We've all been there.
You're driving along (Maybe too fast? Or changing lanes without signaling?) when you glance up in the rearview mirror and see the worst: the police. Those blue lights come on, the siren wails, and you know...you're about to be pulled over. Few things give you quite the same lump in your throat!
Funny thing is, cops say they hear the same excuses again and again. It's never smart to lie to a police officer about why you committed a traffic offense (but depending on your state, it may be smart to be pretty quiet until traffic court) but if you happen across the right officer when committing a minor enough offense you may be able to get away with a warning. If you're lucky.
Here are the most common excuses police officers say they get when making traffic stops.
"I was keeping up with traffic."
People use this one when they're speeding and it's usually a terrible idea. As your mom said, if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?
"I'm sorry for speeding - I really have to use the bathroom."
This excuse works best if you're heavily pregnant or sweating profusely.
"There's a family emergency I'm just trying to get to."
If you use this excuse you run the risk of the officer trying to escort you to the emergency - so make sure it's for real.
"I'm sorry officer, I didn't see the sign/lower speed/yield."
Ignorance is never an excuse for not knowing the law. But it's worth a shot if you truly mean it.
"I'm new in town!"
This excuse works best if you accidentally made an illegal left turn, blew threw a traffic circle, or made some other relatively minor mistake.
"Boooo hooo hoooo!" (Start crying uncontrollably.)
Works best if you're a woman or a teenager.
"There's no excuse, officer. I was driving too fast and I'm sorry. It truly won't happen again."
Lots of officers say that their preferred "excuse" is honesty. You never know when you're going to meet a friendly cop who just wants someone to tell him/her the truth.
No matter why you're getting pulled over, be sure to follow procedures safely. Pull over to the right as far as possible, put on your hazards, and immediately roll down your window and put both hands on your steering wheel. Don't reach for your papers until the officer comes to your window! Be as pleasant and calm as possible.
What's the best excuse you or a friend's ever given when getting pulled over?
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