Illegal Passing: The Problem

PAGE 8 of 88

<BACK        NEXT>

Jump to page:

Table of Contents

Home page

Add to this the shortage of law enforcement officers and you have an almost impossible situation:

   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 required elsewhere.

Difficulty getting convictions

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 entirely.

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.

Best Practices Guide: Reducing the Illegal Passing of School Buses