Georgia Driver Stopped for Speeding Violation Tries to Excuse Illegal Substance At Stop

A driver in Thomasville Georgia was caught speeding and found to be in possession of a bag of pot. Read more about how he attempted to get out of the speeding ticket and excuse the presence of the illegal substance in Georgia in this story from WALB News.

Speeding Ticket in Thomasville Georgia?

Speeding Crackdown in Coweta County Georgia

Speeding continues to be a major problem with major consequences on Interstate 85 through Coweta County.

Georgia State Patrol’s Newnan Post Commander Sgt. Lance Greene and Coweta County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John LaChance are teaming up to make the Coweta corridor of Interstate 85 safer during ongoing construction. They are planning several enforcement crackdowns to get their point across.

From Dec. 1, 2006 — when the interstate widening and repaving project began — to June 1, 2009, the sheriff’s office’s traffic unit has worked 1,891 accidents on the county’s interstate corridor, according to LaChance. Of those accidents, 11 resulted in fatalities, and there were 728 injuries.

The sheriff’s office has issued 2,921 citations this year so far, and, of those, 2,611 were for speeding, said LaChance.

The speed limit through the construction zones is 50 mph and it will remain that way until the construction concludes and the state takes possession of the road from the contractors.

“There are a lot of people who are going 50-55 mph,” said Greene. “The message is out. Enforcement efforts have worked. But there’s always going to be a certain percentage of people who will exceed the speed limit. We are very forgiving of speed out there and we can still write tickets all day long. This is not about generating revenue — we’re being so forgiving that we should tighten up a bit.”

“Within one hour we can write 15 tickets, no problem — and that’s with high grace,” LaChance added.

Motorists who choose to drive 85 mph and above are basically declaring that they know “everything’s going to be perfect,” according to Greene. He said those motorists leave no reaction time in case something unexpectedly goes wrong.

“You can do everything right and that one guy out of 50 can do something stupid and all the other cars will get caught in it,” said Greene.

LaChance said the biggest ticket he’s written on the interstate was for a motorist traveling 108 mph. Greene has written a ticket for 101 mph and one for 105 mph — both motorists were stopped during the morning commute just north of Bullsboro Drive. Greene once clocked a motorcycle traveling 132 mph driving on the opposite side of the barrier wall, but he couldn’t get to him.

When the speed limit goes back to 70 mph after the construction project is finished, leniency will be gone, the officers warn. Anything over 85 mph — beginning Jan. 1 — will be violating the state’s new “Super Speeder” legislation and cost the driver an additional $200 on top of the citation. Also, speeding in construction zones doubles fines.

Motorists will be seeing a lot more law enforcement officers on the interstate. They plan to increase their visibility to pace traffic — especially over the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.

In addition to increased patrols around Labor Day, police will be using lasers to catch speeders during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. They also target drivers who are following too closely, motorists conducting improper lane changes, anyone driving under the influence and other traffic violations.

“We will be out there on travel days,” said LaChance. They are also aiming for one concentrated day a month in addition to holidays and routine patrols.

LaChance and Greene are pleading with drivers to pay attention to interstate signage as road conditions continue to change during the final stages of construction. They should especially pay attention to the signs warning of lane shifts, ones indicating an exit-only lane, and ones instructing drivers to merge ahead.

“We’re begging people to slow down,” said LaChance. “Slow down and save a little money in gas.”

The sheriff’s office is hoping to keep the number of wreck fatalities down to no more than 10 this year, through a campaign of education and enforcement. So far, the county’s had six traffic deaths.

Still, the sheriff’s office has consistently reduced the number of traffic-related deaths. In 2005, there were 34 deaths; in 2006, there were 26; in 2007, there were 20; and last year, there were 12.

“Don’t speed, don’t follow too closely and don’t drink and drive,” said Greene.

Article by Elizabeth Richardson, Newnan Times Herald

Speeding Ticket in Coweta County Traffic Court?

Georgia “Super Speeder” Fines On Hold Until Jan1.

Pricier driver’s license reinstatement fees go into effect July 1, but the extra $200 fines for Georgia’s “super speeders” won’t be charged until early next year.

When the new fines, recently approved by the Georgia Legislature, take effect, they won’t be paid with the rest of the traffic ticket. They’ll be collected separately, with notification often coming weeks after the court date for the ticket, when the usual fine still must be paid.

These super-speeder fines will kick in for drivers caught traveling more than 75 mph on two-lane roads or 85 mph on any road. It’s part of an effort to raise money for Georgia’s trauma network, the system of emergency rooms and ambulance services called upon for the worst accident injuries.

State leaders hope a public subsidy will convince hospitals to keep their high-cost emergency operations running and that eventually new services can shorten the time it takes to get rural patients to a trauma center.

Though law enforcement likely will tell motorists about the increased fines, formal notice will come from the state’s Department of Driver Services. The DDS will have to wait for local officials to send it notice of the ticket, which is supposed to be done within 10 days of the ticket being paid or a court conviction, DDS spokeswoman Susan Sports said

Then the department has 30 days to notify the driver of the additional fine by mail, and the driver has 90 days to pay it. If the fine isn’t paid by then, the driver’s license will be suspended, Sports said.

“Please keep your address current,” Sports said.

The new speeding fines and increased fees to reinstate a suspended license are expected to generate about $23 million a year.

The speeding fines won’t be implemented until Jan. 1 because the state must print new traffic tickets, adding a box to indicate whether the ticket was written on a two-lane road or a larger highway, Sports said.

Even though the money won’t start flowing for a while, the state is expected to give the appointed commission in charge of spending it an advance to dole out to hospitals and ambulance services, said Dennis Ashley, who heads up The Medical Center of Central Georgia’s trauma program and is chairman of the state trauma commission.

The commission already has split up about $59 million in state dollars, spreading it among existing hospitals and EMS providers last year. Eventually, supporters would like to see upward of $80 million doled out each year, though so far Gov. Sonny Perdue’s super-speeder program has been the only fundraising effort that legislators have agreed to.

The commission, which met Thursday in Macon, is considering several potential uses for the super-speeder money. The state’s EMS and trauma office, which sets emergency care standards and inspects ambulance services, is “woefully understaffed,” according to a recent study by the American College of Surgeons, Ashley said. Commission members are talking about a statewide transfer system to triage patients across the state, making sure they’re sent to the correct hospital, he said.

In some ways the commission is still in startup mode. Members spent some of last week’s meeting talking about designs for a logo, which would be turned into a decal that can be placed on ambulances for which the commission approves funding. They also talked about hiring a company to build the commission’s Web site.

Ashley said the commission will try to keep costs for this kind of thing to a minimum. He said the commission wants to mark the ambulances it funds, though, since they’re being allocated on a county-by-county basis and need to be tracked.

The commission approved funding for 56 new ambulances last year for rural counties.

Some ambulances in those areas had 350,000 miles on them, Ashley said.

Article by Travis Fain, Macon.com

Georgia Super Speeder Lawyer

Speeding Fines in Southeast Georgia Can Vary By Nearly $1,000

KINGSLAND – Under the Superspeeder law Gov. Sonny Perdue signed Tuesday, motorists ticketed for driving 75 mph or faster on two-lane roads and 85 mph or faster on four-lane roads would have $200 added onto their tickets.

While the super speeder fines will be consistent throughout Georgia, the starting point for the super speeder addition is tied to geography. And in Southeast Georgia, penalties for the same infraction can vary by nearly $1,000, depending on where the ticket is written.

For example, be sure you’re in the city limits of Darien if you get stopped for speeding in McIntosh County.

A ticket for driving 34 mph or faster over the speed limit in Darien will cost a motorist $575. But the same traffic infraction in McIntosh County outside the Darien city limits will cost a motorist $1,355.

McIntosh County Commissioner David Stevens said he could not explain the difference in ticket fees because the commission does not set fines for traffic violations.

The county benefits from the fines, however, because the revenue goes into the county’s general fund.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, local courts set the fines for traffic violations. The state has capped the maximum fine for any speeding violation at $1,000, not counting court costs and other administrative fees.

Camden County Sheriff Tommy Gregory said he didn’t know each municipality has the discretion to set fines for traffic violations.

In Camden County, anyone contesting a speeding ticket must appear in probate court if they are ticketed by a sheriff’s deputy or Georgia State Patrol trooper. Judge Martin Gillette said he and the chief Superior Court judge set the maximum fines.

The fines for traffic violations in Camden County were increased on Jan. 1. In some instances, Gillette said the fines were nearly doubled.

Gillette said he and other judges have discretion to reduce fines, depending on factors such as the motorist’s excuse for speeding and prior driving history.

The highest fine in Camden County is $500 for driving 100 mph or faster. A motorist driving 34 mph or more above the speed limit faces a maximum $372 fine – a $983 difference from McIntosh County for the same violation.

And in Kingsland, the top fine in $362 for driving 34 mph or faster over the limit. A city court employee said the City Council approved the fine schedule.

In Ware County, fines range from $35 for violations between 5 to 9 mph over the limit to $700 for speeds between 24 to 33 mph over the limit. Anyone caught driving faster than 34 mph above the limit faces a mandatory court appearance, officials in the county’s State Court said.

Article by Gordon  Jackson (Jacksonville News)

McIntosh County Speeding Ticket Lawyer

Camden County Speeding Ticket Attorney

New Law Adds $200 To Georgia Speeding Ticket Fines

ATLANTA, GA — There’s a new law on the books to crack down on drivers who excessively break the speed limits on metro Atlanta roads. It’s been dubbed the “Superspeeder” Law and it tacks on an extra $200 to anyone caught going more than 85 miles per hour on multiple-lane highways or more than 75 miles per hour on two-lane roads.

“This is going to save lives. Most drivers don’t realize that a quarter of our crash deaths in Georgia involve excessive speed,” said Bob Dallas, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Dallas pushed strongly for the legislation.

The new law is also designed to improve the state’s image. Dallas admitted that Georgia has long been known as the state for travelers “to make up time”.

“We are consistently rated as one of the top states when it comes to traffic that exceeds the posted speed limit,” said Dallas.

Backers also cited the statistic that 60 percent of Georgia trauma admissions are victims of vehicle crashes. At the same time, the state has suffered for quite some time from a lack of funding for trauma care, especially in rural areas.

Because of that, legislators and Governor Sonny Perdue promise the money raised from fines of “Superspeeders” (an estimated $23 million per year) will go to trauma care.

But not everyone is convinced. Senator Emmanuel Jones (D-Decatur) voted against the bill. He said the current state constitution does not allow for any earmarking of funds to a specific cause.

“If we were serious about earmarking the money to go to trauma care, we would re-write the state constitution to allow it,” said Jones. “Right now, citizens just have to trust that the people who passed this law will in fact follow through. That’s going to be tough to do since the money goes into the state’s general budget.”

Posted by Duffie Dixon, 11.com website

Atlanta Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyer

Georgia Super Speeder Law FAQ

Traffic Stop In Gwinnett County Ends With Woman In Jail

NORCROSS – Things quickly went from bad to worse for an Auburn woman during an early morning traffic stop on Interstate 85 Thursday.

According to reports, a Gwinnett police officer was running radar near Indian Trail Road at about 12:30 a.m. when 47-year-old Gayle John sped by in a silver Mercedes, 20 mph over the posted speed limit.

Reports said the officer caught up with John and pulled her over near Beaver Ruin Road, where he cited her for speeding. The officer said that in her state of frustration, John snatched the ticket book from his hands when asked to sign the citation and also snatched her copy of the citation and her driver’s license from him.

Before the officer could get his hand out of the car’s window, he said, John “suddenly and aggressively” hit the gas, striking the officer’s thigh and the butt of his firearm with the side of her car. The officer was spun to his left as the vehicle bumped him on the hip.

The incident took place in the emergency lane to the left of the HOV lane, police said, leaving the officer – who was not seriously injured – little room to get out of the way.

“Due to our location next to a large concrete wall, I was closer to John’s vehicle than normal,” the officer said. “Additionally, I was not able to take a step back due to the concrete wall.”

As John got back onto the interstate, police said, she accelerated to 90 mph before the officer pulled her over again, this time near Ga. Highway 316.

John was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault, reckless driving and reckless conduct.

She was also issued an additional speeding ticket.

Jail records show John is free on $17,455 bond.

By Heath Hamacher
Staff Writer, Gwinnett Daily Post

“Super Speeders” Beware of Increased Fines in Gainesville Georgia

Article by Stephen Gurr, GainesVilleTimes.com

Almost daily, Gainesville police clock lead foots driving close to 75 mph within the city limits. Every so often, they catch motorists going 85 mph on one of Gainesville’s more speed-prone roads, Thompson Bridge Road or Dawsonville Highway.

On Dawsonville Highway, that’s 40 mph above the speed limit, Sgt. Dean Staples notes.

If legislation backed by Gov. Sonny Perdue passes, it wouldn’t be uncommon for speeders to pay tickets of $500 or more if they get caught going 75 mph on a two-lane road, or 85 mph anywhere in Georgia.

“The more severe accidents that involve fatalities are often related to speeding,” Strickland said.

It is the second time Perdue has tried to increase fines for folks driving excessively fast. The legislation failed to win approval in 2007.

State Rep. Jim Cole, R-Jasper, introduced the bill this year on Perdue’s behalf.

“This is extremely important legislation not only to me, but to the state of Georgia as a whole,” Cole said in a statement. “We must do all we can to help make our roads and highways as safe as possible. The bottom line is this: Super speeder will both directly and indirectly save the lives of Georgians.”

Perdue’s “super speeder” bill would tack on an extra $200 fine for those speeding infractions, with the money going to a state fund for trauma care.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Staples said, noting Georgia had more than 1,600 traffic fatalities in 2007 at a cost in excess of $7 billion. The super speeder law could generate up to $23 million to improve Georgia’s trauma care network, Staples said.

In Gainesville municipal court, fines imposed vary according to the speed and the driver’s history. Municipal Court Solicitor Lee Parks said drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 40 mph can expect a fine of $200 or up, depending on their record. A person with three speeding tickets in the past five years can expect to pay $300 or more, though Judge Hammond Law often takes individual circumstances into account, Parks said. Fines max out at $1,000, which one Gainesville man paid after his 18th speeding ticket in five years.

The worst offenders “can also end up spending a couple of days in jail,” Parks said.

Hall County sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said the most common areas where deputies catch folks going in excess of 75 mph is on Ga. 365 north of Exit 24 and on Ga. 129, both northbound and southbound out of town.

Speeding Ticket in Gainesville Georgia?