Impeding Traffic Flow
Except when a reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, drivers are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. On roads with two or more lanes, drivers cannot continue to operate a motor vehicle in the passing lane if that driver is being overtaken by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed from behind. Penalties include fines up to $1000 and/or 3 points on the driving record.
The driver of any motor vehicle, when traveling down a hill, must not coast with the gears or transmission of the vehicle in neutral.
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 is defined as driving any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property. 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.
The following behaviors are considered racing on highways and streets:
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.
Any driver under age 18 who holds a Class D license or a learner’s permit is prohibited from using any wireless device while driving. This includes cell phones, computers, and all texting devices. Exceptions are provided for emergencies and for drivers who are fully parked. The fine for a conviction is $150, or $300 if involved in an accident while using a wireless device.
Any driver age 18 or over is prohibited from reading, writing, or sending a text message while driving. This ban applies to any texting device including cell phones, and applies to text messages, instant messages, email and Internet data. Exceptions are provided for emergency personnel, drivers responding to emergencies, and drivers who are fully parked. The fine for a conviction is $150.
A conviction for either violation will result in the accumulation of 1 point on the driving record.
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 drive into or park any vehicle within 500 feet of any fire apparatus stopped in answer to a fire alarm.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
When stopping or slowing down suddenly, the proper hand, arm, or brake operated stop signal must be given.
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:
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.
The operation of motor vehicles has a significant impact on Georgia’s air quality. Emissions from cars and light duty trucks contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a component of urban smog. Vehicle emissions can react with sunlight at high temperatures to produce unhealthy levels of this form of air pollution. This is especially true during warm weather. Vehicle emissions and ground-level ozone can be reduced by proper vehicle maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and by fewer trips and vehicle miles traveled.
In the thirteen-county metro Atlanta area, gasoline-powered cars and light-duty trucks that are less than 25 model years old must pass an emissions inspection every year prior to registering their vehicle with the county of residence (the most recent three model years are exempt from this requirement). The thirteen metro counties covered by the state’s inspection and maintenance program are: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale. For more detailed information about the emissions inspection program, call the Georgia Clean Air Force at 1-800-449-2471. Remember removing or disabling a vehicle’s emissions control components is a violation of federal and state law.
In addition to proper vehicle maintenance, you can help reduce air pollution and traffic congestion by limiting driving to necessary travel, by planning ahead to consolidate trips, and by using carpools, transit and ridesharing. All drivers should do their part to reduce the impact of automobiles and trucks on air quality and the environment.
Minimize your idling time. Eliminating unnecessary idling can reduce fuel consumption, engine wear and air pollution. When warming up the engine, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to assure sufficient engine performance for safe driving. Idling a vehicle for 10 seconds will consume more fuel than restarting the engine.
For more information on emissions testing regulations & protecting Georgia’s air quality:
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.