“Don’t drive barefoot, it’s illegal” “Cops write more tickets at the end of the month” “I can speed if it’s going with the flow of traffic” We’ve heard it all, right? There are so many stories, tips and tricks about driving laws, tickets, and how to avoid fines and other penalties that we decided to set the record straight once and for all.
Myth 1: You’re More Likely to Get a Ticket at the End of the Month
You may have heard the myth that police officers have a ticket quota they need to reach every month, so you’re more likely to get a ticket at the end of the month. According to experts, most police departments in the U.S. do not have quotas in place. In the interest of transparency, there may be some departments that have a suggested minimum in place, those numbers tend to be low enough that they wouldn’t cause an end of the month ticketing surge.
Myth 2: It’s Illegal to Drive Barefoot
For some reason, a lot of people believe that it’s illegal to drive without your shoes on, but this is a misconception. No where in the Massachusetts Driving Laws does it state that a driver must have shoes on when operating their vehicle, although in the interest of distraction free driving, wearing shoes is a good idea. If you drive without shoes, your foot could easily slip off the gas or brake pedal, or if you have your shoes by your feet while you drive, something as small and a flip flop could move and get wedged underneath the pedals, causing a car accident. So while it technically isn’t illegal to law to drive barefoot, it’s a smart choice.
Myth 3: Driving With Your Interior Lights on is Illegal
We bet you can hear your parents now : “Turn that light off, it’s illegal to drive with the interior lights on”. While driving with your interior lights on isn’t illegal in Massachusetts, it’s also not the safest choice. At night, it can be more difficult for a driver to see the road with the interior light illuminated behind them.
Myth 4: Red Car Bias
Another story we commonly hear is that red cars receive more speeding tickets because the color catches the police officer’s eye or because most sports cars are red. According to Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Trade Association, “there is no data to support the assertion that red cars receive more traffic tickets than cars of any other color.” So, next time you purchase a vehicle and are deciding on the color, go with what speaks to you and focus more on the car’s safety features. The safety features of a car are what matter most, not the color.
Myth 5: “If the police officer doesn’t show up to traffic court, I’ll automatically win the case.”
While we do see this frequently, it’s not a guarantee or automatic dismissal of your case if the police officer doesn’t attend your hearing. Quite simply, it all depends on the judge presiding over the case. While most judges may dismiss the case, the court does have a right to reschedule the hearing for a later time when the police officer can be in attendance.
In short, the easiest way to avoid a ticket or having to debunk one of these myths is be sure not to drive distracted, put down the phone and follow the law and the rules of the road. When operating a motor vehicle, safety is paramount. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, do not hesitate to contact our team at Dussault & Zatir. We answer phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week and there are no fees unless we are successful. To schedule your free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer, call +1 508-999-2000 or +1-800-542-4LAW.