Hearing the whoop-whoop of the siren behind and seeing flashing lights signaling to pull over is a heart-sinking feeling. No one wants to be chastised or ticketed by the cops, especially when one doesn’t know what exactly they were pulled over for. Was it the speed, the swerve, the taillight or something? Then there is also the inconvenience of going to court and either paying that fine or contesting the violation. One easy way to get out of it is to request for a continuance because for every court appearance the traffic violator needs to come to, so does the cop who ticketed him. And if the cop can’t make it, the violator can stretch out the court dates. Long enough for the judge to finally dismiss the case, tired of seeing the same docket over and over again.
Of course, if the violation was genuine, it’s up to the driver, to be honest, and pay the requisite fine. Now, the best thing would be to never make a traffic violation in the first place. But it’s not an ideal world we live in. And on a lighter note, if the speed was a bare minimum over the legal limit, or there was a genuine reason behind that hurry – one could try to get out of a ticket. But there’s a right way to doing that. And the right way is politeness and a sunny disposition as opposed to anger, arrogance, and plain being a jerk. Here go 10 excuses the cops will never let pass, and 10 they might just give a driver a free pass on…
20 Worst Excuse: Milking A Sob Story
Imagine a cop walking up to a car he just pulled over and asking the reason for the excessive speeding.
If the driver starts blubbering about his sick dog or his girlfriend who dumped him, the officer is now more jittery than before.
Emotionally unstable people and car drivers don’t have a track record for the most sound of all decisions. If you just broke up or got dumped that’s really no excuse for breaking traffic rules. The cops are unlikely to empathize with your traffic violation, even if they do feel sorry for you. If you are emotionally unstable, it’s best to blow some steam off or shed some tears before you get behind the wheel.
19 Might Work: When Nature Calls Urgently
The “I have to get to a bathroom right now” excuse maybe an old one, but it’s so genuine that many cops do let a minor offense pass to save the offender further embarrassment. Reddit is rife with stories of people who were desperate enough to cut corners to get to a bathroom. They were pulled over by cops but one look at those desperate, sweat-beaded foreheads coupled with a judicious use of breaking wind mostly got the cops to let them go with a warning. Then, if you are female, there is always the tampon excuse enough to make rookie cops blush down to their toes and wave you off on your way. Remember though, drive safe enough and you won’t need an excuse ever…
18 Worst Excuse: No, I Will Not Step Out Of My Million Dollar Ride
As we just said, cops are humans too. So if you have been caught speeding in a luxury car only the elite can afford, they are likely to stop you. And then they will also be likely to check your car out because they can and it’s a human world after all.
If the driver politely takes in the attention and maybe invites them in for a quick look of the cabin, they may let the driver off.
But if you play the arrogance or the privilege card, you will be getting that ticket, mostly because you can afford it.
17 Might Work: I Am From A Foreign Land
We don’t know much about this, but many a Reddit user claims to have got out of a ticket by citing language problems – real or fake. At some point or the other in life, we have all hung up on frustrating tech support calls where we haven’t been able to make heads or tails out of the conversation so happening on the phone. So when you know you have erred rather bad and are pulled over by a cop – try speaking in broken English and a thick enough accent the cop cannot make heads or tails out of. This will work only if you look or sound foreign in the first place.
16 Worst Excuse: But Officer, I Was On Hands-Free
The world’s number one cause of accidents is distracted driving. And you can be distracted even with both hands on the steering and both eyes on the road. Which is why when you drive, it has to be done with a calm and collected mind.
Talking to someone on the phone, even if speaking using Bluetooth and hands-free is always a distraction.
And it is that one split second of not paying attention to the road that can turn into lifelong regret in a jiffy. So if you are spotted speeding while on the phone, you will be getting that ticket.
15 Might Work: Consider Giving Me A Warning
Honestly, if this is your first offense and you weren’t way above the speed limit – and if you are your usual, polite and sunny self – most cops might cut you a little slack. You can tell them this is your first offense, or share with them any genuine reason for your speeding or unsafe driving. You may have swerved to avoid a pothole or a critter, or sped up to avoid a tailgater. Either way, let the officer know that you had a reason for your conduct. But always do it politely. Any other way other than politeness is always the wrong way.
14 Worst Excuse: But Officer, I Wasn’t Speeding
First things first, speeding is always a bad thing. By observing the speed limit that flashes on your GPS, or is emblazoned on signposts, you can keep yourself and the rest of the people on the road a lot safer. So not speeding is always a good idea, and if you are caught sprinting way over the speed limit, there is no way you can or should get out of that ticket.
Most of the authorities let a few miles over the limit slide but remember, as per the law; even one mile faster is enough to get a ticket.
That said; refusing to admit you were speeding and arguing about it with a cop who already has had a bad day will surely get you slapped with a fine, period!
13 Might Work: Ask The Officer How Their Day Is Going
The one thing to remember about cops, even if they look as if they have been sucking lemons all day, is that they too are human beings. So like other humans, smile at them sunnily, and you are likely to cheer them up. The trick is to be good-natured and smilingly follow the instructions they give you. Make small talk, and make yourself seem as human as you can without starting a pity party. The idea isn’t to share a sob story but just forge a human-to-human connection. Cops are likely to send first-time offenders with a warning especially if they are nice.
12 Worst Excuse: Look At My Car Officer, I Have No Money
You’d think that if you were driving a beater, your lack of funds may be a good excuse to get out of a traffic offense. Honestly, it’s not. It’s not as the cops have anything against your negative bank balance. Rather, beaten down and ill-maintained cars automatically tag as you a person of interest or suspicion. Even if you have an old car because that was all you could afford, you should keep it in good running order making sure the lights, wipers and all safety measures work. Your car is your responsibility, not the authorities’. Sob stories may not work in this case because the cop is obligated to distance himself from any pity he may be feeling and just do what the law dictates.
11 Might Work: Wave When You Spot A Lurking Cop
There are times we know we are going too fast, but are in such a rush that we are willing to take the risk of much more than just a traffic violation. Then there are still those rarer times you manage to spot a speed trap lurking in the bushes and end up hitting the brakes to lessen your speed.
However, by that time, the deed is often done and the flyby has been recorded.
If the cop hasn’t begun to flag your car down, try waving and smiling at him as you cruise by. He may think that you are acknowledging your speed and slowing down, or that you know each other. Either way, you may get a free pass.
10 Worst Excuse: So Sorry, Will Never Do It Again
So you made a mistake. A confession will only get you forgiveness at the confessional, else it’s only fair for the cops to give you a ticket and make an example of you. Also, if you confess to speeding and ask for forgiveness from the cop, he is now liable to give you a ticket. And if you contest this ticket in court, then he will stand witness to the fact that you confessed to going past the limit. This is also the reason cops still tap the taillight of cars they pull over, to leave their fingerprints on the car in case any proof is needed later.
9 Might Work: Ask Permission To Take Out Wallet
For most officers, even the bravest ones, roadside stops are nerve-wracking. If the whoop-whoop of the cop car asks you to stop, this is what you can do to make an officer’s life easier. Consequently, it can also help you get let off minus a ticket if all you did was a minor offense. Take your keys off the ignition and keep them on the dashboard, and now keep your hands on the steering wheel. Stop looking at the cops in your mirror as they find it suspicious and turn on the dome light if it’s dark outside. Ask permission to reach for your purse or wallet for your license and registration – sudden moves are likely to upset the cops enough to get you a ticket.
8 Worst Excuse: Acting Like A VIP
If being a celebrity always got you out of a ticket, no well-known face would ever be fined for driving bad. If you are a big shot, cops would expect you to toe the line of the law and set a good example for all and sundry instead of trying to pull a privilege card to get out of a ticket.
Being a popular name or an elite does not excuse anyone from the law, so try not being mean to the person just doing their job.
Plus yelling things like “my taxes pay your salary” are also not likely to endear you to the cop who is not singling you out for your money but for the mistake you committed on the road.
7 Might Work: A Law-Abiding Car, And Citizen
However beaten down your car may be, maintaining it is your responsibility. Similarly, if your car looks good from the outside, make sure it looks respectable enough from the inside as well, as opposed to looking tornado-stricken. If a cop approaches your less-than-stellar car and notices its trash-can like insides, he has already made up his mind to ticket rather than excuse you. When you get pulled over, you have about 30 seconds to create a law-abiding impression – a dirty car isn’t part of that. If you do not maintain your car, to the cop you are already a rebel of sorts who does not care about societal rules or niceties. So make sure even your beater is super clean, inside and out.
6 Worst Excuse: But I Am A New/Young Driver
The newbie card will not work here, babyface. Cops are not lenient towards those who have just passed their driving sense for the simple matter that they expect a new driver to not only remember the basic rules and regulations but also follow them to a tee. Drivers who have passed their driving tests have studied for it too, so short memories do not a ticketing excuse make. Cops are only too happy to show you that if you are old enough to drive, you are old enough to accept responsibility for your actions and will make sure you pay that fine they ticket you with – even if you get grounded at home!
5 Might Work: Oh Officer, I Was Almost Run Off The Road
Sometimes, a flat-out lie can be a saviour too. But remember, when you lie to the cops, you are in effect perjuring yourself.
If they catch the driver on the fib, they could in effect be making the situation a lot worse for themselves.
So unless you are a world class actor who deserves an Oscar and has been known to pull one over someone every minute of your life, do not try this. If the hat fits, then by all means – sound breathless and look flustered and then tell the officer about the (fake) car who almost ran you off the road and seemed to be threateningly following you. So you sped up for your safety.
4 Worst Excuse: But Officer, There Was No Speed Limit Posted
If you were flying at 150mph in a 70mph zone, do not try to bluster your way out by saying that there were no speed signs posted. One, they are everywhere – asking you, for your own sake, not to speed. Secondly, you are supposed to know the road you are on. Finally, we are assuming your GPS must be flashing out blips, bloops and beeps to warn you that you were way above the speed limit. So with three warnings already in place, there is no way you did not know that you were in the wrong. And we bet, the cop will not believe you either so be ready to be in court and pay your dues.
3 Might Work: The Honest Approach
In times that you were speeding for a good reason, be very honest. Like if your wife was having a baby. Or better still, if you were having a baby. Or basically, if anyone was having a baby and you just had to be there. Frankly, even if no one is having a baby, and it’s another important reason, tell the cops with all the sincerity you can muster – they are human beings with emotions too. Sometimes, when nothing else works, the truth does. And if you have emotions written over the face, the cops can read it through all the layers of BS they normally face.
2 Worst Excuse: Sorry Officer But I Am Very Late
Now, this may be the truth, but barreling down the highway just because you were late for an office meeting, or picking up your kids from school, or to get groceries isn’t really going to get you out of a ticket.
While cops may let an emergency (like having a baby) slide, drivers are supposed to organize their life enough to make sure they don’t press the pedal past the legal limit.
You should have gotten out of the house early, and being late for a meeting or having your kids wait in school is better than being in a fender bender, or worse. Cops urge you to make the decision not to speed, rather than speed and endanger lives.
1 Might Work: Cracking A Joke
First things first, do this only when you are a standup comedian or witty enough to make people laugh. If they don’t laugh at your jokes even when they are drunk, they will certainly not laugh when they are cops, angry at your traffic infractions. We read this joke off the Internet which we really like. It goes something like this. Officer: Did you know how fast you were driving? You: Just trying to catch up with the traffic officer. Officer: What traffic? You: You see how slow I am, I was just trying to keep up! (Drumroll please). Now the officer may smile at this, or ask you to step out and walk straight in a line to make sure you have not imbibed. Either way, either you get a ticket, or you don’t!
Sources: BaltimoreSun.com, TheStar.com, Mlive.com