1 - Knowing if a pirate is camping at the space station
First open your friendlist, and look at the options you can click a check box for, and uncheck all except nearby. This only works in non-pvp, but you can creep to the edge of the safe zone to scan into pvp. Nearby's range in space is around .200 AU.
So the idea is to use your Friendslist/Nearby to look and see if a pirate is at the space station to begin with, if the space station is empty of players your friendlist will have no one on it. If you see a name, then it's time to right click your ship and select next vehicle seat so you sit in your gunner seat to save gas. If you are using both seats, check the name out and see if you know the person, if you are unsure go into the space station and log out for a while to come back and check later. If waiting in gunner seat, just afk and go do something else for a while.
2 - Leaving the space station safely after making sure no pirate is camped near the space station.
If a pirate is not at the space station it could still be outside the space station on the main path people take to other popular planets. For instance think like a pirate, they spawn at arkadia space station, set waypoint to corner sphere entry for calypso then fly out of the safe zone for .4-.7 AU and sit in their gunner seats waiting for players heading to caly.
So just because you cleared the space station doesn't mean it's time to relax and enjoy your flight, many have been looted like this.
Once you have made sure no pirate is watching you at the space station either fly up for down for 500+ or 500- altitude. You can check it by pressing p and looking at your system chat tab. The last set of numbers in the 3 set coords will be your altitude. In conversion .1 AU is 100 altitude strait up or down, so if your 500 up or down no pirate outside will be in visual range of you flying by.
Once you get high enough stop! ..... Set your waypoint, then fly to it. Waypoints are set at the altitude your at when setting the waypoint. So if you set it before you finish climbing or decending you will fly at a long angle to your destination and use more fuel. Also maybe fly back low or high enough to get spotted.
Try to just get a warp guys, but if your gunna be dumb at least be smart about it ;P