What should you say to the police when you get pulled over for speeding?

“I’m sorry.”

After they stop drivers for exceeding the speed limit, police often have the discretion to alter the penalty. We investigated the degree to which extra-legal factors (apologies and other verbal responses), in addition to speed over the limit, predict ticket costs for speeding. Surveys of speeders were conducted in the U.S. and Canada. The data suggest that what people say to police matters. Participants who reported statements of remorse, e.g., “I’m sorry,” received lower fines for speeding. The relation of speeders’ responses to ticket costs is discussed from legal and psychological perspectives.

Source: “The Value of Remorse: How Drivers’ Responses to Police Predict Fines for Speeding” from Law and Human Behavior

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