By Jennifer Dawson, Special to California Business Journal

Nearly 41 million speeding tickets are issued annually in the U.S. with the average cost of each ticket estimated at $115-$135. California speeding tickets are pricey and going 16 miles per hour over the speed limit will set you back a whopping $234 starting with a base fine of $35. If you are pulled over due to a speeding violation, it is important to know what to do and how to react safely to avoid endangering yourself and the others. You can also improve your driving habits and use technology to prevent breaking the traffic rules.

Slow Down and Pull Over Safely

Once you see that a police car or highway patrol is behind you, slow down immediately. Put on your hazard lights and look for a safe spot. On the freeway, there might be two emergency shoulders. You should pull over on the right shoulder as this has more room than the one on the left.  However, if you can, driving slowly with your hazards on to the nearest exit ramp is the safest option.

Follow Instructions Closely

With your hands on the wheel, wait till the police officer approaches you and asks for your license, registration, and insurance. Answer questions politely and calmly. If the cop says that you are speeding, do not get into an argument. Apologize and accept the ticket. Most speeding tickets will cost drivers 1 point on their license but if you are driving over 100mph, you’ll receive 2 points for this traffic violation according to the California Vehicle Code. As soon as everything is done, ask politely if you are free to go.

Preventing a Traffic Violation

Driving faster than usual can happen to anyone irrespective of age. Young males are often behind the wheel of a speeding-related accident according to the 2014 NHTSA data where 36% of male drivers, 15-20 years, were involved in fatal crashes. Seniors, 65-69 years are considered the safest drivers according to the NHTSA.

However, aging has an impact on the driving abilities of the elderly. Stiff joints and muscles as well as arthritis or medication affect the way you drive. These changes may make it difficult to turn the head, steer or take off the foot on the gas pedal. Hence, it is vital to know when to hand the car keys over. Technology can also assist in preventing speeding citations.  Gadgets can be installed in your vehicles to reduce acceleration and respect the speed limits in freeways and built-up areas. In addition to avoiding hefty fines, they also prolong the life of your car by limiting harsh driving.

Being pulled over for a speeding violation is a stressful and even frightening experience. Knowing how to stop safely and behave in the presence of an enforcement officer will help ease the situation. In addition to modifying driving habits, you can also use technology to restrict your vehicle’s speed.