Like everywhere else, police officers here in Amherst are tasked with protecting and serving the public. While it may seem like more of an annoyance, handing out tickets for traffic violations is part of that duty since it helps keep the roads safe. Even so, there are times when violating traffic laws such as speeding do not jeopardize safety or may be necessary. For this reason, not every speeding ticket should be paid.

Of course, in some instances, the person accused of speeding may not have been the guilty party. Radar guns are not foolproof, and an officer’s gun may have been reading the speed of a similar vehicle. Moreover, like any other electronic device, radar guns do not always function properly. If a driver knows that he or she was not exceeding the speed limit, it would be within his or her rights to challenge the ticket.

Sometimes, the fact that a driver was speeding is not in contention. The driver may admit to speeding, but may argue that an emergency situation required it. In other cases, not keeping up with the flow of traffic would have created a dangerous situation, but the driver was the one the officer stopped. If it can be shown that driving above the posted speed limit was not unsafe for the conditions at the time, the court could dismiss the ticket.

Considering the above, it is not always a good idea to simply pay a speeding ticket. Instead, it makes more sense to challenge it. Depending on the strength of the evidence, the ticket may be dismissed, or at the very least, the violation could be downgraded to something with less of an impact on an Amherst resident’s finances and driving record.