Q: I got a speeding ticket when I passed another vehicle coming into town. I thought there was a new law that allowed drivers to go 15 miles over the speed limit to pass. Can I fight the ticket and win?—Kirk

A: You can always fight any ticket given but most times the outcome does not always favor the fighter (That’s why I don’t bet on boxing matches).

One factor you did not tell me was what the speed limit was. If the speed limit was less than 55 mph then you would be probably wasting your time fighting the ticket. That does not mean other factors, like the officer not showing up at court, couldn’t play in your favor of dismissal.

I always believe the easiest way for me to explain the law is to simply give you what the actual law is and then you can go from there.

Idaho Code 49-654(b) reads: Subject to all other applicable motor vehicles laws, a driver of a passenger car, motorcycle or pickup truck, not towing any other vehicle, may exceed the posted speed limit by up to fifteen miles per hour while passing another vehicle traveling at less than the posted speed limit, in order to safely pass the vehicle. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the right-hand lane and reduce speed to the posted speed limit as soon as practicable. This paragraph shall be applicable only to passing on the left upon roadways divided into two lanes providing only one lane of traffic in each direction and where the posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour or greater. This paragraph shall not be applicable in construction zones.

I would add that if you are behind a driver who’s going 55 in a 55 mph zone and you pass, then you are speeding. The key factor for passing the vehicle in front is that it has to be going under the posted speed limit and not under your normal speed limit.

The road to Jackpot (Highway 93) is one place that I’ve observed this law in place. However, I would let the drivers know that the parts on that highway where there are three lanes (one for passing) means that going 15 over the posted speed at that section could end up costing both money and time. Besides, if you’re headed to Jackpot and get a ticket, like most times in court the house usually wins (insert rim shot) but then again not always.

Officer down

Please put these officers, killed in the line of duty, and their families in your prayers. They fought the good fight, now may they rest in peace. God bless these heroes.

Police Officer Floyd East Jr., Texas Tech University Police, Texas

Correctional Officer Justin Smith, North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety—Division of Prisons

Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden , North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety—Division of Prisons

Police Officer Marcus McNeil, New Orleans Police, Louisiana

Have a question for Policeman Dan? Email your question(s) to policemandan@cableone.net or look for Ask Policeman Dan on Facebook and click the like button. Mail to: Box 147, Heyburn, Idaho 83336

Dan Bristol is the City of Heyburn Chief of Police.

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