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Other Laws

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. Tolled lanes in Georgia require motorists to mount a registered Peach Pass transponder in their vehicle in order to access the lanes. Registered owners of the vehicle that enters the tolled lane without an active Peach Pass will receive a violation notice in the mail.

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.

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, 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. 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:

  • 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;
  • 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.

Texting and Cell Phone Use While Driving

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.

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 drive into 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.

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.


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.

Protecting The Air

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.

Idling Engines

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.

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