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?

I-85 Drivers In Georgia Warned

The lanes — and speeds — on portions of Interstate 85 in north Coweta will soon be dropping.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is shifting southbound traffic on I-85 starting at Exit 51/Sharpsburg-McCollum Road and extending to Exit 47/Bullsboro Drive beginning Feb. 8.

This traffic shift was originally scheduled to take place this weekend, and it’s subject to change again based on weather conditions.

Beginning at Exit 51 on I-85 southbound, the previous three lanes of traffic will be reduced to two travel lanes. This shift will extend southbound to Exit 47. In addition to the traffic shift and lane reduction, the posted speed limit of 60 miles per hour will be reduced to 50 miles per hour — and it will be strictly enforced, according to DOT District 3 Communications Officer Kimberly Larson. Message boards, signs, barricades, barrels and cones will be utilized to alert and channel motorists through the area.

The scheduled completion date for the I-85 widening project through Coweta is Dec. 31. Motorists should expect shoulder and lane closures on a continuing basis and are advised to use extra caution in construction work zones.

“We’ll be out there,” said Lt. John LaChance of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a very narrow corridor they will be driving in, with no room for error.”

“I would like to remind motorists to slow down in the work zone,” said Larson. “Commuters might be surprised to learn they are 85 percent more likely to be injured driving through a work zone than the workers themselves. Not to mention the sting of a pricey speeding ticket, which can go as high as $2,000.”

The northbound traffic shift in the section from Exit 47 to Exit 51 has already gone into effect.

“So far, we’ve had no major problems with the lane shift,” said LaChance.

LaChance advises motorists who will be entering the Interstate northbound from Bullsboro Drive to use caution and remember that they are required to yield to oncoming traffic. They also need to be aware of the other drivers behind them on the on ramp to avoid being rear-ended.

“Use caution approaching the end of the lane,” said LaChance. “People need to drive with eyes in the back of their head and in front of their head.”

There will be emergency pull-offs and breaks in the concrete barrier wall in the construction zone every 6,000 feet.

“If we do catch a traffic violator, we will wait until the end of the lane shift to pull them over,” said LaChance. “We will not turn our blue lights on until we reach a safe spot.”

“Motorists don’t always understand that when we are in the road, we’re actually trying to help them get where they need to go safer and faster,” Larson continued. “But, the speed limits are as much for their safety as that of our workers.”

The construction that will take place in sections from Exit 47 to Exit 61/Senoia Road in Fulton County is more than halfway complete, according to Larson.

The southbound lane shift next weekend will place motorists on the new lanes in order to complete work on the other travel lanes and shoulders. The DOT says it will not reopen lanes as the work progresses so that motorists don’t have to maneuver multiple lane closures.

“We have been asked if we would remove the barrier walls so that motorists could utilize all lanes,” said Larson. “We felt that this would be a safety concern because motorists would have to maneuver between the lane closures. So, the concrete barriers will remain in place until all lane work is complete.”

The remaining portion of the project stretching into Fulton County is continuing its paving operation and median barrier wall placement. Northbound traffic along this portion should see a traffic shift between milepost 57 to Exit 61 sometime in late February, according to Larson.

A separate portion of the widening work in southern Coweta County that stretches 14 miles from Exit 47 to Meriwether County is approximately 78 percent complete, according to Larson. She reports that all southbound concrete paving is complete in that portion of the project, except for a small section on the ramps of Exit 35 and 41.

“The contractor is continuing to work on raising bridges along this corridor,” said Larson of the southern project. “This is because of the increased height of the new concrete slabs.”

At the Exit 47/Bullsboro Drive interchange, work is about 35 percent complete. “This work is not behind schedule because the bridge work could not occur until the old northbound bridge was removed,” Larson continued. “Motorists will see a lot more progress in this area in the coming months.”

The DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about this or any other construction project on interstates and state routes. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures and delays due to inclement weather. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org .

Article by Elizabeth Richardson from the Newnan Georgia Times Herald

Traffic Violation in Newnan Georgia?

DeKalb County Traffic Tickets Misplaced

Great article from the newspaper.

The DeKalb County Recorders Court —- one of the busiest traffic courts in the state —- has lost track of hundreds of thousands of citations, costing the county and the state possibly tens of millions of dollars in uncollected fines, according to internal court e-mails.

The breakdown also let people ignore citations and not face punishment —- and no one has been looking for them.

The e-mails, obtained through the Georgia Open Records Act, show that a two-year communications failure in the court’s computer systems has caused citations to sit unresolved in case databases. It’s the electronic equivalent of being stuffed in a closet and forgotten.

No one knows how many unresolved citations exist, but an internal memo from a consultant estimated the value of uncollected fines at $90 million to $135 million. Both R. Joy Walker, the chief judge of the court, and Vernon Jones, DeKalb’s outgoing CEO, disputed those figures, though both said they had no idea what the number is.

Court Administrator Troy Thompson, who took over his job in March, said the situation he inherited is deeply flawed.

“I want to be able to say that for anybody who runs from justice, we have made every effort in DeKalb County to hold them accountable,” he said. “And I can’t say that today.”

When a person is issued a citation, the information is put into the court’s central computer system. When the court date arrives, clerks in the courtrooms are supposed to record the outcome of the case, including whether a person showed up for court and how the case was resolved and any fines paid. All that should be sent to the central computer. Though primarily a traffic court, the system also handles petty crimes such as shoplifting and misdemeanor drug offenses.

Each month, that computer sends key traffic information to the state so it can be added to drivers’ histories. Police look at these histories whenever they pull someone over. Insurance companies look at this information when setting customers’ rates.

But the software in the courtrooms and the software at the courts’ main data center have not been communicating with each other or with state driver history databases —- as required by state law. Also, poorly trained staff have incorrectly entered data or never updated some people’s files, say e-mails by consultants hired to address the problems. Much of the data is so old the county may never be able to collect money it’s owed, according to many of those involved.

“The systems were not implemented effectively,” Thompson said. “People were not trained effectively. … The results speak for themselves.”

Walker, who was appointed chief judge by Jones in 2002, is responsible for the court’s budget and computer systems. She said the court computer systems have had problems since they were installed in 2006. She said no one knows the amount of uncollected fines but that estimates of $90 million to $130 million were “impossible.” She said many citations listed as unresolved have in fact been paid, but the computer information is inaccurate.

“I am not trying to negate the problem,” she said. “There is a systems problem.”

Walker said the county is considering ending its contract with Southern Automated Systems, a small company in Muscle Shoals, Ala., that provided software for the main court system. Walker said she has not been happy with the software, but switching to another system would be costly and difficult.

“We don’t have backup mechanisms in place to shut this down and start new,” she said.

J. Delilah Webb, president of Southern Automated Systems, did not want to discuss her dealings with the court in detail but said: “Our stance is the software is fine. It’s a management issue.”

Walker said she had sought additional funding for warrant officers and other court needs, but county commissioners have always rejected her requests. She also said the court has increased revenue from fines for the county’s general fund since she has been in office.

Jones said of problems at the court “the buck stops with me.” He said the estimate of tens of millions of dollars in uncollected fines was “an outright lie” by consultants eager to get extended contracts with the county.

“Nobody knows how much it is,” he said. “But if we are losing $1, that’s too much … that’s unacceptable.”

After being contacted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jones asked Thompson to set up an upcoming meeting with officials of Southern Automated Systems. He invited the AJC to attend.

“The truth hurts,” he said. “But I think you are doing the right thing by bringing this to light.”

CEO-elect Burrell Ellis declined to comment for this story. Shelia Trappier Edwards, his deputy transition manager, said that after being contacted by the AJC, Ellis directed his team to look into the matter.

Earlier this year, DeKalb commissioners discovered what was happening and hired consultants to uncover the problems, just as DeKalb police launched a criminal probe of an alleged ticket-fixing scandal at the court that led to charges against five court employees and six others. The court administrator, Terry Phillips, was reassigned to the county’s police services department, and Thompson was brought on. Phillips could not be reached for comment.

Since then, the magnitude of the problem has taken shape.

The Recorders Court handles citations written by DeKalb police, sheriff’s deputies and smaller departments including MARTA police.

Most weekdays, hundreds of people line up in front of the Recorders Court off Memorial Drive. At 2 p.m., they file in to appear before a judge. Many pay or contest fines because they fear warrants or points on their license.

Clarence Solomon, 25, was in line Monday for the second time in so many weeks on two expired tag tickets and a speeding ticket. His fines total $550, he said. He is contesting the speeding ticket and said he has documentation proving he bought his tags. The tickets have cost him two days of work. He said he knows people who haven’t paid fines, and if they are not punished “that’s not fair.”

He said he came to court because he was afraid the judge would issue a warrant for his arrest. “I don’t know about not showing up,” he said. “That’s risky.”

In fact, it hasn’t been risky for thousands of scofflaws. Internal e-mails reveal a host of problems with court computers, including:

> In a Sept. 18 memo, consultant B.J. Van Gundy said he estimated 107,000 failure-to-appear cases and an additional 283,000 cases haven’t been processed by the court system. He estimated the uncollected revenue of the failure-to-appear cases at $50 million to $75 million. He estimated uncollected revenue for the other, unprocessed cases at $40 million to $60 million. In a Sept. 8 e-mail, consultant Ken Harris described one large database as plagued by “poor data discipline and old dates.” Van Gundy and Harris would not comment for this story.

> In the same memo, Van Gundy wrote that consultants had found sloppy recordkeeping totaling tens of thousands of tickets, including 18,447 tickets in which the fine amount was not listed; 12,500 cases that were probably paid but not entered into the system; about 1,200 cases in which the fine is recorded, but either no name or address was listed.

> In August, Thompson and the consultants wrote a “Recorders Court Progress Report” that outlined “major operational weaknesses” at the court, stressing “current court systems are not integrated.” The report stated the rate of closed cases —- one in which fines were collected —- “is significantly below other like-type courts within the Metro-Atlanta area.”

Few reported to state

In August, Gregory Dozier, commissioner of the state Department of Driver Services, sent Walker a letter about long-standing “reporting problems.”

He estimated the court should be sending the state about 3,000 traffic citations a month, but for the past two years, it has sent virtually none.

Jennifer Ammons, general counsel for the state department, said an unknown number of people should have had their licenses revoked from DeKalb, but the information was never reported so the licenses are still valid.

“We have no idea how big the problem is. All those people who skipped court, if DeKalb does not report, those are also people who have dodged a license suspension,” she said. “We are monitoring that problem very closely.”

Ammons said the department hadn’t been tracking the citations being sent in from the counties until they were made aware of DeKalb’s problems earlier this year. Now officials have started tracking citations from all of Georgia’s counties. So far, the department has found DeKalb to be the only major county with problems.

Thompson, the administrator, said the court recently sent warning letters to some people who failed to show up for court, and a good portion of people came in to pay their fines. He is trying to expand his approximately $3.7 million budget to correct all the computer problems, retrain staff and send out more officers to serve warrants on people who don’t come to court. He thinks he can bring in millions more into county coffers. The court this year brought in roughly $17 million in revenue.

“I am working zealously daily with the consultants to nail these issues down,” he said. “Can this be rectified? Of course.”

Thompson said he hoped to fix problems in the coming year so future cases wouldn’t be lost.

He wasn’t sure when or how the county will go after the backlog of the outstanding tickets.

Walker promised that ultimately, all scofflaws will be brought to justice.

“We have taken efforts in the last three months to correct the problem,” she said. “The people who have been able to circumvent the system will be caught.”

Article by Cameron McWhirter

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Traffic Ticket in DeKalb County Georgia?

Falcons Safety Lawyer Milloy Charged With DUI and Speeding

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy was arrested on DUI and speeding charges in suburban Atlanta early Monday, just hours after Atlanta lost to Tampa Bay.

At his Monday news conference, Atlanta coach Mike Smith would not offer details on any potential discipline Milloy could face.

“Any time any of our players are in this type of situation, we are extremely disappointed, myself and our organization,” Smith said. “It’s something that is completely unacceptable.”

Gwinnett County police charged the 34-year-old Milloy with driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. Milloy, who lives in nearby Buford, was booked into the suburban Atlanta jail at 4:35 a.m. and posted a bond of more than US$1,600 about five hours later.

Though Milloy spoke with Smith before the team meeting on Monday afternoon, Milloy was not present in the locker room when reporters were allowed in from 12:35-1:20 p.m.

He issued a one-sentence statement through lawyer Manubir Arora of Atlanta.

“I apologize to my family, my teammates, (Falcons owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank, coach Smith, (general manager) Thomas Dimitroff and our great fans for the incident that occurred following Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay,” Milloy said.

Milloy, with 192 starts in his 198 career games, has been considered a team leader since signing a three-year contract worth US$6 million in March 2006. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he helped New England win its first Super Bowl in February 2002.

Under the league’s substance abuse policy and program, a DUI conviction could result in Milloy getting tested, evaluated and treated for alcoholism. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Falcons also could impose fines, but Smith gave no details.

“I’ve had a conversation with Lawyer this morning, a very lengthy conversation,” Smith said. “It was something that I’d like to keep private between he and I. What I can tell you is that this matter will be handled internally. The league and the (NFL Players Association) sets certain standards on things you can and cannot do.”

Smith seemed irritated with reporters when asked about the team’s plans for handling Milloy’s predicament.

“When I say internally, I mean it’s going to be handled internally,” Smith said. “We’re going to work through this. We’ve got to let the process run its course. It’s a legal matter.”

Centre Todd McClure, a Falcon since 1999, indicated that Milloy, who led Atlanta with seven solo tackles in the 24-9 loss at Tampa Bay, remains a respected teammate and leader in the locker room.

“Lawyer’s a great guy, and we’re going to support him through this,” McClure said. “He just made a mistake.”

Article from the Canadian Press

Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyers

Driving Aggresively in Gwinnett County in GA? Better Think Twice.

A little extra room wouldn’t kill you. That’s the message of an education and enforcement campaign launched in Gwinnett County this week to reduce collisions between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks by urging them to “leave more space” between them.

As part of the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s “Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks” program (TACT), some 35 officers will be stationed this week along the roughly 30-mile stretch of I-85 from Sugarloaf Parkway into Jackson County and up I-985 to Ga. 20. Four signs have been mounted throughout the corridor with illustrations that indicate a safe distance for lane switching and warn to drivers to avoid a ticket.

Crashes between passenger and commercial vehicles account for 15 percent of highway deaths each year, said Gordy Wright, the public safety department’s director of public information. Almost 90 percent of those killed are in the passenger cars, he said. And most of the time, it’s their fault.

Although the campaign’s signage appears to target drivers of passenger cars, officials say both parties are being addressed in an effort that will ticket drivers for aggressive behavior such as changing lanes without signaling, speeding and tailgating, said Maj. Christopher Long with the Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division. As part of the campaign, officers will hand out brochures about the program to those drivers they stop. Officers are also dispensing information at the welcome center in Suwanee.

When following a commercial truck, drivers of passenger cars need to leave more space than the requisite one car length for every 10 miles per hour, Long said. He pointed out the trucks’ significant blind spots and the fact that it takes twice as long for a tractor-trailer to stop as it does a passenger car.

The current area under watch saw 140 crashes between passenger and commercial vehicles last year. They resulted in five deaths and 89 injuries, Wright said.

Georgia’s Public Safety Department conducted two previous waves of enforcement — in Bartow and Cobb counties in November 2007 and in Chatham County in February. They were weeklong periods followed by two three-day checks. The follow-up enforcements for Gwinnett are scheduled for August and September.

According to a report prepared by James Bason, associate research scientist with the University of Georgia’s Survey Research Center, studies of the previous corridors before and after the enforcement “wave” took place suggested lower instances of unsafe driving around semi-trailers and increased awareness of the campaign.

Wright, of the Department of Public Safety, said that it’s too early to draw conclusions from the campaign, but already public awareness has increased.

“People are paying attention and realizing that they’ve got to use extra care around the commercial vehicles,” he said. “That’s what the campaign is about is increasing awareness to let drivers know that those trucks can’t stop on a dime.”

The program is funded with a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and enforced by members of the Georgia State Patrol and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division. Washington, Kentucky, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have begun similar programs, Long said.

Story by Rachel Pomerance

Atlanta Journal Constitution, http://www.AJC.com

Speeding ticket in Gwinnett County Georgia?

Gas Prices Pinch Policing

AUBURN, GA – Rising gas prices already have pushed some metro Atlanta cities to adopt higher speeding ticket fines to help cover the cost of keeping police officers on the road.

With no relief in sight from $4-a-gallon gas, drivers may find similar fine hikes in traffic courts on the Athens end of Georgia Highway 316.

The Auburn City Council plans to vote Aug. 7 whether to approve a $20 increase in traffic ticket fines. If the council approves the measure, Auburn would become the first city in the Athens area to approve such a hike.

Jackson County commissioners will discuss a similar measure at their meeting Monday, and the Jefferson city council will discuss the issue at its July 28 meeting.

“Why should we pass the cost of this gas on to law-abiding citizens and taxpayers when we can get the ones who are breaking the law to pay for it?” asked Jackson County Commissioner Tom Crow.

While plans for a gas surcharge vary, the extra revenue is meant to cover the rising cost of fuel for patrol cars – a cost that has strained small police departments and sheriff’s offices during the past year, said Frank Rotondo, director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

Jackson County and Jefferson officials have not decided how much tickets would increase to cover the rising cost of gas.

The Dallas City Council in Paulding County recently agreed to add a $12 gas surcharge to every traffic fine. Holly Springs City Council voted in June to raise all traffic fines by $12 – $8 of which will go to pay for gas.

There’s no question that the cities need the revenue, but officials are wondering whether fuel surcharges will hold up in court, Rotondo said.

The Douglasville City Council recently decided to delay adding fuel surcharges to traffic tickets to see if Dallas gets sued over that city’s surcharges.

“(Surcharges) are still a viable option, but they may be subject to litigation,” Rotondo said.

Article from OnlineAthens.com,Merritt Melancon

Georgia Speeding Ticket Laws

Highway Safety Crackdown in Early County Georgia

With the summer holiday driving period approaching, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in the Peach State has once again begun its 100-days of summer Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic program.

Officers from 20 law enforcement agencies in Georgia came together Friday for a common goal, to promote safe highway traveling during the deadly summer holiday driving period.

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The 100-days of summer H.E.A.T program works in conjunction with Georgia Highway Safety Networks mandatory traffic stops are set-up in different counties to ticket those driving the wrong way and to show drivers there’s only one way to drive safe.
“Put a seatbelt on, keep the speeds slow and give yourself reaction time, and of course don’t drink and drive,” said Tony Bobbitt with Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Several tickets were issued for unsafe child seats, traveling with too many people in the back seat and some drivers found out if you drive without a license and insurance you don’t get to drive home.

Friday was the first time Early County was the location for the roadblock crackdowns. They will continue to pinpoint certain things throughout the night and the summer holiday season.

“High-speeds following too close aggressive driving like switching in and out of lanes with a lot of traffic, tailgating and all that stuff. During these two weeks focus is on impaired drivers,” said Bobbitt.

There are almost 1,600 fatalities each year on Georgia Highways. Law enforcement believes will help bring down that number and show motorist they are serious about safety.

More roadblocks are being set-up through the morning hours in Early County.

Story by WTVYNews4.com

Traffic or speeding ticket Early County GA?