Ask A Cop: Excuses, Excuses

Blogger’s Note: Columnist-slash-cop Steve Sutherland, a veteran officer with the Bainbridge Island Police Department, is making his weekly appearance to field another question from commenters. Feel free to write more questions or responses below. For past editions, click here.

The question, from A Sailor: Name some of the best excuses people have given you in the hopes of getting out of that speeding ticket.

The answer, from Officer Sutherland: A patrol officer hears a lot of explanations from drivers stopped for traffic violations.

A driver I stopped for speeding told me that he had just gotten a call from his daughter and that a dog was attacking their cats.

One driver told me that the reason he made an improper turn was because he didn’t want to go straight and get lost.

Juveniles with restricted licenses who are stopped for speeding will usually say they are trying to get home before the time restriction.

A driver stopped for a red light violation told me that he was afraid of being rear-ended if he stopped. Another driver stopped for the same violation had a dog in the back and was afraid he might get hurt if he stopped suddenly.

A driver stopped for speeding told me that he had lost his job a couple of months ago and was late for a job interview with the school district… to drive a school bus.

A driver once told me that he was speeding because of a medical condition and that he needed to get to a bathroom in a hurry.

A driver stopped at a red light one night suddenly took off. He told me that since no one was around, it was safe to run the light.

A driver stopped for speeding down a steep hill told me he didn’t want to burn up his

Although I’ve heard a lot of strange stories throughout my career, most people are very honest when stopped for a violation. Drive safely.

Steve Sutherland has been a Bainbridge Island Police officer for eleven years. He also worked as an officer for the Suquamish Tribal Police Department for almost four years. He’s currently an instructor for the Bainbridge department in defensive tactics, Taser and pepper spray. He lives on Bainbridge and enjoys relaxing, working in his yard, and reading (fiction mostly).

One thought on “Ask A Cop: Excuses, Excuses

  1. I have a question about the securing your load law. We were following one of the big garbage trucks the other day on highway 3 and plastic bags and other garbage was blowing out of it. A plastic garbage bag hit our window and stuck to it and we had to pull over to get it off. It was good that it stuck to the passenger side of the windshield or my mom would not have been able to see. Are garbage trucks exempt from the law?

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