Why do officers sometimes issue warnings?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I think this is a good police question. I just don’t understand why some people caught speeding just get a warning ticket, and others get a paying one. If someone is speeding, shouldn’t it just be a ticket for everyone, end of story?

A: The short answer is that police officers are given the authority to use their discretion. Believe it or not, there are drivers that actually make mistakes and errors in judgment when it comes to safe driving. We must all admit, including myself, that we may miss a yield sign, not fully stop at a stop sign, or just drive sometimes a little too fast. There are also a host of other reasons why we would not issue a ticket, and of course, reasons we must. The point of traffic enforcement is to modify behavior not always just to generate monetary penalties.

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