CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Speeding ticket excuses that won’t work

Mar 3, 2022, 4:56 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:44 am
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper enforces the speed limit in a construction zone on I-80 near 1700 Eas...
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper enforces the speed limit in a construction zone on I-80 near 1700 East in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s well documented Utah has had a problem with speeding lately. More drivers are pressing the pedal to the floor, careening between lanes on two wheels, turning the white lines into a blur, and keeping troopers busy.

I’ll bet you’ve seen this — where a car flies past like it was shot from a catapult. Then, every so often, the renegade motorist is rewarded with flashing lights and a trip to the shoulder.

Now I don’t know what excuse they use. Police departments — to the best of my knowledge don’t keep statistics about the excuses for speeding. But CarInsurance.com does, and the most successful excuse is — want to guess?

Of those who get out of a ticket, 26% say “I didn’t know I was speeding.” And while ignorance of the law is no excuse, it actually works the best. The second best excuse is a medical emergency but you better have one. Because if the cop’s B.S. detector goes off, you’re cooked.

Three other excuses that tend to work more often are “everybody else was going the same speed” … and the perennial “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Interestingly, half the people who asked “can you just give me a warning” got away with a warning. But if you’re flying at a hundred miles an hour, nothing’s gonna work and proof comes from Florida. A guy who got pulled over blamed Vladimir Putin. He told the cop “I just heard Putin was threatening nuclear war and I wanted to get home and find out what’s going on.”

Look, Putin’s responsible for a lot of the world’s problems — even the price of gas but if you burn it too fast? That’s on you. Florida Man got a big fat speeding ticket.

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Speeding ticket excuses that won’t work