On Campus

What's the best way to get a speeding ticket reduced?

University of Waterloo study shows value of remorse

University of Waterloo researchers surveyed 1,000 North Americans who had been pulled over at the side of the road. They found that a simple “I’m sorry” is the best way to encourage a lower fine. Among the 30 per cent of speeders who apologized to the police officer for speeding, most got a reduction. The average was $51. But among the 46 per cent who refused to admit their mistake or offered an excuse, few got any money knocked off. ”If you think about what an apology does, it indicates that the transgressor feels remorse,” PhD candidate and co-author Martin Day told the Waterloo Record. He and professor Mike Ross suggest the research may explain why it’s common to see public figures apologize for their marital transgressions, just as former Calif. governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did last week. Full details will be in the June issue of Law and Human Behavior.

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