Driving fast has its consequences. Be obvious about it and you're getting pulled over - and forking over, more than likely.

Or maybe you're a silver-tongued speeder and avoided your last ticket. Every so often, the right words come out of your mouth, and perhaps that radar cop took pity, writing a warning rather than a citation for 20 over the limit.

TheCarConnection.com asked its readers to offer up the best excuses they've used to get out of a ticket, and apparently that struck a nerve. We received over 2,000 entries from across the country. That includes more than a few e-mails from hard-working officers of the law who've kicked in some of the best -- and worst -- excuses they've heard while on patrol.

Judging this vast pool wasn't easy. We started by eliminating those entries that didn't ring true, along with the hundreds of "excuses" involving bodily fluids and functions. And maybe your wife really did run off with a policeman, but even if you thought the radar cop was bringing her back, we don't care. We received -- and wrote off -- nearly 100 of those entries.

Yet despite all the clichés and bad jokes, there were still some incredible, funny, and even bizarre entries to choose from. You may disagree with the order in which we voted, but we expect you'll agree these are some great excuses.

Oh, and lest we forget, our grand-prize winner receives a Garmin StreetPilot 2730 with XM NavTraffic and XM Radio capability. The StreetPilot 2730 uses NavTraffic data to automatically calculate and suggest faster alternative routes; it also offers more than 150 channels of XM satellite radio through an integrated FM wireless transmitter or a 3.5-mm stereo headphone/line-out plug. The StreetPilot 2730 also comes equipped with an MP3 player that lets users take their personal music collection on the road and browse music by artist, album, song or genre.

Second and third place winners receive a Pioneer Inno XM2GO, the world's first portable, handheld device that combines the two most popular forms of audio entertainment of the past 20 years: satellite radio and MP3 music. This wearable device combines live satellite radio "on the go," and stored XM content with MP3 music and WMA files. The user can even "bookmark" songs heard on XM, connect the device to the PC, and instantly purchase the songs from the XM + Napster online service.

Our first place winner will have some help getting to his next funeral on time with his new grand prize:

"I am a funeral director, the law does not bother a hearse on the highway at any speed. But this one time I had a time to be at an out of town crematory, and I was in a van, taking an unembalmed body to be cremated and he got me at 90 mph on the Interstate, when he stopped me and asked what was my hurry, I said, 'Brother, I have to be at a crematory in an hour or I'll miss my appointment time and they will be closing for the weekend.' He said, 'So ...' I said, 'Take a whiff in the back, he stuck he head in the side window and jerked it back out and said sir hurry along and be careful.'"

Second place - and the XM2GO - goes to an entrant who proves that it pays to know a cop ... intimately:

"I was driving along one day minding what I thought was my own business, and kind of daydreaming. I must have gone a little faster than I should have and was pulled over and stopped by a state police officer. My husband is a former police officer and told me how he always let someone go if they could tell him a reason for speeding that he hadn't heard before. I knew I had to think quickly because he was now approaching my door. He advised me that the reason he was stopping me was I had exceeded the posted limit by 15 miles over. I looked him in the eye and asked him sternly "Do you have any idea what I did to the last cop who stopped me for speeding?" He looked a little shocked and began feeling more cautious. I said, "I married him." I believe he is still laughing, he just walked away and said slow down, have a nice day. I was so pleased that for once my husband told me something that would really work."

Third place - and another XM2GO - to a hard-working officer experiencing a case of mistaken identity:

"Vehicle pulled over for speeding at approximately 04:00. When approaching the vehicle the driver asked me if I knew Officer Westberg. I told him I did. He then went on to tell me how he was Officer Westberg's buddy, and he (Westberg) wouldn't be happy knowing I was giving one of his friends a ticket. I asked him how well he knew Westberg. He said that they have been close friends for years, and even showed me Westberg's business card. I told the driver to wait in his car, and I would check to make sure his license was valid. It was, so I wrote him the ticket for speed. When I gave him the ticket, he asked me why I didn't let him off with a warning, since he was Westberg's friend. I told him Westberg doesn't have any friends and that he should look at the name of the officer on the ticket. There neatly printed was WESTBERG. The driver stared at the officer's name on the ticket for probably 15 seconds, then looked at my nametag, and saw it spelled out Officer Westberg. He told me that a buddy of his always dropped officer's names, and since he had received my business card in the past during some type of event, he thought it was worth a try. He paid the ticket."

We'd also like to honor some great runners-up. This entrant also experienced a case of mistaken identity when an officer tried to write up the passenger:

"We were going to a Sports Car Race in an MG TC on a rainy night when we were stopped for going a little too fast. The officer approached the left side of the car and asked for my driver's license and disappeared into the wet dark night. A few minutes later he came back and slipped me a ticket through the flap on the removable side weather shield. I said, "Officer, I am not the driver of the car." With that he shined his flashlight through the front window and saw my friend sitting behind the right side steering wheel. I stuck the ticket through the flap and he took it. Disappearing into the rain we saw him drive away soon afterward."

When we last went to court hoping to beat a speeding ticket, our spousal unit kindly suggested, "You don't have a prayer." Perhaps, but this reader seems to have a direct pipeline to the appeals judge in the sky:

"My sister-in-law was pulled over one day for speeding and she said to the passenger with her "O dear God don't let him give me a ticket" the officer came up to her and as he was looking over her driver's license the call came over the radio that the church down the road was on fire. He jumped in his car and told her it was her lucky day. My sister-in-law said "God you did not have to go to that extreme."

And finally, from his entry, we can't tell whether this excuse got the reader out of a ticket, but you have to admire anyone who would simply tell an officer, "Time is money."

If I'm ever stopped for speeding myself I'll try that excuse.

Below are additional submissions that did not make the final cut:

Kids speak out

"Officer," my 7-year-old daughter said, "you cannot give my dad a ticket for taking a left-hand turn in a no-left-turn intersection because me and my Dad cannot live here on the side of the road."

I said, "Sir, the sign must have been changed today, I was driving up a hill, into a 6PM blaring sunset (which was true). I was blinded and made the turn as I did over the last seven years."

"Take it to court," he said.

I did. Several people were in line that day to see the judge. I explained my story and got off. Everyone behind me said one word: DITTO. We were all let off this left-hand turn error that happened one evening to all of us.

Chauvinist pig

As I was driving out of the local mall, I made a left turn and headed toward the highway. I suddenly realized I was being followed by a police car with flashing lights. I couldn't figure out why. I had done nothing illegal. (I thought.) However, I pulled over, hoping he wasn't after me, but he was.

He asked for the usual: license, registration and insurance, which I handed over. I sat and waited patiently wondering what was going on. I suppose the look on my face said it all because he asked, "Do you know why you were pulled over?"

I answered, "No."

He informed me that I made a left turn and that was an illegal turn. I became so angry that before I realized what I was saying, I blurted out, "Well, why don't you ever pull my husband over? He makes that turn every time we come to this mall. What are you, a chauvinist or something?" He stared for awhile and then roared with laughter as he said, "Well, go home and tell your husband he's been lucky and not to make that turn again."

He let me go.

Blonds get off more

My wife -- a fairly quiet and reserved but very pretty blonde woman -- was pulled over by a Washington State Patrol office for driving 75 mph in a 55-mph zone.

When the office walked to her car and asked her why she was speeding, she told the patrolman that she was married to a police officer who had told her that as long as she was traveling with the flow of traffic she would not be pulled over and would be OK.

The patrolman, having heard all the excuses, or so he thought, told my wife that there were no other cars within a quarter-mile of her when he clocked her on the radar.

She looked at him and told him she knew that, but that the group of cars she had been traveling with got boring so she was trying to catch up with the group in front of her.

Apparently this was a new one to the patrolman, she said he giggled a little bit, told her to slow down, drive safely, and have a nice day. She says she could see him laughing and shaking his head as he walked back to his car.

Shop 'till you drop

The vehicle was packed with four ladies destined for a daylong shopping trip. I was driving and we were cruising right along when I was stopped by a police officer for speeding. I rolled down my window as he walked up beside the car and asked the inevitable question.

"Do you know how fast you were going?"

I really didn't so I answered, "No, officer, I don't. But I'm sure I was moving right along because I was just trying to keep up with my mouth."

He bent down and looked at the car full of women, laughed, and just told me to slow down. I can't believe that my quick comment worked, but it did. No ticket that day -- which meant more money for shopping!

Thanks to all our entrants! Look for the next contest from TheCarConnection.com in the coming months.

*AOL is not affiliated with or a sponsor of this sweepstakes.

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