Police Reveal 4 Common Ways to Get Pulled Over

Here’s what not to do if you want to avoid that next traffic ticket.

Common ways to get pulled over

We’ve all seen it — someone changing lanes without signaling. Or a person driving while texting. And, if we’re honest, maybe we’ve even been that person. Nobody’s perfect. But when you’re trying to avoid being pulled over (which most of us are), it helps to know more about those bad driving habits we’ve all been (admittedly) guilty of at some point.

Edmunds.com polled 3 police agencies to get an idea of the most common driving no-no’s that cops encounter.

So, in the ongoing interest of helping us all become model motorists, here’s what Johnny Law had to say:


(pulled over because you can’t drive 55 … in a 35 mph zone)

In the Edmunds survey, every cop surveyed listed stopping speeding drivers as a main priority. So why do police officers key in on speeders? Well, issuing speeding tickets has a huge impact on safety. For every 100 extra speeding citations given in a month, there are 14.3 fewer crashes and 5.6 fewer injuries.

Point is, if your need for speed gets the better of you, be prepared to put your money where your lead foot is — a whopping 34 million speeding tickets are handed out each year in the U.S.

Distracted driving

(pulled over because you’re texting, emailing, eating, and driving)

The police officers surveyed say their main reasons for giving distracted-driving tickets include illegal texting and driving or other dangerous cell phone use. And with good reason, too. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a stunning 40 percent of U.S. teens admit to having been in a car while the driver used a cell phone in an endangering way. We don’t know about you, but it seems this phenomenon can’t get enough police intervention.

Equipment violations

(pulled over because those windows are just a bit too dark)

Equipment offenses are easy bait for tickets because they’re so simple to spot. A police officer doesn’t have to make any judgments about the situation. Rather, he or she can simply see that something isn’t up to code and make a move. According to the cops surveyed, the most glaring violation (pun intended) was illegal window tints. Following that were burned-out lights, broken windshields, and expired license plate tags.

Tailgating and improper lane changes

(pulled over because you’re bound to cause an accident)

These 2 violations ranked as equally important on the Edmunds study. Both are reckless maneuvers that cops said they monitor closely. One police officer even qualified exactly what he thinks is considered a dangerous lane change: cutting someone off or moving without looking.

Using the left lane for cruising instead of passing, driving too slowly, and squealing your tires are also high on the list.

Use common sense

When reviewing these offenses, it’s not exactly a surprise that they attract attention. True, you can’t control what other people will do on the road. But you can control yourself. So next time you notice you’re about to fall into one of these habits, think about the repercussions. Safe driving is good for you and everyone else on the road.

Want to learn how these driving no-no’s can impact your car insurance? Check out our moving violations insight center. And if you do get pulled over by the police, remain calm and remember these 8 useful tips.

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346 Responses to “Police Reveal 4 Common Ways to Get Pulled Over”

  1. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    October 25, 2015 #

    How about from my point of view? I worked EMS in an urban area for 25 years and scraped up the bodies of the innocent victims hurt or killed by drunk drivers, speeders, and negligent drivers. The numbers tell the story. If there is strict enforcement, those violators slow down, get stopped for drunk driving etc and the injury and death rate drops. Until you have treated a kid tossed out of a car struck by another that was doing 60 in a 35, your opinion that law enforcement should ignore this type of behavior, is really moot. If you don't speed, you don't get tickets.if you use caution and courtesy when driving, you don't get tickets. If you don't drink and drive, you don't get locked up. My opinion is you believe you're entitled to drive as you wish, and to he'll with the rest of society. Your belief is your needs Trump every one else's. Stop signs? No need for you to to stop, those are for everyone else. Speed limits? Just a suggestion for you. Signals? No need. Let the guy behind our on front of me be aware and figure out out. Selfishness. Pure and simple. I've seen the result of this behavior. It's not pretty. Get over your disdain for law enforcement and take some personal responsibility.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      sam shatnawi
      November 7, 2015 #

      Total respect for what ems and officers do out there.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      December 1, 2015 #

      "its all about safety" sure, when no seat belts on school buses

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        S Lesson
        February 28, 2016 #

        We have bus safety drills 4 times each school year. The seats are designed to protect the rider. In the event of an accident, since all children are taught evacuation procedures, exiting from the bus is controlled. If the children were harnessed in by seat belts, evacuation would be delayed as the children struggle to become free of the restraints. Time is of the essence during evacuation, indeed, it is timed during drills. Children are much safer without the restraints because of the design of the seats and the exit doors and windows. I agree that it looks unsafe, but in practice, it is better for the children to be free of these restraints.

  2. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    your name here
    October 28, 2015 #

    Cops only care about quotas and their share of the revenue it creates. PERIOD. It is a racket, if they spent as much time going after real criminals instead of writing revenue generating tickets we would live in a much better place. PERIOD. have you ever followed a cop and watched how they drive? they break every dam law in the book ALL DAY LONG, and if you call a watch commander and complaint alls you will get is "How do you know he was not on a call". To wit if you ask for an investigation you will be quickly rebuffed and put on "their list" .

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      November 15, 2015 #

      Well just to let you know in some states it's illegal for cops to have quotes as in pa

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        April 3, 2016 #

        The term quota has been replaced by "performance standard". Legal way of justifying what an officer is doing during their shift.
        I have total respect for what they do because they are the first to put their life on the line every day.
        However, if most cops would only write tickets to people that drove worse than they do then their ticket books would be mostly empty.

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        April 8, 2016 #

        I got a DUI from taking a legally prescribed drug that took effect while I was on the road. Wrong but unintentional. While on the way to the police station, the highway patrol was typing away on his laptop.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      November 21, 2015 #

      The fact that you're using the terminology "watch commander" tells me one of two things:
      A– you've been arrested before, probably several times, for breaking the law and you hate cops for enforcing laws that affect your livelihood. OR
      B– you were once a cop yourself and got kicked off the job for being a bad cop.

      No matter the reason its obvious that hate cops, period.

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        February 11, 2016 #

        I use the term because we have LEO in the family. Michael is right, they drive like a holes. Sorry but it's true.

      • Avatar for Alex Glenn
        April 22, 2016 #

        Judging by your assumption, you're not a very logical thinker

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      November 29, 2015 #

      The arguement that cops should go catch real criminals isn't a good one. Traffic accidents take more lives, cause more injuries, and cost more money then ALL other police related matters put together.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      March 21, 2016 #

      Especially in mid-size and larger cities where tickets are processed by a third party, the cost of generating a ticket and processing them barely covers the "revenue." They are no longer the golden goose they were 30-50 years ago. Quotas, too, are, for the most part, an antiquated, long-dead practice. If a motor officer is out for 4-6 hours and comes back with 4-5 tickets, it doesn't have to be a "quota" for the boss to be ticked off because you weren't doing your job – you were parked in an alley talking with friends, or by the pool/beach talking to girls. Given a ticket book to wrote EVERY legitimate, dangerous violation you see every day, do you imagine you'd miss almost any quota the boss could set? I rarely stick up for cops, but this "quota" and revenue BS is exactly that. But there's no questions they're among the biggest scofflaws themselves when driving. From reading/operating the MDT while driving, to getting accustomed to the "professional courtesy" to speed, drift lanes etc, they NEED the insurance break for LE, because their straight rate reflects just what reckless drivers they are.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Mr. Bill
      April 12, 2016 #

      LEOs have no QUOTAS they can write as many tickets as they wish.

  3. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Not Hardly
    October 30, 2015 #

    The auto insurance companies in Indiana "Donated " just under $200,000 in 2013 to the legislators to keep the 55mph speed limit set in the 70's " Oil Shortage" This so called shortage was the oil companies wanting to raise gas prices, and the insurance companies wanting to slow us down to a mind numbing crawl. So, everytime you pay your auto insurance bill, thank the comrad agent for all the time you waste getting to your destination, and for the overtime he pays the police for their seatbelt checks they set up on the roadways! Dont believe me? Google it !!!!

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      November 23, 2015 #

      The so called oil crisis was /is political. Oil companies cannot drill and attain raw crude because of insane govt regulations. We cannot build new refineries either. So we remain with an unstable price per barrel, thanks to the pin heads in our government. This stupidity began with carter and continues today. It's not the oil companies my friend, it's silly liberalism and those who foist it on our economy

  4. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Elenya Gardner
    November 8, 2015 #

    I know I am only 10 but I know not to do that

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      December 3, 2015 #

      that is a good answer for a 10 year old

  5. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Rick Daniels
    November 10, 2015 #

    Not condoning doing any of the above, but here are some things I have noticed about the police; they almost never signal to change lanes, they almost never come to a complete stop at a stop sign, I often see them talking on a cell phone while driving, I often see them driving at excessive speeds while not enroute to anything. Just a few weeks ago I had a sheriff blow by me doing at least 80 in a 65 while texting. About a mile later at a bend in the road, I saw that same Sheriff had gone off the road, hit the guard rail and was facing the opposite direction with no bumper on his car. I also see police quite often tail gate people to get them to move out of their way so they can speed. Maybe they should set a better example!

  6. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    November 14, 2015 #

    Sorry but I don't see how ticketing those dangerous tinted windows helps the communities.. It helps me see better driving without the sun blinding me

  7. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    November 19, 2015 #

    You people are funny. Don't blame the cops for enforcing stupid laws, if you don't like the laws call your legislators they are the ones making them and since you voted for them blame yourself. Cops are paid to write tickets no matter what the violation is and they always win in traffic court. Because it's the law. So quit your whining, you are free to move to Mexico.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Dr. John Chronos
      February 25, 2016 #

      You'll change your tune as soon as you sell your Prius.

  8. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    November 20, 2015 #

    Cops speed all the time especially if they want to avoid traffic.tdey put on that sieren as if they are going to to an emergency. sometimes they are but not all the time.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Kenneth Webb
      February 17, 2016 #

      I don't know y cops break the speed limit & get away with it

  9. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Fred Flintstone
    November 25, 2015 #

    I'd like to know where cops are writing all these tickets. It's certainly not in Florida. I constantly see drivers going 25-30 miles an hour over the speed limit and have never seen anyone pulled over for that.

  10. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    THIS is the American way
    November 28, 2015 #

    Cops are so incompetent when it comes to catching murderers, rapists and thieves. This incompetence is due to the fact that they are so devoted to racist practices across the board, including the racial profiling of motorists. The REAL #1 reason why people get pulled over is because they are black. Most cops are hate filled lowlife losers. They have no degree and no talent, yet they managed to get a decent job with full benefits. They should be grateful instead of hateful. American polic are by far the most savage cops of ALL industrialized countries.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      April 6, 2016 #

      Well put.

  11. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Brad Huffington
    November 29, 2015 #

    Curt I had two Of the Best African American Friends in college. Travis and marky was the names of my late friends, We attended school in Texas together the year 1994 class of 97'.
    We have been friends since Freshmen registration. Marky was a baseball player but, he was amazingly Smart he'd tutor me sometimes. Travis played basketball, smart too he stood 6" 9 and played like Tracy McGrady in his Orlando Magic Era.
    GOD I miss them. We went out to Celebrate because we were going to be juniors In June of 1995. That night went to a bar with friends nearby campass to meet up and go to a party with each other Marky, Travis and I wanted to get lucky but we didn't want to smoke pot or drink alcohol so we left the party at 2:00 am on the ride home we got pulled over by cops. Two white male officers approached us and asked for identification and we corporated. We asked why we been stop and then a third white male officer parked nearby. The 1st Two said Marky ran a stop sign and there wasn't any around.
    Then they ask me to step out of the car but not my buddy's the thrid officer cuffed me and put me in his car I kept repeating we did nothing but they got aggressive and put me in the car. Then that officer told me relax and this would be over soon. Then two shots was fired and i Was startled by them after asking the officer whats going on for about three minutes then the other two Officers walked over and said that my friends commit suicide I started to yell my head off at them I knew they killed Travis and Marky Because they were African Americans. They didnt carry guns none of us three school campus did not allow students to have guns.. then I was hit by the back of a gun on the left side of my head by the officer who cuffed me and he ask me if I wanted to die but I was already dead inside. But I knew if I have chosen death those pigs would not rott in jail for what they done…so I thought at the time. They told me run for my life and took my cuffs off. By the time I was able to come back with help they were all gone. Spotless no cars nothing I knew I would never see my best friends again, ripped out of my life over the color of skin. i told the family everything i call the cops two time and was transferred Asap.
    There was nothing we could do i never saw two of the cops again. The one who cuffed me I saw him last year in California and confronted him he said he didn't what I was talking about I was ready to go through with killing him for What he done then he said he dying from cancer what does it matter. I hit him with my suit case and told him to rott in hell forevermore… Cops takes loved ones away who are not criminals. And know they get away with it while the whole world see's it happen. This is not the America I thought we would be. Marky and Travis lives through me and I can't wait to see them again. I name my two 11 year old son's after them god bless the innocent.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      March 26, 2016 #

      should have called the FBI or the ACLU

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      April 5, 2016 #

      I'm sorry about your two losses, that's one of those situations that will always and forever cause bitterness with the cops. I do have to say you live in one of the state's that are very well know for racial profiling and violating people's rights based on skin color. As an immagrant the police are allowed to stop people based on their skin tone and ask for ID such as green cards to prove that they are not illegal. Which most states looks at this action as a violation of rights except Texas and Arizona. (Now I realize that this can and does happen across the US) I would Never live in Texas or Arizona for this reason!!!!!!

  12. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    November 30, 2015 #

    Cops are incompetent when it comes to catching murderers, rapists and thieves. This incompetence is due to the fact that they are so devoted to racist practices across the board, including the racial profiling of motorists. The REAL #1 reason that people are pulled over is because they are black. Most cops are lowlife losers with no degree and no talent. Yet they managed to get a decent job with full benefits. They should be grateful instead of hateful. American police are the MOST SAVAGE of ALL industrialized countries.

  13. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    December 1, 2015 #

    "its all about safety" sure, when no seat belts on school buses.

  14. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Becki Gropper
    February 11, 2016 #

    I have watched a cop flip on their lights weaving in & out of traffic go flying thru a red light barely slowing down to make sure no one was coming just to get thru it & shut their lights off, happens all the time!! But i got pulled over for my tail light being out which i knew was bull shit because i just so happened had just left getting car inspected & when i told officer that i knew for a fact it wasnt out he told me to come look & when we got back there he said oh i guess its just getting ready to go out, & i better get it fixed. And i told him i will as soon as he gets his head light fixed which was really out, then all of a sudden he starts asking to look through the car really quick before he lets me go, & i asked him if he had a search warrent because if not he wasnt looking thru shit. He let me go!!!

  15. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Dr. John Chronos
    February 25, 2016 #

    Would like a reference for the alleged statistics on speeding and safety. Every study I have ever seen has pointed to impaired driving and distracted driving as where the real safety issues lie. What percentage of those supposedly speeding related injuries were really drunken driving related injuries? The real reason cops focus on speeders is because it is easy and because it is profitable (drag the driver to court and gently extort a fine and court costs in return for writing the offense down to advisement or obstructing traffic).

  16. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    March 21, 2016 #

    Everyone is dealing with the best ways to get pulled over (without mentioning the realities of driving a beat-up car and the race of the driver). But I'd have to say the #1 reason for actually getting a ticket AFTER being pulled over is running one's mouth. And whether it's the driver who is absolutely correct when he angrily accuses the cop of only stopping him to check him out because he's something other than white, or the loud-mouth fool who wants to demean and insult the cop because he's a loud-mouth fool, those guys ARE getting tickets.

  17. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    March 24, 2016 #

    I would like to make a comment, I believe that when you are given a ticket and found not guilty that the cop should be made reimbursed you for all the money and time that you had to pay out. That would stop all the BS that they are doing.

  18. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    March 30, 2016 #

    Why is it no one giving out tickets to the cops?? Maybe they should flip on there sirens before they make there own illegal turns or run red lights .

  19. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    April 3, 2016 #

    The term quota has been replaced by performance standard. Its a legal way of justifying what an officer is doing during their shift.
    I have total respect for what they do because they are the first to put their life on the line every day.
    However, if most cops would only write tickets to people that drove worse than they do then their ticket books would be mostly empty.

  20. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Ronny Willspeed.i
    April 4, 2016 #

    The basic rule of the road almost totally ignored in Fl is "KEEP RIGHT PASS LEFT" ! Causes weaving & tailgating. Another basic rule: headlights on when it's raining.
    I kinda enjoy that one because I flash my highs at them. Not worried about me but am my kids. I drive my 2015 mustang (435 hp.) fast and arressively. My radar detector works great.

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