Traffic Bad in Atlanta Georgia But Predictable Now Due to New Technology

Drivers seem to have adjusted to the traffic congestion problem when driving in and around Atlanta Georgia. According to the most recent report from Urban Mobility, one of the nation’s leading providers of traffic studies, Atlanta traffic delays tend to be more consistent and predictable than those in other large cities. The report also states that the reliability of the data provided has become increasingly better due to “cutting edge traffic technology and management” including “Georgia Navigator” an online service that driver’s can use to map their intended destination and receive an approximate total time it will take to get there.

Atlanta Georgia’s traffic is still considered the 7th worst in the nation but at least its getting to a point where any delays can be mapped out in advance and there is a certain predictability point that can prevent unexpected late arrivals.

Have you used Georgia Navigator to map out your travels and have you found it useful?

Atlanta Georgia Traffic Lawyers

Read the article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Is Red Light Ticket Enforcement Coming To An End in Atlanta Georgia?

City officials in Atlanta have admitted that their enforcement of photo tickets issued as a result of red light traffic cameras, has ended. The cessation of the program was in part due to the city’s ignoring a 2009 law that mandated sending the second notice certified mail.  Thus, it looks like for all intents and purposes, Atlanta will join Los Angeles, CA and Houston Texas in shutting down their use of photo ticketing. What looked good in theory turned out to be more difficult to manage in practice.

Read more

Atlanta GA Traffic Lawyer

States With Safest Roadways

Read this article about states making progress towards safer roadways, from the Emergency Nurses Association-

Safest roads by state.

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?

Police Announce Reduced Speed Limits On Some Streets In Warner Robins Georgia

That’s because speed limits have been reduced on several roads throughout the city, said Warner Robins police Lt. Todd Edwards, who heads the traffic division.

Edwards announced the changes Wednesday to midstate news media to get the word out and to give the public time to adjust before tickets are issued.

“We want to give them time to adjust their schedules, driving habits and mind-sets,” Edwards said.

Enforcement of the new speed limits will go into effect Aug. 1, he said.

However, that does not mean that motorists will have a green light until then to speed through those areas, the officer said.

The grace period is only for motorists who are below the old speed limit but not the new speed limit, Edwards said.

That’s a requirement of state law when speed limits are first changed, and police want to give motorists the benefit of the doubt.

But motorists who just want to speed on through can expect a ticket if over the old speed limit, the officer said.

Under state law, the city has to be granted approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation for the changes and also resubmit its permit to run radar on those roads, Edwards said.

There are separate state laws that give police the right to enforce existing speed limits and to cite motorists for driving too fast for conditions such as rain or heavy traffic congestion even if below the posted speed, he said.

But in order to run radar, the state must approve roads in which radar devices may be used, Edwards said.

John Kilko, the city’s traffic operations manager, said that’s partly because not all road terrains are suitable for speed monitored by radar.

Changes in speed limits also must get the state’s blessing, he said.

Speed reductions generally come about at the request of police who monitor trends in traffic, ranging from accidents to speeding, Kilko said.

The city’s transportation department then conducts its own study and makes a recommendation. Those recommendations go before the police and city administration for submission to City Council. Once the recommendations are approved, the state DOT does its own study and signs off on the changes and the new permit to conduct radar if in agreement with the city’s request, Kilko said.

All that takes time, so the city keeps a running record of changes every year and then submits them to the state for approval periodically, Kilko said. The previous permit was issued in 2005, he said.

Here are the recent changes in speed limits:

Watson Boulevard from 500 feet west of Margie Drive to 100 feet east of Corder Road from 45 mph to 40 mph.

Alabama Avenue from Northside Drive to American Boulevard from 30 mph to 25 mph.

American Boulevard from Green Street to Oregon Trail from 30 mph to 25 mph.

Corder Road from Leverette Road to Watson Boulevard from 40 mph to 35 mph.

Lake Joy Road from Ga. 96 to Hatcher Road from 45 mph to 40 mph.

Lake Joy Road from Russell Parkway to Feagin Mill Road, which is a school zone, from 35 mph to 30 mph from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. on school days.

Lakeview Road from Lake Joy Road to U.S. 41 from 45 mph to 35 mph.

Lakeview Road from Tharpe Road to Lake Joy Road, also school zone, speed limits 35 to 25 mph.

Moody Road from Russell Parkway to 500 feet south of Feagin Mill Road from 45 mph to 40 mph.

Osigian Boulevard from Houston Lake Road to Tom Chapman Boulevard from 35 mph to 30 mph.

Russell Parkway from Ga. 247 to Moody Road from 45 mph to 40 mph.

Russell Parkway from Moody Road to Corder Road from 40 mph to 35 mph.

Russell Parkway from Corder Road to 500 feet west of Elaine Drive from 50 mph to 45 mph.

Warner Robins police also are taking a proactive stance in changes in law that allow the use of “low speed” vehicles on roads that have limits of 35 mph or less, Edwards said.

These low-speed vehicles are essentially modified golf carts that can go faster than conventional golf carts and handle rougher terrain.

Police want to get the word out that these vehicles require the same requirements for driver’s licenses, insurance and obedience to state driving laws as do other vehicles, Edwards said.

Motorists in other vehicles also need to be aware that these low-speed vehicles also have the same right to be on the roads as do regular vehicles and must be accorded the same rights of way and vehicle distance as regular vehicles.

Because these type of low-speed vehicles are now available for sale in the Warner Robins area, police want to prevent accidents and citations by giving folks the heads-up about the law and what may be an influx of these vehicles on city streets including portions of major roads such as stretches of Watson Boulevard and Russell Parkway.

For more information, contact Warner Robins police at 929-1170.

Article by Becky Purser, Macon.com

Traffic court tips

Traffic ticket help in Warner Robins Georgia.

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Issues Sobering Holiday Predictions

It’s tragic to report, but fifteen of the twenty-two Georgia traffic fatalities from the 2006 Memorial Day holiday involved crash victims who weren’t wearing seatbelts. Heavy holiday traffic is expected again throughout Georgia as many motorists are already on the road to their vacation destinations for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. That’s why law enforcement agencies across the state are running roadchecks day and night this Memorial Day holiday driving period to target drivers and passengers who don’t bother to buckle-up.

“Motorists should be prepared to encounter these high visibility Click It Or Ticket safety belt checkpoints throughout the holiday weekend as part of the Memorial Day mobilization,” said Director Bob Dallas of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). The Georgia State Patrol and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are urging drivers to use extra caution during the Memorial Day driving period that begins Friday, May 23 at 6PM and ends at midnight Memorial Day. As Georgians pack-up their cars for the first big vacation trip of the summer, the Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Crash Reporting Unit are releasing a sobering prediction for 2,300 traffic crashes resulting in 1,262 injuries and 19 traffic deaths.. All within a 78-hour travel period in Georgia.

The good news is, more than 72-percent of drivers and passengers involved in serious crashes nationwide survived when wearing safety belts correctly in 2006. “There’s no question. Safety belts are among the most important lifesaving inventions of our time and still your best protection against a deadly encounter with a drunk driver,” said GOHS Director Bob Dallas. “Think about it. How many times has a seat belt protected you in a close-call or saved the life of someone you know? No every-day device saves lives faster or as often as your safety belt.”

“Wearing your seatbelt costs you nothing, but the cost for not wearing one certainly will,” said Brian M. McLaughlin, the Senior Associate Administrator for Traffic Injury Control at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). McLaughlin came to Atlanta to launch Georgia’s Memorial Day Click It Or Ticket campaign. “So, don’t risk it with a ticket or worse, a life. Please remember to buckle up day and night – Click It or Ticket.”

The Memorial Day holiday also launches Georgia’s 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. speed and aggressive driving initiative. H.E.A.T. stands for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic. The 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. is a multi-jurisdictional highway safety enforcement strategy designed to reduce high-fatality crash-counts during the deadly summer holiday driving period from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays.

“Waves of law enforcement patrols, including the Georgia State Patrol and the department’s Motor Carrier Compliance and Capitol Police units will crack down on impaired drivers, unbuckled drivers, and high-speed drivers for the fifth consecutive year,” said Director Dallas. “Our data shows these are the top three causes of fatality crashes on Georgia highways, not just on Memorial Day, but throughout the year.”

Dallas advises high-risk motorists to “Slow Down.” Besides getting you a ticket, speeding wastes gas. Fuel efficiency rapidly decreases at speeds over sixty-mph.. And every five miles-an-hour over sixty-mph is like paying an additional twenty cents-a-gallon at the pump. “Speeding can lower your gas mileage by 5-percent around town and as much as 33-percent at highway speeds,” says Dallas. “Driving at the speed limit saves gas. We already know it saves lives. Why not do both this holiday?”

The Memorial Day Crash Count will be posted on the GSP website at http://dps.georgia.gov and updated every six hours. For more information on H.E.A.T. and Click It Or Ticket visit http://www.gahighwaysafety,org .. day or night..

From DawsonTimes.com, Dawson County GA News

Did you get a traffic ticket in Georgia over the holiday weekend?

Free GA SpeedingTicket, Traffic Ticket or DUI consultation.

Dalton Georgia Police Dept to Participate in “Click It or Ticket”

Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit, along with the Patrol Division will step up its efforts in enforcing Georgia’s Seatbelt and Child Restraint laws, in conjunction with the nation wide “Click it or Ticket” campaign that will run from May 19-June 1. The first nationwide traffic enforcement campaign of the year will include the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday.

“Click It or Ticket” is a nationwide enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage, and to reduce serious injury or fatal car crashes. Research data from 2006 shows that 72-percent of passenger vehicle occupants involved in serious car crashes nationwide survived when wearing their seat belts correctly. Seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45-percent.

The current statewide seat belt usage in the state of Georgia is at 90%, the highest in the Southeast. The most recent seat belt usage survey conducted in April 2008 by the Dalton Police Department showed that Dalton’s seatbelt usage stood at 90%.

The Dalton Police Department will be holding a Child Car Seat Check from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, in conjunction with “Click It or Ticket. The car seat check is free to the public.

On hand to check child car seats will be technicians from Whitfield County Chapter of Safe Kids along with technicians from Dalton Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division. Technicians will help parents of children with the correct installation and use of Child Car Safety Seats, or inspect installed seats to insure they are not damaged or out of date.

Also participating in the car seat check will be trucks from the Dalton Fire Department, an ambulance from Whitfield EMS and the Mobile Command Unit from Whitfield County 911 Center.

The Dalton Police Department is asking all motorists to make this Memorial Day Holiday a safe one by obeying all speed limits, buckling up and to not drink and drive.

Article from Chatanoogan.com

Georgia Speeding Ticket Laws

Georgia Department Of Transportion To Drivers: When You See Roadside Work, Slow Down!

If Georgia Department of Transportation employees could say one thing to the drivers who fly past their roadside work zones, it would be: “Slow down —it won’t kill you.”

But, they’d add, you could get hurt.

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 GDOT workers themselves are well aware of the dangers of the road. More than 50 have lost their lives over the past 30-plus years, while making roadway improvements.

It’s an irony that can grate on you, says Buford native Josh Cofer, 30. The project manager has most recently been working at the massive interchange of I-85 and Ga. 316, which is 80 percent complete. The next big piece to open before year’s end will be the northbound collector distributor system, a mirror of the southbound lanes that opened in October.

“They don’t understand when we’re in the road, we’re trying to help them get where they need to go safer, and faster,” Cofer said. “The [speed limits] are as much for their safety as ours.”

Before spring and summer travel adds even more vehicles to Georgia’s busy roadways, the GDOT is trying to increase public awareness of why work zones require slower traffic.

Even though they’ve witnessed too often how little patience many drivers have.

Workers have been pelted with garbage from passing cars from drivers annoyed by lane closures or traffic tie-ups, said GDOT spokeswoman Teri Pope.

Seeders — oblivious that humans are working inches away, whether they can see them or not — have posed the biggest danger.

In 2003, the GDOT’s Randy Reece was killed instantly, Pope said, by a flatbed truck that didn’t slow down in a work zone on State Route 13 near Buford.

A contractor was maimed not long ago in another work zone, while he was just standing there. A lugnut flew off a passing truck with such force, it knocked the man’s ear clear off his head. (It couldn’t be reattached, Pope said, because it couldn’t be found.)

Another worker was injured by a speeding tractor trailer when a tire flew off and hit him so hard, it broke his leg.

“Work zones are our office,” Pope said. “We only do paperwork inside when it’s raining, and we can’t be out here. We’re out here most days, working with traffic whizzing by at 60, 70 and 80 miles per hour.”

Since drivers routinely ignore the slower speed limits posted at work zones, Pope said, fines are doubled for anyone caught speeding. The presence of blue lights — signaling police are handing out tickets, or just patrolling the area — seems to be the one thing that slows folks down.

Law enforcement officers were out in force on Wednesday morning on GA 316, just past the point where it branches off from I-85, handing out expensive reminders that contrary to driver habits, the speed limit in this busy work zone is 45 mph.

Article- Eileen Drennan, Atlanta Journal Constituion

AJC.com

Did you get a traffic ticket on GA 316?

Georgia’s Drivers Ed Program Stalled

Jasper, Georgia – Seeking to cut the toll of teenage car crashes, Georgia lawmakers passed a law three years ago promising public money to jump-start driver’s education courses across the state.

But so far the law’s promise of widespread driver’s education courses has rung hollow. Now the measure’s sponsor is having second thoughts and some of the bill’s most vocal supporters say they feel betrayed.

“It’s extremely frustrating. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it,” said Alan Brown, who helped write the law after his 17-year-old son Joshua was killed in a 2003 car wreck. “We thought we were getting driver’s education in local school systems. We ended up getting a lot of talk and no action.

“You can imagine – I want to just scream.”

Adopted in 2005 on the urging of state Sen. Preston Smith, Joshua’s Law requires 16-year-olds to pass a driver’s education course offered by their schools or a private instructor to get a license. It also added a 5 percent surcharge on traffic tickets and other violations to pay for the courses, with the revenue to be distributed by the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission.

But driver’s ed classes are still mainly confined to places where local officials put up the majority of funding themselves. The commission hasn’t paid for them, partly because it hasn’t requested funds to do so.

The group requested only $2.7 million of the $11.9 million raised from the surcharge last year. Roughly $9 million that the group could have had was sent back into the general fund, where it was used for other programs.

And that’s just from last year’s budget. By Smith’s count, the surcharge has raised more than $20 million since it went into effect.

State lawmakers – accustomed to fending off inflated requests from state agencies – sound stunned that the group hasn’t even asked for the money.

“It has raised millions of dollars – millions of dollars – that hasn’t been spent,” state Rep. Alan Powell complained in a floor speech last week.

The commission’s leaders say they are trying to be good stewards and need time to develop a system to dole out the dollars. They point to the rising number of driver’s education students since the law was adopted: Some 47,000 students are taking the course, up from 10,000 in January 2007, according to the Department of Driver Services.

The funds helped purchase computers in 110 public libraries last year to assist students with the written part of the test. The money also funded grants in 35 high schools to buy equipment and materials for the courses.

“I know there’s demand out there amongst different high schools,” said Bob Dallas, the commission’s vice chairman and the director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “And if the money comes to us, I’d say let us go out and make sure every high school is aware of it and give them time to come up with a proposal.”

Pickens County High School in north Georgia is one place that benefited from a driver’s education grant. The county already pays most of the $200,000 bill to provide more than 130 students each semester with driver’s education courses, saving parents the expense of ponying up the roughly $450 fee that private instructors charge.

The school used a $90,000 state grant to buy five simulators that teach a student driver to handle situations that would give even the most experienced drivers fits.

One such student is Brandon Cantrell, who deftly avoided a car that almost sideswiped him, aggressive pedestrians and sudden darkness and fog. But when the lesson came to an end, he was disqualified because he crept over the 35 mph speed limit once too often.

“I’m not happy,” he sighed. “Gotta do it again.”

Assistant Principal Harold Culbreth smiled with approval.

“We understand the importance of practice,” he said. “And the more you practice, the better you’ll be.”

The commission’s leaders hope to expand the number of grants by submitting more than $9 million in requests to lawmakers.

“We created this foundation for how funding can be spent, we’ve shown there is a need based on $9.5 million requested by the schools and we’re committed to moving forward,” said Greg Dozier, chairman of the commission and the head of the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

Yet some of the bill’s most ardent supporters question the commission’s commitment.

Smith was irritated enough at the slow-moving bureaucracy to launch an aborted attempt to abolish the commission. He said he hasn’t yet seen the commission’s budget requests, and speculated that they are “intentionally failing to meet deadlines.”

“There’s still widespread consensus that we can have an effective system that’s affordable, accessible and available all over the state,” he said. “It’s just a much tougher battle than we anticipated.”

The commission hasn’t held a monthly meeting since November. Brown said when members do convene they ignore his pleas to be more aggressive.

“I go to those meetings,” said Brown, who is not a member. “And I sit there and tell them, ‘If you don’t ask for the money, you’re not going to get it, if you don’t submit a business plan, you’re never going to get the money.’ And they don’t.”

Commission member Beth Bridges said she has become disillusioned and frustrated with the group’s slow pace – particularly when she compares its progress to two other state panels she’s sat on.

“I just don’t understand why we haven’t done more,” said Bridges, a driving instructor from Douglas. “I feel like we haven’t lived up to our expectations.”

Macon.com –  Greg Bluestein, AP

License Suspension  Rules in Georgia.

Signs Moving To Improve Safety In Jesup GA

The new red light at Lairsey’s may have made travel safer there, but more adjustments to improve safety will be made there in coming months.Glenn Durrence, district engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Jesup office said last week he has recommended the “signal ahead” warning signs at the intersection be relocated.

The yellow signs warn motorists approaching the intersection to slow down for the traffic light.

Durrence made the suggestion in response to a request by County Commissioner Aldeen Davis last month.

Davis asked GDOT Commissioner Gena Abraham to place flashing warning signals on the approaches to the dangerous intersection.“I have been working on this since before the red light was put up there,” Davis says.

The commissioner says he became concerned that traffic might not have enough advance warning of the light and might not be prepared to stop.

“December’s bus accident at the intersection certainly was a case in point behind those concerns,” says Davis.

The request for the flashing signals was not recommended, but Durrence did say the warning signs should be moved farther back to give more time for motorists to react. The recommendations were made after a site visit and a review of the traffic light’s operation.Davis says the DOT has also asked local leaders to control speeding in the Lairsey Crossing area.

“Speed was a factor in the accidents, including the one involving the bus, that have occurred there since the light was put in place,” says Davis. “They haven’t asked us for a law enforcement crack down yet, but they have asked us to ask our residents to slow down in the area.”

The BlackshearTimes.com article

Traffic or speeding ticket in Jesup GA?