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Georgia Motorist Information


The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Discuss Georgia motorists issues in the NMA Forum

Points of Interest

  • Georgia requires that you have your headlights on whenever you are using your windshield wipers.
  • A license to carry a concealed firearm issued to a nonresident by another state shall be honored if such state provides a reciprocal privilege.
  • Georgia has a speed trap law that applies to all police agencies except State Patrol. Some of the regulations regarding Speed Measuring Device (SMD) use include: (1) cannot issue tickets for less than 10 mph over posted speed limit, (2) cannot use SMD on downhill road with more than a 7% downgrade, (3) cannot use SMD closer than 500 feet inside a changed speed limit zone (4) police vehicle using SMD must be seen by all approaching vehicles at least 500 feet or more, and (5) any municipality using SMD must have warning signs on major road at city or county limits stating so.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 70, Trucks 70
Urban Interstates: Cars 55, Trucks 55
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 65, Trucks 65
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute--exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: Yes
Parking: No
Equipment: Yes
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
Yes

Member of Driver License Compact
No

When and Where to File Accident Reports
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more shall immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department if such accident occurs within a municipality. If such accident occurs outside a municipality, such notice shall be given to the office of the county sheriff or to the nearest office of the state patrol.

(Georgia Code 40-6-273, http://law.justia.com/georgia/codes/40/40-6-273.html)

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $25,000
All injuries: $50,000
Property Damage:$25,000

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: Drivers younger than 18
All Cell Phone Ban: School bus drivers. Drivers younger than 18.
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: for all offenses
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants in the vehicle are prohibited for the vehicle operator, but permitted for passengers.
  • The BAC level is .08%.
  • Georgia has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 12-month driver's license suspension.
  • Absent a recognized license to carry, loaded handguns may be carried in a visible manner on one's person or secured from view in a glove compartment; loaded rifles and shotguns may be carried if they are in plain view.
  • Studded tires are permitted.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • Georgia has a seat belt law with primary enforcement for all front seat occupants.
  • Georgia has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 6 years of age. Children under age 3 must use approved car safety seats.
  • Georgia has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law.

General Information
Contact the county court listed on the traffic citation
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: GSP (477)

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These pages are created and managed by the volunteer efforts of NMA Activists, State Chapter Coordinators and members.

If your state doesn't currently have anyone serving in these roles, perhaps you'd like to consider it.


When you see a police car on the side of the road, it should make you feel more safe.
So why doesn't it?

Across the United States, even the most careful, safe drivers on the road would probably admit to being nervous when they spot a police officer enforcing traffic laws. Instead of inspiring feelings of safety, our traffic laws are used to create fear. Can this ever change?


This page was last updated: August 2010







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