Cucumbers And Fake Tans -What's Your Excuse?!

Cucumbers, fake tans and laptops are just some of the bizarre excuses given by motorists for dangerous driving.

One man who was stopped for using his mobile phone while driving was asked by the police officer whether the call was an emergency. The driver replied, ''Er, actually, no - my wife was calling me to remind me to get a cucumber.''

Dorset Road Safe - an organisation working to reduce the number of casualties on Dorset's roads - have been highlighting dozens of reasons for bad, careless and dangerous driving given to police officers taking part in the county's ''no excuse'' campaign.

Traffic police officers have also been reiterating the campaign's message that there can be no excuse for motorists whose behaviour puts themselves and others at risk.

A list of the most weird and woeful excuses has been released to coincide with a milestone for the project, with over 20,000 motoring offences having been processed since the campaign was launched in January 2010.

Excuses included a woman driver not wearing her seatbelt because she had ''just had a spray-on tan applied and I didn't want to smudge it''.

One woman driver, when asked why she hadn't belted in any of the three children in the back of her car, replied:

''They're not my children''.

When an older lady was stopped for driving at 61mph in a 30mph limit, she told police:

''I have to get to the shops as I don't have any bread at home.''

And it's not only women that have been trying to explain away their poor road skills.

A van driver was seen driving with a blue screen in front of him. The officer asked if there was any reason he was using his mobile phone, to which he replied: ''I wasn't on my phone - I had the laptop open on my lap and was reading that.''

A man claimed he was speeding because he was a stranger to Dorset and was confused by the road signs. An unimpressed traffic officer pointed out that speed limit signs are the same all over the country.

Another man stopped for speeding got out of the car and said: ''I don't believe it, have you stopped me for using my mobile phone or for not wearing my seatbelt?''

Dorset County Council road safety manager Robert Smith said:

''Some of the excuses given by motorists beggar belief.

''They show the scale of the challenge we face in to trying to encourage the irresponsible minority of motorists to give more thought to their actions.''

Chief Inspector Bob Nichols of Dorset Police added:

''Although some may think that some of these offences are minor and only a problem for the driver, the reality is that inattention or the failure to respect the law and other road users are generally the cause of most serious and fatal collisions and it is often the innocent party who is the victim of another driver's selfish act.''

Despite some of the careless driving highlighted in the list, last year saw the lowest ever number of fatalities and serious injuries recorded on roads in the Dorset County Council area.

The ''no excuse'' project is led by Dorset Road Safety, a partnership including Dorset County Council, Dorset Police, Bournemouth Borough Council, the Borough of Poole, Dorset Fire and Rescue, Dorset Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, NHS Dorset, the South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the Highways Agency, LV Streetwise Centre, Her Majesty's Court Service and the Crown Prosecution Service.

No Excuse

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