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, website

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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,Merritt Melancon

Georgia Speeding Ticket Laws