VANCOUVER, May 27 /CNW/ - If you're caught speeding, you'll want to throw
away your bag of excuses. Police have heard it all and are warning drivers
excuses won't get you out of a ticket at any time. We asked police across the
province to share drivers' top excuses for speeding:
1. I'm late for class/work/court. This age-old excuse won't work,
especially if you're on your way to court! "My boss will fire me" or
"My teacher will fail me" are lines that won't work either. Be more
realistic, plan your route and allow yourself extra time. There are
many things that cause delays, such as traffic, construction, bad
weather and, unfortunately, car crashes. If you're going to be later
than you expected - deal with it. Take a deep breath and accept the
delay. Like they say, better late than never.
2. I didn't know I was going that fast. Normally, your speedometer
doesn't lie! Though playing dumb with the police will definitely earn
you points - that's penalty points with a hefty fine. Remember to
check your speedometer once in a while. And be sure to focus on the
road. There are around 8,200 speed-related collisions in an average
year in BC, which injure 5,500 people and kill 161 (2003-2007 police
data). Unsafe speed is one of the most frequently cited contributing
factors in police-reported car crashes. Slowing down reduces your
risk of getting in a crash.
3. I didn't know the speed limit. That's like saying you didn't know
Canada was north of the U.S. border. The provincial and municipal
governments ensure speed limits are clearly posted along highways and
city roads. Under the Motor Vehicle Act, the basic speed limits are
80 km/h outside municipalities and 50 km/h within municipalities.
4. I was passing a dangerous/bad/slow driver. Driving like Bond or
Bourne should be left to the pros in Hollywood blockbusters. Weaving
in and out of traffic is one of the top five high-risk behaviours
that cause car crashes. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt
and keep your distance.
5. My car doesn't go that fast. Nice try! Unless you're driving a low-
speed vehicle like a moped or scooter, your car can go as fast as a
swift (the bird not the Suzuki) which flies between 160 and 320 km/h.
A Swedish study shows that dropping your speed by five per cent
reduces your crash risk by 14 to 20 per cent.
6. I was just keeping up with traffic. Drivers aren't like cattle in a
herd - would you keep speeding if the cars in front were heading
towards a brick wall? Sure, it's important to keep up with the flow
of traffic, but do so within the posted speed limit. If another
driver is too close, safely move out of the way and let the vehicle
pass. It's better to do this than risk a crash or a speeding ticket.
7. I was only going 10 km/h over the speed limit and that's OK.
Actually, if you speed up to 20 km/h over the limit, you could get a
$138 ticket. Also, the faster you go, the longer it takes to stop. At
30 km/h, it takes 18 metres to come to a full stop. At 80 km/h, it
takes 76 metres. Think of what that looks like when trying to avoid a
person, an animal or a large truck.
8. I have to go to the bathroom. Lame. This is something you likely
learned from your mom and teachers over the years-"always use a
washroom before you leave." Plus, this excuse won't hold up with the
cops. There are plenty of gas stations and rest-stops along major
roads and highways.
9. I was having an argument with my spouse and wasn't paying attention.
Sure, we all have arguments from time to time (Canucks game vs.
Canadian Idol, playing golf vs. a visit to the in-laws...). But these
are far better resolved outside a car. If you simply must resolve the
debate, pull over and park. It's safer. Plus, you'll make it home in
one piece after your mother-in-law's sumptuous cedar plank salmon.
10. I'm sick and am going to the hospital/I'm about to give birth.
Really? If you're that sick or about to give birth in the driver's
seat, call an ambulance. You're not trained to drive like an
emergency medical technician, a police officer or a fire fighter,
so stick with what you know and drive safe. Call a professional and
get there safely.
Fines for speeding range from $138 to $483. As well, as of January 2009,
drivers who have one or more excessive speeding convictions will pay a Driver
Risk Premium (DRP). For more information and tips, visit www.icbc.com.
For further information:
For further information: Media contacts: Kim Thé, (604) 842-5023