When it comes to speeding our Highway Patrol officers have heard it all, literally.
From stuck jandals to stressed out dogs, lead foot motorists have tried just about every excuse in the book to get out of a speeding fine.
Summer’s here, and as part of our continued effort to remind drivers there is no excuse to speed, Police are highlighting the worst, and most wild, excuses for speeding road policing staff in each district have come across.
In Canterbury, officers stopped one driver for speeding and when asked why, they told Police they didn’t like having cars in front of them, they liked the cars to be behind them.
Another driver told officers it wasn’t his intention to drive too fast, it’s just that his speedo was out (caught going 148kph in a 100kph zone). We hate it when that happens.
For one unlucky motorist, the excuse was simple: ‘I can see a truck ahead that I am trying to catch up to and pass.’
Canterbury Highway Patrol’s Constable Sam Mills, says while there is no excuse to speed, the reasons they hear on the daily are too funny not to share, but is also hoping through the humour people will realise there is a consequence to their actions.
“From ‘I am trying to get to Lake Tekapo before it gets dark’, to ’I’m from France and the open road limit there is 120kph’, our Police have heard everything,” Constable Mills says.
“There’s nothing funny about attending a road death on our roads.
“Every opportunity we can take to reduce speeds, even by a fraction, has the potential to make a huge difference to safety on our roads.”
Constable Mills says officers hear the same old excuses from drivers when they’re caught speeding, time and time again.
But Police often also have to witness the horrific consequences when there’s a crash.
“’There isn’t a speed limit here, it’s a passing lane. You can go as fast as you like to overtake safely', ‘It’s not me, blame the car, it's the car’… but it’s not, it’s the driver,” he says.
“In a crash, even when you’re not at fault, speed remains the single biggest factor in whether you and your passengers walk away or are carried away.
“It’s simple: less speed means less harm.
“We want you to get to your destination, so slow down, drive to the speed limit and drive to the conditions. And know that you can expect to see Police out on the roads – anytime and anywhere.”
Holly McKay/NZ Police