Have You Been Charged with Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device in Georgia?
Georgia traffic offenses are vast and numerous. There are many different ways a person can receive a ticket. One of the most common ways is by failing to obey a traffic control device in Georgia. There are numerous ways a person can violate this rule, but the most common way is by running a red light. No matter your situation, our Georgia Traffic Control Lawyers are here to help. With over 25 years of experience defending clients charged with traffic and related crimes, we know what it takes to reach a successful outcome in your case.
Georgia Law on Traffic Control Devices
According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20(a), the driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of an official traffic-control device applicable thereto, placed in accordance with this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter.
A traffic control device can be a sign, signal device, or other indicated place on a road or highway. They are intended to give information to anyone that uses the road, including drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. Traffic control devices can be on the side of a road or highway, above a road or highway, or adjacent to a road or highway.
A person can be charged with failure to obey a traffic control device in Georgia by:
- running a stop sign
- running a red light
- failing to stop at a flashing red light
- failing to slow down at a flashing yellow light
- turning left when there was a red arrow signal
- turning right when there was a sign that said no right turns allowed
What to Do When Approaching a Flashing Light in Georgia?
Traffic signals are placed at intersections to control the movement of traffic in hopes of preventing accidents. Drivers and pedestrians are required to obey these signals except when an officer is directing traffic. If a traffic light is not functioning properly at an intersection, all drivers must treat the intersection as if a stop sign is posted for all directions. Drivers must proceed based on the color of the flashing signal they are facing.
Flashing Red Light in Georgia
If the flashing light is red, the driver must stop and wait until it is safe to proceed. Even if there is no way coming from any direction, the driver must come to a complete stop. Additionally, the driver must proceed with caution only after yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles in the intersection. A failure to stop at a flashing red light could result in a person being charged with failing to comply with a traffic control device in Georgia.
Flashing Yellow Light in Georgia
When a driver approaches a flashing yellow light in Georgia, they must proceed with caution. While this does not mean they have to come to a complete stop, they must slow down and be prepared to stop, if needed. Drivers should exercise caution before proceeding through a flashing yellow light in Georgia.
What Should a Georgia Driver Do When Approaching Intersection When All Lights are Out?
If there is a traffic signal blackout, you must stop at the intersection. You may proceed only when you know other turning or approaching vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians have stopped. However, you must obey law enforcement officers if they are directing traffic.
Penalty for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device in Georgia
Even though running a red light may not seem like a big deal, the penalties can have an impact on your life. Points on your license, up to a $1,000 fine, and higher insurance premiums are all standard consequences associated with failing to obey a traffic control device in Georgia. As with any traffic and criminal matter, you have the right to hire a Georgia Traffic Control Device Attorney. While it is possible to pay the ticket before court, doing that is an admission of guilt, and points will be assessed on your license. Failing to obey a traffic control device is a 3 point offense in Georgia. While this may not seem like much, for drivers under 21, a culmination of 4 or more points will result in a license suspension. For drivers over 21,15 points and over will lead to a license suspension. In either situation, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced Traffic Lawyer in Georgia. Our Georgia Failing to Obey a Traffic Control Device Attorneys can negotiate a lower fine, a reduced charge that will result in fewer points being added to your license, or a dismissal of your case.
Whether you are over or under 21 years of age, it is critical that you hire a Georgia Traffic Control Device Lawyer. With the penalties of increased insurance costs, points on your license, and hefty fines, it is in your best interest to call us now!
Failing to Obey a Traffic Control Device can also be a Civil Infraction in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20(f)(3), the driver of a motor vehicle shall be liable for a civil monetary penalty of not more than $70.00 if such vehicle is found, as evidenced by recorded images produced by a traffic-control signal monitoring device, to have been operated in disregard or disobedience of a CIRCULAR RED or RED ARROW signal.. The penalty is a fine of no more than $70.00. Furthermore, this is not considered a moving violation and, therefore, no points are assessed, and insurance companies are not notified for this type of violation.
Georgia law details that notification of a violation of failing to obey a traffic control device as a civil infraction must be sent out no later than 10 days after the date of the alleged violation. The notification must include:
- The citation that includes the date and time of the violation, the location of the intersection, the fine amount, and the due date for the penalty.
- A copy of the recorded image
- A copy of the certificate sworn to or affirmed by a certified peace officer employed by a law enforcement agency authorized to enforce this Code section and stating that, based upon inspection of recorded images, the owner's motor vehicle failed to obey a traffic control device, and the device was not otherwise authorized by law.
- Information advising the owner of the motor vehicle when the violation can be contested in court
- A warning that failure to pay the civil monetary penalty or to contest liability in a timely manner shall waive any right to contest liability and result in a civil monetary penalty.
Defenses to Failing to Obey a Traffic Control Device for a Civil Infraction
In general, evidence that a person is the registered owner of the vehicle that failed to obey a traffic control device creates an inference that the person was the driver. However, Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20 sets out that this is a rebuttable presumption that can be overcome if the owner of the vehicle:
(i) Testifies under oath in open court or submits to the court a sworn, notarized statement that he or she was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation;
(ii) Presents to the court a certified copy of a police report showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation; or
(iii) Submits to the court a sworn, notarized statement identifying the name of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.
Contact Our Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device Lawyers Today!
No case is too small or too big for our Georgia Traffic Offense Lawyers! With over 50 combined years of experience, we know what it takes for you to achieve a favorable outcome in your case and avoid the harsh consequences. Call now for a free case evaluation.