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8 top traffic ticket myths

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Myth No. 7: A radar detector will ensure that you never get pulled over.
"Radar detectors give drivers a false sense of security that they can speed as much as they want without facing the consequences of breaking the law," says Ken Underwood, president of the National Safety Commission, an organization that promotes safe driving. But speeding drivers are also more likely to commit other infractions, and a radar detector can't tell you when a cop is watching you run that red light or make an illegal turn. In Virginia and Washington, D.C., both ban the use of radar detectors, and it looks like Florida may do the same in the near future.

Radar detector users often find themselves chasing new technology as law enforcement upgrades its speed-detection devices.

Myth No. 8: If you don't sign the ticket, it will be dismissed.
Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt. The signature is merely an acknowledgement you received the ticket and a promise to appear in court. Refusing to sign the ticket -- there are drivers who think that if they don't sign, they can lie in court and say they weren't there -- will do nothing but agitate the officer and invite more scrutiny.

In some states, such as Texas, refusal to sign a ticket can mean a trip to jail. Houston attorney Robert Eutsler says that if you don't sign the ticket, the officer has the choice to either take you to jail or write on the ticket "refused to sign."

"It's a promise to appear in court on a certain day, that's all it is,'' says Eutsler. "It's certainly a myth that if you don't sign it, it's going to get dismissed. You're more likely to get arrested and the officer is going to get very upset."

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: Aug. 15, 2007
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