Electronic Insurance Cards for Proof of Insurance Considered in Georgia

Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana and Minnesota allow drivers pulled over for a traffic stop to show electronic proof of insurance via their smartphone. Many other states including Georgia are also considering bills or proposals to allow for this practice, states that currently have this bill on their legislative agendas for 2013 include Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Find out more information about other Georgia traffic laws.

Georgia Court Throws Out Georgia’s Left Turn Law

It should seem easy enough to write a law declaring it illegal to make a left-hand turn into the far right-hand lane on a multi-lane road.

But the Georgia Legislature so badly mangled the wording of the law the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday found it “unconstitutionally vague.”

A plain reading of the statute renders two “diametrically opposite interpretations,” Justice Carol Hunstein wrote. A person of “common intelligence” cannot determine with reasonable certainty that the law prohibits making a left-hand turn into the right lane of a multi-lane roadway, the ruling said.

Until the Legislature meets next year and fixes the law, police cannot longer hand out tickets to motorists who make the improper turn.

The court ruling was a legal victory for Todd Christopher McNair of Whitfield County. In 2007, he was arrested by Dalton police for DUI, obstruction of a police officer and making an improper left-hand turn. McNair should have turned into the left-hand lane, not the right-hand lane of the roadway, police said.

At trial, McNair was acquitted of DUI and obstruction but convicted of the improper turn. He was fined $500, given a year’s probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. He also was sentenced to four months in jail for a probation violation.

Benjamin Goldberg, a Whitfield County public defender, said when he first read the statute he couldn’t believe it — or comprehend it.

“It was jibberish,” Goldberg said. “It was like reading another language.”

The law starts out well enough, clearly instructing drivers to be in the far left-hand lane of the ongoing traffic before making a left turn.

But then the statute becomes indecipherable: “Whenever practicable, the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection and so as to leave the intersection or other location in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as such vehicle on the roadway being entered.”

Goldberg said even attorneys have a hard enough time interpreting some state laws. But this one, he said, was off the charts.

Article by Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Georgia Traffic Laws

Man Takes Traffic Ticket Case To Georgia State Supreme Court

One Whitfield County resident’s challenge to a traffic case could help determine whether Georgia law regarding left turns is constitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in Todd Christopher McNair’s challenge to a March 2008 conviction for making an illegal left turn.

“It’s now in the Supreme Court’s hands,” said his attorney, Benjamin Goldberg. “It could be up to six months before they deliver a decision.”

According to a summary of the case on the court’s Web site, in June 2007, McNair turned left onto eastbound U.S. Highway 41 from a parking area at the Best Western Inn. He pulled into the outermost lane, but he was stopped by a Dalton police officer in an unmarked car who claimed the law required McNair to turn into the innermost lane. McNair was charged with improper left turn, DUI and obstruction of an officer. McNair was on probation, so he had his probation revoked and spent four months in jail. At trial, a jury acquitted him of DUI and obstruction but found him guilty of the improper turn. He was sentenced to 12 months probation, a $500 fine, 100 hours of community service, drug and alcohol counseling and random drug tests.

“We argued from the beginning that the left turn law is unconstitutionally vague. It fails to put on notice millions of drivers in Georgia as to how to comply with it,” said Goldberg. “As you read that statute it is open to two opposite interpretations. One is the way the state has maintained and the officer thinks, which is that you have to turn into the left lane, the extreme left lane. But the other way is that you have to leave that lane available for other traffic. Under that interpretation, you would be required to turn into the rightmost lane, which is what Mr. McNair did.”

The law states: “Whenever practicable, the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection and so as to leave the intersection or other location in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as such vehicle on the roadway being entered.”

Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Kermit McManus, whose office prosecuted the case, says the law is clear and it requires people to turn into the inside lane.

“I’ve never had anyone complain they didn’t understand what the law requires until this case. It may have occurred in other places, in courtrooms I wasn’t involved it,” he said. “But I’ve been in this office as a prosecutor since 1983. The first 14 years, from 1983 to 1986, I did all the traffic cases that came through the district attorney’s office in both Whitfield and Murray counties.”

Story By Charles Oliver
Dalton Daily Citizen

Legal help for Georgia Traffic Violations

Click Or Ticket Kickoff in Georgia

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – As one of the busiest travel days of the holiday season approaches the Governor’s office of Highway safety is trying to make it a safe one.

In Georgia, failure to use safety belts is a major contributing factor in more than half of Thanksgiving holiday traffic deaths.

As law enforcement across the state gear up to enforce the state’s seat belt law, they hope the increase eyes on the road will result in fewer fatalities.

Authorities may be telling you that in person beginning Today as the Governor’s Office Of Highway Safety kicks off their Click-It-or-Ticket safety campaign.

“We have been given instructions to especially look out for those not wearing their seat belts, because it is a law now in Georgia,” Cpl. Elbert Slappy, Georgia State Patrol.

Last year the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 26 people were killed on Georgia roads, nearly 1,100 more were injured in crashes.

Wainright Jeffers – WALB TV 10 News


Drivers Jump On Cycles to Save Gas

Just because you aren’t driving a car, doesn’t mean you can’t be on the receiving end of a traffic ticket. As many have converted their commute vehicle to a bicycle, moped, motorcycle or even motorized scooter in some cases, adherence to Georgia’s Traffic Laws is still important.

“The rising cost of gasoline has many people considering alternate modes of transportation.

Area bicycle and motorcycle shop managers say sales are up from last year. Last week, Aiken Motorcycle Sales and Service had sold out of every middleweight motorcycle, scooter and moped by Wednesday.

“The largest portion of the mopeds and scooters we sell are to people who are going to use them as transportation,” said sales manager Marsha Hopkins.

Sales began to increase around mid-March, just about the time gas prices started spiking, she said.

Nationally, bicycle sales reached $6 billion in 2007. Sales in 2002 were $5.2 billion, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

Though many of the traffic laws in South Carolina and Georgia also apply to bicycle riders, each has its own safety rules. And commuting differs from recreational biking.

“There’s a lot more things you have to think about when you’re riding through city streets,” said Andy Jordan, a North Augusta resident and owner of Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse.”

Article By Lisa Kaylor, AugustaChronicle.com

Georgia Traffic Laws

Increased Parking Fine Considered For Illegal Parking In Spaces Reserved For Disabled

I don’t know if every Georgia citizen agrees, but there is nothing more annoying than observing a rushed parker who is disability free taking advantage of a close “Handicapped Parking” space. According to this article from AugustaChronicle.com, the Georgia General Assembly is going to make the practice more costly for those who are caught.

ATLANTA, GA— A proposal moving through the General Assembly might make Georgia drivers think twice about parking in spaces reserved for the disabled.

Senate Resolution 1074, which passed the House Civil Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, would add a 10 percent surcharge to the fine for illegally parking between the blue lines. That could mean an extra $10 to $50 a ticket for the violation, which currently draws a $100 to $500 fine.

The money brought in by the additional fine — along with similar charges for boating while intoxicated, reckless driving and riding a motorcycle without a helmet — would go to the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission, a state agency that helps pay bills that Medicaid or private insurance can’t or won’t pay.

Rusty Kidd, the chairman of the commission, said the extra charge is needed because the current method for funding the trust fund, a 10 percent charge on fines for driving under the influence, isn’t bringing in enough money. Part of that is because judges are willing to reduce DUI charges to reckless driving, he said.

At the same time, injured veterans returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq are part of an increase in the number of Georgians asking the commission for help.

“It’s not a tax increase, so to speak,” Mr. Kidd said. “It would be a surcharge on people who are violating the law.”

He pointed out that all the violations that would be subject to the surcharge are either likely to cause someone to need help from the trust fund or, in the case of the parking ticket, have a clear connection to laws meant to help disabled people.

The proposal is expected to bring in about $250,000 a year, Mr. Kidd said.

Some lawmakers are uneasy with the extra charges. Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, said the General Assembly has begun relying too heavily on creating special surcharges for a variety of state needs instead of putting those items in the budget.

“I don’t think it’s right to dump the responsibility for funding something that’s a statewide concern on just a select group of people,” he said.

American Bikers Active Toward Education of Georgia, which has pushed for the state to get rid of laws requiring adults to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle, doesn’t oppose the measure, said Edward Andross, the group’s legislative director.

But he said ABATE was concerned that it backs up what the group considers a faulty assumption that motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets are more likely to end up costing the state money.

“This is just adding more fuel to the fire that if you don’t wear a helmet, you’re a burden … We’re not a burden to society,” he said.

Story by Brandon Larrabee, Morris News Service

Georgia Traffic Laws

Stopped By A Georgia Traffic Officer? Know Your Rights.


If you are driving in Georgia you may get pulled over for any number of moving violations, the list below includes the majority of Georgia Moving Traffic Violations that you can be charged and ticketed for by a Georgia Traffic Officer.

  1. Obedience to Traffic Control Devices
  2. Failure to Maintain Lane
  3. Following too Closely.
  4. Failure to Yield Right of Way
  5. Failure to STOP
  6. Failure to Yield
  7. Improper U Turn
  8. Improper Lane Change
  9. Failure to Use Correct Signal
  10. Impeding Traffic Flow
  11. Reckless Driving
  12. Attempting to Elude
  13. Aggressive Driving

If you are ticketed in GA for any of these violations, you can seek the help of a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney for assistance in dealing with the fines that may be associated, in varying amounts, with the violation. Don’t just automatically assume you must pay or go to court on your own behalf for your moving ticket violation in Georgia.