What’s the point? Most drivers know the law well enough to understand that offences such as using a mobile in one hand whilst trying to steer with the other, or driving without insurance are definite no-nos, and wouldn’t be considered safe driving.
The transgressions are just that – criminal offences which are going to earn you penalty points on your licence, a hefty fine, the loss of your car, a possible disqualification from driving and a long-term impact on the cost of your car insurance premiums.
Yet even when caught – quite literally – red-handed, some of the excuses given are lame beyond words. Here are a few of them, given to some of the men in blue from Dorset Police, and reported in the local Daily Echo on the 7th of August 2017:
- one driver, for example, tried to make the excuse that he had to use his mobile phone whilst driving because of his employment instead of displaying safe driving – having been stopped after talking into his mobile for more than a minute and a half, he told police it was because he worked for a “well-known phone company”
- another motorist, who had been seen texting into his mobile whilst driving, sped off when ordered to stop, later denied any offence, before finally admitting it;
- both drivers received six penalty points on their licences, a £200 fine and reminders that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile to read a text message, follow a map or check your messages on social media whilst driving, or stopped at a traffic light – and same prohibition applies to anyone supervising a learner driver;
- excuses given by motorists who are stopped and found to have no insurance also show a decided lack of imagination;
- “I know I haven’t got insurance” confessed one driver “I haven’t got a job. Normally, I see you first actually, but today I didn’t and you got me”;
- or another driver who seemed to be totally non-plussed that his insurance cover had run out – “I haven’t been paying the insurance, why have they stopped it?”;
- or yet another motorist who suggested he could put things right on the spot – “I’ve been meaning to sort the insurance out, so can I do it now?”;
- all the drivers in these cases received six points each on their driving licences, a £300 fine and their vehicles were seized at the roadside – but if their cases had gone to court, they may have faced unlimited fines and risked the possibility of being disqualified from driving;
- Dorset Police also maintain a Facebook page on which to record some of the choicest excuses they receive;
- this one, for example, was given by a motorist who was stopped whilst driving along a busy A road, where the speed limit is 70 mph and, when told by police that he had been travelling at 86 mph, replied: “yes, my cruise control was set at 91 …”;
- unsurprisingly, the Facebook entry dubbed this exchange as the “quote of the year (so far)”!
There really are no excuses – and certainly none that the police are unlikely to have heard before – so don’t even try it, and be sure to stick to safe driving.