Monday, January 18, 2010

Traffic ticket myths

A myth is defined as: A traditional, ancient or legendary story; any invented story, idea or concept or an unproved or false collective belief.

Many of us have heard of certain myths when it comes to the topic of traffic tickets. Below are five of the most common traffic ticket myths that have been circulating about for some time.

  1. A police officer must show radar reading if asked

    • The myth is that if the officer is asked to show the reading and does not or is unable to, the ticket is not valid.

    • This belief is false. An officer is not obliged to show the driver the reading. Often times, the reading is already re-set by the time the officer leaves the cruiser. This is not a valid defence in court, as the officer’s notes are sufficient evidence.

  2. Placing aluminum foil strips in hubcaps/rims will prevent your vehicle from being detected by radar

    • The myth is that aluminum foil interferes with the radar signal.

    • If you are aware of the principles of radar detection, then you already know that aluminum and other metals DO NOT affect the radar (as your car is made of metal as well!)

    • Radar uses electromagnetic waves to identify the speed of the moving or fixed object. The waves bounce off your car and back to the radar unit.

  3. Red cars are more likely to receive more tickets

    • The myth is that officers target red cars more than any other car and you are more likely to receive tickets.

    • There is no official study to confirm that red cars get more tickets. However, some suggest that the bold colour tends to attract more attention, including that of police officers.

  4. You cannot get into trouble for driving too slowly

    • The myth is that you can drive as slow as you wish because the posted speed limit is just that: a LIMIT and any speed under the limit is fine.

    • Driving too slowly can be dangerous for a number of reasons. You may cause an accident if you are extremely slow, you may encourage other drivers to perform risky maneuvers around you, etc.

    • A police officer may issue you a ticket if he/she believes your driving is dangerous to others.

  5. You can fool the breathalyzer

    • The myth is that you can fool the breathalyzer reading by sucking on a breath mint or using mouthwash.

    • A breathalyzer does not smell your breath, it measures the amount of alcohol in your blood.

    • Others say that putting a penny in your mouth can trick the breathalyzer into giving a false reading.

    • The copper in the penny cannot interfere with the breathalyzer. It has been repeatedly disproven in multiple studies.

These were some of the more common myths that people have heard. As you can see, they do not have any legitimate studies that can prove them. As long as you use your common sense, it will be evident to you that these are nothing more than fictitious stories that continue to circulate around the web, newspaper article or at the water cooler at work.

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