Thursday, 7 December 2023 - 11:55am |

Excuses, excuses: New Police campaign no laughing matter

3 min read

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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 Tasman, officers stopped a male driver for speeding and when asked why, he told Police he had been distracted by his wife’s talking.

Unfortunately, he didn’t realise it would get worse after being issued with an infringement.

Another driver told officers it wasn’t his intention to drive too fast, it’s just that his dog looked like it was going to be sick. We hate it when that happens.

For one unlucky motorist the excuse was simple: ‘I am desperate for a poo.’

Yeah, nah.

Tasman Road Policing Manager, Inspector Hamish Chapman, says while there is no excuse to speed, the reasons they hear on a daily basis are too funny not to share, but is also hoping through the humour people will realise there is a consequence to their actions.

“We stopped a person going too fast towing a trailer downhill on Spooners Range a few weeks ago and he said in response for an explanation: ‘Didn’t you go to school and learn about the laws of gravity when going downhill officer?’ I replied: ‘See that large pedal in the middle of your footwell? If you push on it will defy the laws of Isaac Newton.’ He replied: ‘Who’s that?’ I replied: ‘Didn’t you go to school?’

“From ‘I was running late for work’, to ‘I didn’t see the signs’, our Police have heard everything,” Inspector Chapman says.

“There’s nothing funny about attending a 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.”

Inspector Chapman says officers hear the same old excuses from drivers when they’re caught speeding, time and time again.

But Police and our fellow emergency services partners 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