Avoid Rural Speeding Tickets

By Glenn

Like most of you, I grew up in a giant city. My playgrounds were postmodern art museums and my first communion was held at CBGB's. Sometimes, however, I have to drive through patches of what we call "rural country." Out in those rural areas there aren't any Hooka Bars nor wireless internet. But there are COPS. Without any real murders (meth-related killings do not count) to solve, they mostly spend their time trying to catch suspicious out of towners who are trying to speed right through their county instead of enjoying all the churches and spousal abuse it has to offer.

I don't mean to minimize the danger of speeding. I know in your tiny head you're thinking "Car accidents due to speeding kill more teens each year than HIV, basketball-related shootings and chicken pox combined!" This is true, but I don't think it undercuts my argument. I once got a ticket for going 93mph in a 20mph school zone but I wasn't a danger to anyone in that school zone while I was doing it - just as you won't be a danger to anyone on a rural road if you accidentally manage to go 56 mph instead of 55.

The next time you get pulled over in a rural area for going too fast, here are some tips to avoid a ticket.

1. Have a copy of the local paper in your passenger's lap or in the passenger's seat. The officer will mistake you for a local and go easy on you. It helps to mention something from the actual issue you have, like Bill Sweeney's prize winning sow or falling from #1 to #2 in most teen pregnancies per capita in the tri-county region. "If we can't beat Boonville in football, at least we can keep the homecoming court free of mothers."

2. Hide all of your expensive electronic equipment. People in small town Missouri don't have iPods and they won't want "gay" songs coming into their towns. If you have a Blackberry, please at the very least only use it to make calls and texts. Twitter updates from your phone like "gettin pulled over. hope my ratez dont go ^ again cuz of this n00b" might sound cool to your friends but it will only make the country sheriff angry. Especially if he's following your updates on his radio.

3. Apologize for going too fast. This doesn't have anything to do with being pulled over in a rural area, but it's a good tip nonetheless. Cops are human too and they appreciate some remorse.

4. Once the cop gets out of his car to walk over to give you the ticket, drive away. If your car can go as fast as my DeLorean, you'll be out of his sight before he can even ask for your license and proof of insurance. Also, you can go back in time to before speed limits were invented and uninvent them in case he got your license plate before you left.

5. Say that you were driving so fast because there was a storm approaching and your cattle is out of the barn. Do NOT under any circumstances wink and follow that with "...if you can read between the lines." Such vague farm innuendos might sound cute in an urban bedroom but in rural areas they are taken quite literally. People in less populated places farm because there aren't white collar jobs around. The officer will immediately understand and appreciate the agricultural reference - at least to the extent a rural person can understand anything immediately.

The main thing to remember is while speeding is against the law, it's only a moral sin if you get caught and punished. These tips should keep you out of jail even if you couldn't keep yourself out of a police radar's cross hairs. If you follow my tips and end up getting a ticket anyway, I will pay for your ticket. Just send it to me and forget all about it!


  1. Very good article GCR! It is both informative (as I'm going to be driving 100 mph through the country very soon) and entertaining (as I'm going to be listening to The Smiths' album Meat is Murder).
    The thing this article reminds me most of all, is that there is going to be a lot of meth labs exploding as I zoom past the corn. Meth labs are like land mines in rural Illinois. There could be one under your house (if you live in rural Illinois) and you wouldn't even know until it exploded and killed your family (three boys and two girls, plus their stepmother).
    I will now be able to avoid getting a ticket and dying a meth lab related death (by driving so fast that my tires melt upon arrival). Thank you for such a helpful piece of writing. If only there was Nobel Prize for peace, because this is a great peace of writing.

  2. Glenn, did you write this in the back of my car on the way back from Sullivan? I'm glad I could inspire such a great article, especially tips 1, 2, and 3.

    Also, when the officer asks, "do you know how fast you were going?" my dad, being the high-falutin rural attorney that he is, says, "I thought I was going a safe speed officer."

    The only explanation he gives me for saying this is that "cops hate it when you say this." I've never said it. I don't want to piss off a cop. Dad always gets a ticket, too. Good thing he knows all the prosecutors.

  3. Being from a rural area, I did not understand this article immediately, but once I did I was very pleased. This is really great. And you will be receiving all my tickets from now on.

  4. This article is really funny. I'm using it as a source in a research paper I'm writing on Mr. Sweeney's prize winning sow.