I Fought the Law

Urban legends about evading responsibility for traffic tickets and accidents.

Laws govern how we drive and dictate the penalties for failure to follow the rules. Though we all agree those laws are necessary to protect us from the irresponsible actions of others, we hate to see them applied to us. These legends speak to our desire to outrun John Law, either by escaping his clutches at a traffic stop or by beating the system through a technicality or clever ruse.

A second class of "highway laws" legends addresses beliefs that some very strange statutes are hidden deep in the books.

Cuff Linked
Motorist caught speeding by photo radar pays fine with picture of money; police send him picture of handcuffs in return.

Licensed to Bill
Man whose personalized plate reads NO PLATE receives thousands of parking tickets.

The High(way) Sign
U.S. interstate highways are numbered according to a pattern based on their direction and location.

Brown Bagged
Mrs. James Brown once tried to beat traffic charges by claiming she was entitled to diplomatic immunity for being married to the "ambassador of soul."

Diamond Lanes Aren't a Pregnant Girl's Best Friend
A pregnant woman tried to beat a carpool lane ticket by asserting her fetus counted as a second person.

The Father of Traffic Safety
The man who penned the first automobile traffic laws never drove a car himself.

Maybe You Can Drive My Car
A driver must surrender his vehicle to a policeman who requests its use in order to chase a fleeing suspect.

The Dishonest Note
Hit-and-run driver leaves dishonest note on damaged car's windshield.

Adam 12-Pack
Drunk driver mistakenly attempts to flee from cop by taking his police car.

De Coy Drunk
Sober patron staggers out of bar at closing time to lure police away from his drunken friends.

Youths shoot a patrol car parked as a "speeder deterrent" on the one day it contains a real cop.

Snap Trapped
Pranksters affix license plate stolen from a speed trap camera van to their vehicle and drive through trap, resulting in unit's issuing tickets to itself.

Arrested Development
Quick-thinking cop has a bit of fun with a drunk stuck in the snow by pretending to run alongside his car.

Steal Belted
Prankster who thinks he's fooling a speed trap camera instead gets tickets for not wearing his seatbelt.

Fuzzy Logic
Motorist mistakes Dustbuster vacuum for a Fuzzbuster radar detection device.

Red Handed
Red cars receive more speeding tickets than do vehicles of other colors.

Fine for Speeding
Slightly overpaying the fine for a traffic ticket will keep points off your driving record.

Four Play
A U.S. mail truck has the right of way over emergency vehicles.

Landing of Hope and Glory
U.S. interstate highways were designed to be used as emergency airstrips in case of war.

Night Vision of Loveliness
Drug runner evades detection by driving a fast black car while wearing night vision goggles.

Take My Breath Away
Sucking on a penny will help someone who has been drinking defeat a breathalyzer test.

Flash Point
Flashing your car's high beams at a traffic signal will cause it to change from red to green more quickly.

Foling the Police
Placing tinfoil in your car's hubcaps or hanging a CD from your rear-view mirror will fool police radar.

E-ZPass Tickets
New York will be embedding strips in vehicle registration stickers in order to catch speeders.

Pole Position
States are installing cameras along interstate highways that automatically track and ticket speeders.

International Driver's License
You can avoid paying for traffic tickets or establish a new identity by obtaining an International Driver's License.

David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.