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Other Laws

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Controlled-Access Roadways

  • You are prohibited from entering or leaving any controlled-access roadway at unauthorized entrances or exits;
  • Certain types of vehicles may be prohibited on controlled-access roadways if signs are posted to this effect;
  • Backing up is prohibited on controlled-access roadways.
  • An example of a controlled-access roadway includes any tolled facility in Georgia such as the I-85 Express Lanes or the reversible I-75 Express Lanes. Tolled lanes in Georgia require motorists to mount a registered Peach Pass transponder in their vehicle in order to access the lanes. Peach Pass can also be used in Florida and North Carolina. Registered owners of the vehicle that enters the tolled lane without an active Peach Pass will receive a violation notice in the mail.
  • You are prohibited from entering the reversible Express Lanes when the access control gates are closed or closing.

Coasting

The driver of any motor vehicle, when traveling down a hill, must not coast with the gears or transmission of the vehicle in neutral.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

  • It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug (prescription or illegal), or any other substance which impairs his/her ability to safely do so;
  • A person 21 or more years of age is considered “Under the Influence of Alcohol” when 0.08 gm or more by alcohol weight is present in the blood;
  • A person under 21 years of age is irrefutably considered “Under the Influence of Alcohol” when 0.02 gm or more by alcohol weight is present in the blood;

Certain drugs or other substances can also make a person irrefutably “under the influence.” Having a prescription for certain medication is not a defense if the medication impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Penalties for driving under the influence of intoxicants are severe, with fines up to $1000, jail sentences up to 12 months, and mandatory suspension of your driving privileges.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is defined as driving any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property. Examples of reckless driving include but are not limited to speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, improperly passing, etc. Penalties for reckless driving can include a fine of up to $1000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, and, if the driver is under 21 years of age, conviction will result in a suspension of all driving privileges.

Racing

The following behaviors are considered racing on highways and streets:

  • When two or more people compete or race on any street or highway;
  • When one motor vehicle is beside or to the rear of another driver, and one driver tries to prevent the passing or overtaking of the competing driver by acceleration or maneuver; or
  • When one or more persons compete in a race against time.

In Georgia it is unlawful to drag race. The penalties for committing this violation may include imprisonment and fines, and all driving privileges will be suspended if you are convicted.

Aggressive Driving

  • A person commits the offense of aggressive driving when he or she operates any motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person;
  • Examples of aggressive driving include but are not limited to tailgating, cutting in front of another driver, blocking other drivers from passing or changing lanes, etc.
  • A conviction for aggressive driving is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature;
  • The penalty for committing this violation may include imprisonment, fines, and, if the driver is under 21 years of age, conviction will result in a suspension of all driving privileges.

Hands Free Georgia Law (HB 673)

Effective July 1, 2018, pursuant to 40-6-241(c), all drivers operating a motor vehicle on any highway of this state are prohibited from:

  • Holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device.
  • Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data.
  • Watching, recording, or broadcasting a video or movie.

Penalties:

  • 1st conviction – 1 point and fine not more than $50.00
  • 2nd conviction – 2 points and fine not more than $100.00
  • 3rd or more convictions – 3 points and fine nor more than $150.00

Following Emergency Vehicles

The driver of any vehicle, other than one on official business, must not follow any fire fight­ing apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm, or other emergency vehicles, closer than 200 feet, or park any vehicle within 500 feet of any fire apparatus stopped in answer to a fire alarm.

Trucks and Vehicles Pulling Trailers

When traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residential district, drivers of trucks and vehicles pulling trailers must leave sufficient space between themselves and other vehicles of the same kind, so that the driver of an overtaking vehicle can enter and occupy the space without danger. This law prohibits the act commonly known as “caravanning.”

Trailers wider than 8 feet, 6 inches are not permitted on Georgia’s highways.

Riding in Trailers

Riding in a house trailer, or any other vehicular drawn trailer, is not allowed while it is being moved upon a street or highway. There is a high likelihood of injury or death if passengers are unrestrained in the trailer and the vehicle is involved in a crash or the trailer becomes disconnected from the vehicle.

Median Strip

It is unlawful to drive across a dividing section, barrier, or unpaved strip which separates two roadways at any point other than at an authorized opening or crossover.

Impaired Hearing and Vision

It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while wearing a headphone, headset, or any other device which would impair the driver’s ability to hear. Also, the driver must not wear any­thing which would obstruct his or her vision while driving a motor vehicle. Not only is wearing these devices illegal, it is also unsafe.

Obstructing the Driver’s View

If a vehicle is overloaded with passengers or freight so as to obstruct the view of the driver or interfere with the mechanical operation, it cannot be legally driven. Passengers must not ride in a position that interferes with the driver’s view or his or her control of the vehicle.

Opening Vehicle Doors

Opening the doors of a vehicle on the side on which traffic is moving is prohibited unless it is safe to do so and unless it can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists that may be operating close to the lane of parked cars.

One Way Streets

Unless directed to by a traffic control device, authorized emergency personnel or construction workers, it is unlawful for a vehicle to be driven contrary to the direction posted on a one-way street or highway, except in situations where police vehicles or authorized emergency vehicles find it necessary to do so.

Stopping

When stopping or slowing down suddenly, the proper hand, arm, or brake operated stop signal must be given.

Use Headlights Properly

Use high-beam headlights only when driving in rural areas and when other cars are not nearby. You must use your headlights between one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise; at any time when it is raining; or when visibility is limited.

You should dim (lower) your headlights when:

  • You are within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle so as not to blind the driver;
  • You are following closely (within 200 feet) behind another vehicle;
  • You are driving on lighted roads;
  • You are driving in rain, fog, snow, or smoke;
  • Your vision is reduced to less than 200 feet.

Night Driving

Because of decreased vision at night and the glare of oncoming headlights, night driving presents its own unique challenges. Unfamiliar roads and unexpected situations are more likely to cause hazardous driving conditions. You can help ensure safe driving in several ways.

  • Make sure your headlights are working properly and the lenses are kept clean. Pe­riodically have them checked for correct aim/alignment;
  • Don’t “overdrive” your headlights. When traveling at night or in other situations that make the use of headlights necessary for safe travel, do not drive at a speed that requires a stopping time greater than the distance illuminated by your headlights;
  • Slow down when oncoming traffic is approaching or when you are nearing a curve;
  • If visibility is greatly reduced, use the edge line as a guide to maintaining your lane of travel. If there is no edge line, use the center line to guide yourself;
  • Keep your windshield clean;
  • Do not drive if you are tired. More frequent stops, more fresh air, lively radio programs and other measures can help you to avoid drowsiness and inattention;
  • Watch carefully for highway signs; they are harder to see at night;
  • Watch carefully for pedestrians and for vehicles stopped along the edge of the road;
  • Do not stop on the roadway.