Add to this the shortage of
law enforcement officers and you have an almost impossible
• To have a citation issued, a law enforcement
officer must witness the violation
• But violations occur haphazardly, often in
places that officers can't routinely patrol because they are
Even when a citation has been written, the story is not over.
If a motorist chooses not to pay the fine and contests the
citation, the motorist goes to court. Unfortunately, many
local judicial officials don't take the problem of illegal
passing seriously and reduce the charge or throw cases out
Sometimes the case is dismissed
for insufficient evidence. There must be evidence that a particular
vehicle committed the violation. This requires not just the
vehicle make and color but a license plate number. In those
areas where a citation can be issued based on a driver's report,
bus drivers often find it hard to get a license plate number
when they also have to watch the road, operate the bus, and
manage the students.
Sometimes the charge is reduced
because of the penalty for the violation. In some states,
the penalty for a first offense is high (e.g., large fine,
mandatory license suspension) and magistrates and judges are
reluctant to impose such a penalty.