3 Speeding Ticket Excuses You Should Never Use In Court

One of the "fun" parts of my job is sitting in court and listening to people try and worm their way out of their speeding ticket. Short of the third-grade excuse of "the dog ate my homework," I've pretty much heard them all.

Some traffic ticket excuses are no doubt better than others, ("there was a bee in the car" and the old standby "I had to go to the bathroom. . .BAD!!!" quickly come to mind) but there are three speeding ticket excuses that are used every day in court and NEVER work. Please don't even think of using any of the following:

  • My speedometer was broken

  • My car doesn't go that fast

  • I was just keeping up with traffic

Not only are those just not "legal" defenses, they are insulting to the judge who is ruling on your guilt or innocence (and if that's the best you got, definitely guilt).

The main reason they are such poor speeding ticket excuses, is mainly because they immediately announce the fact that you don't understand how traffic court works and the rule of law you are charged with breaking.

Speeding is the type of violation that does not require you to "know" that you were committing the offense to be found guilty. So saying that your speedometer was broken and you were not able to determine your rate of speed doesn't matter. If you were in fact speeding, your mental state (whether you knew what you were doing) is irrelevant.

Additionally, an officer doesn't have to prove your "exact" speed, just that you were exceeding the speed limit, so telling the judge that your car couldn't have been going 80 miles an hour when all the officer has to prove is that your car was going 56 mph (in a 55 mph zone) is enough to find you guilty.

Finally, the fact that you were committing the offense with every car around you is certainly not a defense any judge is going to buy. Again, you are essentially admitting to the violation by saying that everyone around you was speeding and you were too. This will not get you far in traffic court.

Now, don't despair, all of the above factors, although not defenses are mitigating factors that a judge CAN take into consideration when determining the extent of your penalty. And for all I know, they might give you a pass for creativity. So keep those excuses coming, if not a defense, they certainly provide comic relief to a mundane day in traffic court.


Please tell me some of your crazy excuses and if they worked or not. I'd love to hear them. Who knows, if it's good, I might try it myself. . . just kidding.

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