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Georgia Speed Traps

Donald Singleton
November 18, 2022

In order to protect drivers from speed traps, we have created an app called Speed Trap. It helps you avoid these dangerous locations by providing real-time alerts on upcoming speed traps.

In the past few years, speed traps have become a big problem in Georgia. Many drivers get caught speeding because they didn’t realize that these “traps” were even on the road.

While many states have implemented speed limits, Georgia has not. This means that many drivers who would normally be traveling under the limit are being ticketed for going over the limit.

If you’ve been pulled over recently, you may wonder why you got a ticket. Did you really go over the speed limit? Or was it just a mistake? Well, here’s how to find out. We’ll explain exactly what speed traps are, and why you should care.

What is a Speed Trap?

When most people think about speed traps, they think about police hiding behind billboards or waiting to pick off motorists right where the speed limit changes. However, there is a broader, more accurate definition that covers these situations and more:

A speed trap exists wherever traffic enforcement is focused on extracting revenue from drivers instead of improving safety, made possible by speed limits posted below the prevailing flow of traffic.

New Speed Trap Laws In Georgia Limit Revenue From Tickets

The state Senate passed legislation to reduce the amount of money local governments can use to pay for public safety operations and still keep most of the remaining fines paid by those caught driving too fast. By reducing the number of miles per hour over which drivers are subject to speeding tickets, the bill reduces the amount of money collected by local governments from traffic citations.

But it also increases the number of speeding violations that can be used to calculate how much local governments can collect from speeding fines. Under current rules, local government agencies can keep 85 percent of the proceeds from traffic citations issued for moving violations. Under the new law, those funds are limited to 75 percent.

In addition, the law allows counties to issue fewer citations for moving violations. Instead of issuing one citation per mile over the limit, counties could now issue two citations per mile over the limit. Lawmakers say the change is meant to curb excessive ticketing practices like “speeding up and slowing down.”But some critics worry about whether the changes will actually make roads safer. They note that the state already has laws requiring drivers to slow down and pass slower vehicles.

Georgia’s Big Ticket Towns

The latest report from Governing.com finds that nearly 100 Georgia cities rely on ticket money to fund 10 percent or more of their annual budgets. Places like Jonesboro, Pine Lake, and Stone Mountain are among those that collect the highest percentage of revenue from tickets compared to property taxes.

Darien is one of many communities across the state that use traffic tickets to fund local government operations.

In 2017, the town collected $1.6 million in fines and fees, according to data from the Georgia Municipal Association. Of that amount, $871,000 came from parking tickets alone.

Ticket Fight In Speed Traps Made Easier By Georgia Senate

With Senate Bill 134, you have a better chance of winning a court case if you are given a traffic citation by a police agency that receives more than 40% of its revenue from traffic tickets. There is an exception to the rule that doesn’t count tickets for speeding more than 17 mph over the limit in those places. In many agencies, officers are instructed not to cite drivers who exceed the speed limit by less than 17 mph in order to avoid filing citations for 40 percent of violations. Most agencies instruct their officers not to cite drivers who exceed the speed limit by less than 17 mph in order to avoid counting their citations towards 40 percent.

How To Shut Down A Speed Trap?

Governments often use speed traps to generate revenue to run their operations. The real reason for running speed traps is to make money. “Safety” is cited as the excuse, but it is really all about money.

  • There is a demand for more money for salaries and equipment from the police department.
  • To avoid raising taxes, the City needs more money.
  • Often local businesses and residents go along with speed traps since they reduce local taxes, and besides, they’re not usually the ones who get tickets.

In the name of safety, fines, points, and insurance surcharges are imposed on everyone in town, but not on the poor saps who suffer fines, points, and insurance surcharges. If persistent enough, anyone can eliminate the classic speed trap. The perpetrators of speed traps can be brought down with public and private wrath in many ways.

1) Appeal to Local Business Owners

It is possible for local businesses to effectively lobby for the end of speed traps in their communities if they are prodded enough. Businesses can be convinced to lobby by pointing out that the local speed trap costs them money, or will cost them money soon.

The next step is to send a letter to local businesses and the chamber of commerce requesting that they cease using speed traps until they are removed from the community.

2) Reach Out to The Local Media

It is recommended to send letters to local newspapers, radio stations, and the mayor or any other head of government responsible for sponsoring the speed trap.

As a result of economic sanctions (loss of business) and the embarrassment of local officials, speed traps may be eliminated or at least reduced in their most abusive forms.

3) Invest In Small Newspaper Ads

Media ignores stories, but there are still ways to spread the word. Your efforts may be boosted by placing small ads in nearby community newspapers identifying the speed trap and demanding that it be changed.

4) Create a Support Group for Speed Trap Victims

Find out if there are any other victims of speed traps in the area. It will not be hard to convince them to join the effort since the trap has taken money from their pockets. It will be easier for the media and local officials to take you seriously if you can generate some additional interest and help.

5) Request A Traffic Engineering Study

It may be possible to provoke the state or county officials to end a speed trap if a village or city is using a state or county highway as a speed trap. A copy of the traffic engineering study that sanctioned a low-speed limit, for instance, can be requested if the speed limit is severely under-posted.

If the public agency refuses to release this study, you can force its release by filing a “public information request” or a “freedom of information request”. The majority of the time, such a study does not exist.

A traffic engineering study is required in all states before an unusually low-speed limit can be imposed. There are exceptions, but the requirement is universal. It is possible that the local unit of government’s posted speed limit is not supported by a traffic engineering study.

6) Appeal The Speed Trap Ticket In Court

Besides challenging and opposing speed traps on a broader level, there is another way to do so.

Your speeding ticket needs to be challenged in court if you are caught in a speed trap. It’s not a wise decision to just pay the ticket to avoid trouble, as it will only perpetuate the system by providing exactly what the municipality wants: your money. Don’t hesitate to challenge your ticket in court, knowing you may have to appeal the decision to a higher, more legitimate court if you are convicted.

Map of Georgia’s 50 Worst Ticket Traps

What are the most likely places in Georgia where you will get a traffic ticket? Speed limits may be posted in 50 jurisdictions (cities and counties) on this map.

In most Georgia courts, surcharges are collected on traffic tickets, but some are more aggressive. Ticketing for traffic violations is usually handled by multiple courts in larger jurisdictions. In the chart below, you can see the top 50 jurisdictions based on the money generated per capita. You can make a lot of money in a small town. You can view the map here https://www.myajc.com/news/ticket-traps-map/. A complete list of Georgia ticket traps can be found at https://www.myajc.com/news/ticket-traps-search/.

Are Speed Traps Allowed In Georgia?

Yes, speed traps are allowed in Georgia. However, they are illegal in all other states. If you are pulled over for speeding, then you should be polite and courteous. Do not argue with police officers, do not try to bribe them, and do not resist arrest.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Georgia speed traps have been around since the beginning of the state’s history. They were originally designed to catch criminals, but today they’re used to catch drivers who break traffic laws. But if you’re caught speeding, don’t panic. There are ways to beat the system and avoid paying fines. First, always pay attention to signs posted along roads. Second, use common sense when driving. Third, if you’re pulled over by police, remain calm and polite. Finally, if you feel like you might be guilty of breaking a law, contact a Georgia car accident lawyer before you get into trouble.

Donald Singleton

Donald Singleton

Author

A Georgia native, Don founded Singleton Law Firm in 1999 as a continuation of his lifetime commitment to serving his state and community. He has concentrated his trial practice to representing victims of serious injury and wrongful death arising out of trucking, car, bus and motorcycle accidents, premises liability and a wide variety of other causes.

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