When it comes to speeding, Easter District Police have heard it all.
So, on Thursday, as part of a new campaign to combat drivers with lead feet, police released a statement listing the greatest hits of offending motorists’ excuses.
From stuck jandals to stressed-out dogs, many drivers have tried “just about every excuse in the book to get out of a speeding fine”, said Eastern District road policing manager Inspector Angela Hallett.
“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 that staff have encountered.”
One driver told officers in Raupunga she “didn’t feel safe travelling through this area and wanted to get through as quickly as I could”.
For another creative motorist, the excuse was simple: “I didn’t see the speed sign – so I didn’t have any intention of speeding.”
After stopping yet another speedster, when officers asked the reason for the offender’s advanced acceleration, police were told they were “late for a tangi.”
“’There isn’t a speed limit here, it’s a passing lane,” one said.
“You can go as fast as you like to overtake safely.”
“It’s not me - blame the car, it’s the car”.
“I have to get to my friend’s place, my dog is stressing out.”
“I thought the 90km/h sign meant that a safer speed for this road is 90km/h, but you could still go 100km/h if you wanted.”
“Yeah, nah,” Hallett said.
“While there is no excuse to speed, the reasons they hear on [a daily basis] are too funny not to share, but [we’re] also hoping through the humour, people will realise there are consequences to their actions.
“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.”
Police often also have to witness the horrific consequences of crashes when they do occur.
“Even when you’re not at fault, speed remains the single biggest factor [regarding] whether you and your passengers walk away or are carried away. It’s simple: less speed means less harm.”