Your First Ticket?

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Even the best driver will probably, at some point in their driving career, get a ticket. Whether it’s for speeding, parking, or some other infraction, that little piece of paper can carry with it some big repercussions, including fines and increases in car insurance premiums. Knowing what to do when you see flashing lights in the rear view and what to have with you in the car can make the process a little less painful.
 
License and registration
First, make sure you have with you all of the paperwork you need to present to the officer if pulled over. This includes your driver’s license and car registration. Also important is proof of vehicle insurance. Most people keep their driver’s licenses in their wallets and other paperwork in their glove boxes or another storage location in their cars. You should be able to reach your paperwork without getting out of your driver’s seat.
 
Know what to do
As soon as you realize you’re being pulled over, turn on your hazard lights to signal you intend to comply and to let other drivers know you will be slowing down. Then, safely make your way to the right side of the road (never the left), and pull off the road enough to be a safe distance from moving traffic.
 
Choose a location that is safe and long enough for two vehicles (the police car will park behind you). If there is little space on the side of the road, see if there is a parking lot nearby.
 
Once stopped, turn off the ignition and do not get out of the vehicle. Rather, remain in your seat and roll down your window if you have been pulled over by a marked police car. If the car is unmarked, wait until the officer approaches and you can see credentials before rolling down your window. It may take several minutes for the officer to approach your car.
 
Remain respectful
While the experience may be emotional for you, try to remain calm, and above all, remain respectful. Try to avoid being defensive, overly upset, or rude to the officer in any way. By staying calm you will allow the officer to ask you questions and to explain the reason you were pulled over.
 
When it’s all over, take your time to return safely to the roadway.

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