There are literally hundreds of ways to violate Georgia Traffic Laws and end up with an expensive ticket to a local courthouse. Some of these, such as speeding, are obvious violations. However, there are a growing number of somewhat obscure regulations and provisions that you may violate if you aren’t aware of our constantly changing traffic laws. Some of these will just get you a warning, but commit one of these violations in a more ‘revenue-hungry’ jurisdiction, and it could cost you a hefty fine and points on your driver’s license.
1. Move Over or Get a Ticket – The Georgia “Move Over” Law went into effect July 2009 yet many people don’t understand all the different ways they can violate this law. Its public safety purpose is to protect law enforcement and other civil servants that need to get out of their vehicle on our busy highways. The law requires you to move over one lane when you pass by law enforcement stopped on the side of the road. If you can’t get over, SLOW DOWN to at least 10 mph below the speed limit. The law applies not only to police, but all other emergency vehicles such as GA DOT trucks and wrecker service vehicles. New for this year, the law has been expanded to include garbage trucks.
2. Don’t text at the red light – The Don’t Text and Drive law doesn’t specify the vehicle must be moving, so you can catch a ticket for this even if you are stopped in traffic or waiting for a light to change. It’s typically a $50 fine and a point on your license. Statistically, a person texting and driving has the same reaction time as a driver that has consumed four beers.
3. Not in a hurry? Stay in the right-hand lane – In 2015, Georgia passed the “Slowpoke Law” which requires drivers in the left-hand lane on a multi-lane highway to get over if a faster car approaches them from behind, even if you are going the speed limit.
4. Don’t use the center lane to merge into traffic – That center lane is only for making left hand turns, not to use as a half-way point before you can get all the way to the lane you want to enter. Also, don’t slide into the turn lane way down the road to bypass a long line of cars going straight. You should not enter the center lane until you are less than 300 feet from making the turn. Doing either of these in the presence of an overly bored or overly eager officer can get you a ticket worth 3 points on your license.
5. You cannot drive through a playground in Dublin, Ga. – If you ever have the urge or inclination to hot rod between the swing sets and the jungle gyms, make sure you’re not in Dublin. Either in response to someone actually doing this or just out of an abundance of caution, local officials enacted Ord. No. 75-19:1, 6-2-75, Sec. 15-1 making it specifically a violation punishable by up to 90 days in the local jail.
If you find yourself being issued a citation for violating Georgia Traffic Laws in the middle Georgia area, contact Michael Fulcher Law for a free consultation (Dublin playground drivers being the exception – you are on your own).