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160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 645, Decatur, Georgia 30030

Are Some Cities Using the Interstates as Cash Registers?

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine sent me an email with a link to the following article: https://www.myajc.com/news/news/local/traffic-tickets-some-cities-use-interstates-as-cas/nn8QT/.  The piece, published by the Decatur Journal- Constitution, describes in detail how certain cities in Georgia generate millions of dollars in revenue through traffic stops.  Commonly referred to as “traffic traps,” these encounters involve local law enforcement officers stopping, detaining and citing drivers and passengers for a variety of traffic infractions, ranging from speeding and equipment violations to more serious offenses, like drunk driving and possessing controlled substances.  The report concludes with reference to Senate Bill 134, which took effect on July 1, 2015 (https://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/SB/134).  This legislation requires Georgia cities and counties to report the amount of revenue they receive each year from speeding tickets.  However, it does not require disclosure as to other types of traffic citations, namely expired tags, following too closely, red light violations and failing to maintain a lane of travel.

As we set out to visit family and friends this holiday season, it is a good idea to remember that these “traffic traps” will be fully operational.  And, while the best approach to avoiding them is to follow the rules of the road, invariably many motorists will receive citations from these municipalities that are challengeable in court.  If you happen to be so unlucky, then I suggest you contact an attorney before taking any action.  Legal counsel can serve as a real asset in resolving these matters, from eliminating license ramifications to avoiding much harsher sanctions like jail sentences, particularly when you receive a citation far from home, in an unfamiliar city or county.  In short, be safe and be alert, and Happy Holidays.