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moneyA traffic ticket can cost you hundreds of dollars in fines and penalties. Not to mention the increase you could see in your car insurance rates as a result of getting pulled over – especially if you’ve racked up previous tickets, claims or accidents.

While statistics show men receive more traffic tickets than women, that doesn’t necessarily mean that women aren’t pulled over just as much: It could be that gals are better at talking themselves out of tickets.

“Women are more inclined to communicate and justify their actions,” says Michael Ray Smith, Ph.D., professor of communication studies at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.

Chances are, if a woman is stopped, she’ll provide darn good reasons why she was speeding, whereas a guy will sit in his driver’s seat and stew about getting caught.

“Men also drive more miles than women,” says Russ Rader, spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And more miles logged on the road can mean more tickets.

No matter how many miles you drive, or whatever your reason for rolling through a stop sign, if your next ticket will propel you into higher car insurance rates, talking yourself out of the ticket could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your car insurance. 

How might a woman — or man — be able to convince a kind-hearted cop to look the other way during a traffic stop? 

Here’s a look at some successful stories and creative spins that drivers have put on their speeding and other traffic violations.

I’m late for a funeral

I'm late for a funeralWhile driving to her grandfather’s funeral, Karen Green, of Portland, Ore., got lost — twice.

“I was running late and was speeding to try to make up time when I was pulled over,” she says. “I told the officer that I’d driven for four hours and was risking missing my grandpa’s service because of getting lost.”

Green also added that she realized it was still not okay to speed. “The officer told me I was lucky because he knew my story was true: He’d been one of the responding officers when my aunt called the authorities right after my grandfather passed away.”

I’m such a clown

clownBarbilee Hemmings, a.k.a. Bubbles the Clown, was cruising along at 50 mph in a school zone, on a school day when kids were present. As luck would have it, the Edmonton, Canada, resident had left her license in her “real” pants.

“I was in full makeup, colored hair and baggy pants, so when the officer walked up to my window I stuck my head out and in my loudest ‘Bubbles’ voice said, ‘Of course you can have a balloon animal, officer. Do you want a doggy, or an airplane or a butterfly?'” Once he was able to compose himself and stop laughing, the cop let Bubbles go with a warning.

I’m a woman of few words

few wordsSeif-Eldeine Och in Shrewsbury, Mass., says she’s been pulled over 43 times in eight years, and walked away 39 times ticket-free.

“Whenever an officer asks, ‘Do you know what you did wrong?’ I promptly reply, ‘Yes, officer, I was speeding and I’m sorry.” Och never adds any details or offers excuses unless the officer asks for more information. “Less is definitely more.”

I’m going to wet my pants


She was within a mile of her Fredericksburg, Va., house when Victoria Bors felt the urgent call of nature. Preoccupied with getting home quickly, it took a minute to notice the cop’s lights flashing in her rearview mirror.

“By the time the officer peered into my window, I was desperately trying to keep from squirming in my seat,” she says. That’s when Bors’ 14-year-old daughter called out from the back, “She has to go to the bathroom!”

 “My 7-year-old echoed, ‘She really has to go to the bathroom!'” When the officer asked if the story was true, a red-faced Bors answered sheepishly said, “Yes”.

“I told him we were just two subdivisions away while lightly bouncing in my seat. Stepping away from the car and chuckling, he waved me on and told me to ‘be careful’,” she says.

I’m very sick

“I was [going] about 7 or 8 miles over the limit when I was pulled over,” says Donna Maurillo of Scotts Valley, Calif. “I had bronchitis at the time, and as I pulled out my driver’s license, I suddenly had a coughing fit. When I finally caught my breath, I handed the license to the officer. He stepped back and said, ‘Never mind.'”

I’m consoling a friend

dog faceAnne McDermott was talking on her cell phone while driving in Syracuse, N.Y., when a county sheriff stopped her.

“I was talking to a friend but told the officer the caller was my sister who was inconsolable because she had just put her dog to sleep.”

The story was true – well, sort of. “She did put her dog to sleep, but months earlier,” admits McDermott.

It turns out McDermott had spotted animal fur on the sheriff’s uniform and gambled that he was a pet owner. “After a warning, he let me go,” she says.

I’m not the only guilty party

headlightDan Johnson (not his real name) of Grand Rapids, Mich., was stopped because his license plate was not illuminated.

“The officer asked if I knew that the light was out that should be illuminating the plate and I said that I never really walked around my car while it was running, but that I would make it a point to get it fixed the following day.”

Johnson started chuckling as he looked in his rearview mirror.

“When the officer leaned over and asked, ‘What’s so funny now?’ I pointed to my rearview mirror and asked the officer if he knew he had a headlight out!” Johnson was sent on his way with a “you have a nice evening” from the officer.

You can’t drive slow to Aerosmith

rock and rollMary Babish was keeping the beat of the classic rock blaring from her car’s speakers by speeding along a country road in rural Iowa.

“When I was stopped I quickly admitted to speeding, but explained that you can’t drive slow to Aerosmith.”

Luckily, the officer was a fan and let Babish off with a warning.

I’m married to a cop

policeLorna Derby’s last name got her out of a ticket in Arlington Heights, Ill.

“I blew past a cop when I ran a red light,” she says. When she handed over her driver’s license, Derby mentioned that she’s married to a local cop.

“I hoped he’d let the family member of one of his own go.”

Name dropping helped, and she escaped with a warning.

“Then I had to call my brother and explain that I was now his wife, not his sister!”