You may have heard about the Manitoba teen whose excuse for driving 70 km/h over the limit was he had “too many hot wings and needed a bathroom.” The excuse didn’t work — not only did the teen receive a $966 ticket, he got another fine for $203 for driving without a supervising driver.
Some emergency health excuses for speeding may work under some circumstances. A review of Reddit posts on “speeding excuses that worked” show several examples where the speeder received no ticket or a dismissal of charges. All included failure to reach a bathroom on time. Let's be real: most people wouldn’t want to risk incontinence in their car to get out of a speeding ticket.
According to Kyla Lee, Vancouver DUI lawyer, peeing your pants on purpose when pulled over might add an investigation for impaired driving to the speeding ticket.
There are three ways you may be excused from speeding (if you have been speeding) in Canada. Each is related to the “defence of necessity.”
You must be in imminent peril
Imminent peril means an unavoidable danger. If you’re being pursued on the road, this generally qualifies as “imminent peril.” Others have been excused for rushing to the hospital for health emergencies, including pregnancy, heart attack, or stroke.
You must have no reasonable legal alternative
Could you have called for emergency services instead of driving to the hospital? Could you have contacted authorities instead of speeding away from a dangerous situation? If the answer is “no” then you will have qualified for “no reasonable legal alternative” to speeding.
The harm caused by speeding must be proportional to the harm you avoided by speeding
If you were in an argument at home and drove away at a high rate of speed, you probably don’t have a “proportional” excuse if you weren’t at risk of physical harm — or if you're speeding with no one in pursuit. The reason? Speeding can result in a serious accident. If you're in emotional distress, choose alternatives to getting behind the wheel.
What if I couldn't see the posted speed limit?
You're responsible to obey the speed limit whether or not you see a sign. In town, most Canadian communities have a statutory speed limit of 50 km/h. Canadian freeways have a top speed limit of 100 to 110 km/h. Near a school, speed limits are 30 to 40 km/h.
Other speeding excuses that won't work include:
- The officer failed to write my speed on the ticket (he or she does not have to).
- The RADAR or laser gun was pointed at another vehicle
- The RADAR was not calibrated properly
Drivers have tried all of these excuses in traffic court and failed. Laser guns are accurate to within one foot and RADAR guns are calibrated by outside companies, not patrol officers. The officer need not write the exact speed on the ticket: if you are travelling even 1 km over the limit; you are speeding.
What can I do to avoid a speeding ticket?
Don't drive over the posted speed limit — how's that for common sense? Use tech to help. Google Maps has added a speed limit feature to its iPhone and Android apps. The technology behind the feature has been available in the Waze driving app for several years. The apps not only tell you the posted speed limit and warn you when you're driving too fast, they tell you the location of officers and speeding cameras. Remember, these apps can only be used if you set them before you start driving, and if they’re mounted firmly and used hands free. Using a mobile device when driving is both dangerous and illegal – and can result in a major ticket which will increase your premium by 25% for the first offence.
A speeding ticket is expensive. Not only are there immediate fines from the police, a ticket could increase your auto insurance premiums by around 10% - and all tickets stay on your record for three years from the date that you are convicted. Stay within the speed limit, use common sense, and make sure you're getting your best value in car insurance.