Every driver in Georgia must have car insurance. Well, that’s a no-brainer, right? That doesn’t mean you know every traffic law in the Peach State. Here are eight that might have escaped your attention altogether.
1. Georgia Slowpokes Get Tickets, Too
Sure, you know that if you put the pedal to the metal, you risk flashing lights and an invitation for a chat with a uniformed officer at the side of the road, but did you know you could also be ticketed for not driving fast enough?
The so-called Slowpoke Law was passed in 2014 in Georgia, making it a violation to impede traffic while driving in the left lane of a highway or freeway. Its purpose is to not only break through congested roads, but also reduce incidents of road rage caused by drivers who can’t get past those who seem to think they’ve bought property in the passing lane and can live there permanently.
It’s about time, I hear you say.
2. No, You Don’t Have a 10-Mile Buffer
“Don’t worry, you only get ticketed if you’re driving 10 miles over the posted speed limit,” says the driver five minutes before getting pulled over for speeding seven miles over the limit. Or three. Or maybe just a mile over, if the cop is extra picky. Or bored.
The point is, the posted speed limit is the limit. Period. While it might not be likely in most situations to be pulled over for going just a mile or two too fast, you should know that it’s possible. And you’re likely to find little sympathy in traffic court.
Also, keep in mind that a ticket for a mile over will still result in a traffic point penalty, and too many of those can lead to higher auto insurance rates.
3. GA Slowpoke, Part 2
You’re not only potentially in trouble for blocking passing traffic by slow driving in the fast lane. You could also get a ticket for driving too slowly on any Georgia road — even in the slow lane.
What’s too slow? Well, it’s something the traffic cop knows when they see it. It’s too slow if your driving is impeding traffic and causing possible driving hazards for yourself or others. The good news is, risky weather and clogged streets are taken into consideration. In fact, it’s smart to drive “too” slow when the roads are icy or when visibility is impaired as the result of adverse weather.
So … just be smart about speed, and you’ll be fine.
4. The Tires Don’t Even Have to Be Rotating to be Stopped for Texting and Driving in Atlanta
It’s illegal to text and drive. Sure. You knew that. Here’s the rub: It’s also against the law to be texting and…stopped. If you’re behind the wheel, don’t count on returning Mom’s text even if you’re stopped at a red light.
If you do, you might have to explain later how Mom cost you a ticket.
5. Move Over for That, Um, Garbage Truck
You know all about pulling over and out of the way for police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other red-flashing emergency vehicles, but did you also know you have the obligation to get out of the way of yellow-flashing highway vehicles?
It’s true. The Georgia Department of Transportation has quite a range of vehicles known as Highway Emergency Response Operators, or HERO. (Cute, eh?) When any of these HERO forms of transport, including vans and garbage trucks, come up behind you with yellow lights flashing, you have the obligation to get out of the way. If you don’t, it could get expensive.
6. Cover One Ear, Sure, But Not Both While Driving
We don’t know why you’d be wearing headphones over just one ear while driving … but you can. Just make sure you’re not covering both ears with those ‘phones, or you could experience flashing lights, and maybe a siren blurt you probably won’t hear.
7. Georgians Cannot Bike Drunk Either
The State of Georgia recognizes a bicycle as a vehicle that must follow the same rules of the road as cars and other motorized vehicles. That means you can get picked up for a DUI for wobbly biking, even if it’s a controlled substance causing the wobble.
The better news, if you can call it that? Your bicycle DUI is a misdemeanor that doesn’t carry the same harsh penalties as an auto DUI and won’t affect your car insurance. It will still cost you, though.
Bicyclists must also stop at red lights and ride on the correct side of the road. Ride safely.
8. Light Up the Headlights When It Rains
Today’s cars have automatic lights when it gets dark, and it usually gets dark when it rains, so you have nothing to worry about. Right? Just let your smart car deal with it.
Um … not so much. Yes, your auto-lights will probably kick on when your Georgia sky starts drizzling, but that doesn’t control your rear lights. You need those to be turned on, too, so traffic behind you isn’t visually impaired under cloud cover. So manually turn those lights on as soon as your wipers have to get to work, even if they’re just making an occasional swipe across your glass.
The Good News: You Can Drive Barefoot in Georgia
We thought we should leave you knowing that the Peach State hasn’t gone entirely road-bossy on you. Shoes are not mandatory. So you’re welcome to drive home from the beach in nothing more than proper swimming attire. Just don’t peel down too much for driving comfort.
Even More Good News for Georgia Drivers
Your independent car insurance agent can help you find ideal coverage that fits your budget and your family’s needs.
That’s because an independent agent has established working relationships with multiple auto insurers, not just one company. So your agent can first listen to your requirements, help you figure out a budget, and then go shopping for coverage from several insurers at competitive rates.
Find Affordable Auto Coverage in Georgia Today
Your independent agent at Velox Insurance can help you figure out the rules of the road and find affordable car insurance. Call us at 855-468-3569 or get a quick quote online. You can also find a nearby Georgia location here for a face-to-face meetup.