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    Default Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Georgia's 'Slowpoke Law' now in effect

    Atlanta - The new Georgia law penalizes motorists who drive in the passing lane when they know someone wants to pass them. Those drivers will now be guilty of a misdemeanor offence and subject to a possible jail term.
    HB 459, referred to as the "Slowpoke Law," took effect on July 1. Although it is acknowledged it will be difficult to enforce the law, it provides serious consequences for drivers in the passing lane who will not pull over to allow a vehicle that wants to go faster to pass them.
    The bill was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 162-9 in February. The following month, the legislation was passed by the Senate by a vote of 42-5. Governor Nathan Deal later signed HB 459 into law.
    Under HB 459 [PDF], anyone who is in the passing lane of a highway that has at least two lanes going in the same direction and fails to pull over when they know or reasonable ought to know they are being overtaken by a vehicle driving at a higher rate of speed, is guilty of a misdemeanor offence.

    There are exceptions to the requirement to pull over when driving in the passing lane when another vehicle wants to pass. Drivers can remain in the passing lane when traffic congestion requires it, when inclement weather, obstructions or hazards makes it necessary. or if a motorist must remain in the passing lane to comply with another state law or traffic device.
    Drivers who are about to make a left turn or pay a toll at a toll booth can also remain in the passing lane. And emergency vehicles and those engaged in highway construction or maintenance are exempt from the requirements set out in HB 459.
    Anyone who violates the law faces a fine of not more than $1,000 and can be jailed for up to one year.
    Rep. Bill Hitchens, who was a state trooper for 33 years and a former head of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, was the bill's sponsor. He acknowledges the difficulty in enforcing such a law and expects the penalties for violations to be much lower than the maximums for misdemeanor offences. The law was primarily introduced to educate motorists.
    Hitchens said, "I don't think a lot of people understand that on multi-lane highways with traffic going in the same direction, that slower traffic is supposed to keep right."
    The purpose of the law is not to encourage speeding but to prevent accidents and road rage by those drivers who become frustrated when they want to exceed the speed of the vehicle in front of them in the passing lane.
    Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said a lot of road rage incidents begin when a driver cannot overtake a slower moving vehicle. He also noted some drivers drive at the speed limit in the passing lane to prevent others from speeding.
    Some police departments say they will begin by warning drivers rather than charging them with misdemeanor offences.


    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/crime/georgia-s-slowpoke-law-now-in-effect/article/388463#ixzz36jQG58bT
    Every state should enact this law immediately. Apparently parents do not teach their children how to drive properly anymore and this has to be a law in order for people to get their rears out of the Left(passing) lane.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    When I briefly lived in Texas I was very impressed with the courtesy that many drivers would show - they'd pull on to the shoulder to allow you to pass them. Not everyone, and there were still some jerks and this was 10 years ago, enough couching I hope... it was still pretty awesome and I'm a big fan of being polite and respectful to people.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Two points from that article:

    1. With all those exemptions, there isn't one for cars already driving the speed limit and effectively allowing speeders (aka law breakers) to dictate road use.

    2. If this law was meant to educate people, how about signage? PSA's? Better driver education requirements? Kinda hard to educate drivers when the only "education" they start to offer under the law is a ticket.

    I think you should stay right to pass, and then pass quickly without hanging out in the left lane, but I'm against this law as written. There have been other states enacting similar laws, but they allow exemptions for people already traveling the speed limits. That's better, but I'm still not 100% ok with it, simply because of the enforcement problems.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Slow traffic, keep right.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    Two points from that article:

    1. With all those exemptions, there isn't one for cars already driving the speed limit and effectively allowing speeders (aka law breakers) to dictate road use.

    2. If this law was meant to educate people, how about signage? PSA's? Better driver education requirements? Kinda hard to educate drivers when the only "education" they start to offer under the law is a ticket.

    I think you should stay right to pass, and then pass quickly without hanging out in the left lane, but I'm against this law as written. There have been other states enacting similar laws, but they allow exemptions for people already traveling the speed limits. That's better, but I'm still not 100% ok with it, simply because of the enforcement problems.
    Allowing an exemption for those going the limit would effectively make the law nonexistent.

    It does not matter if you are doing the limit or not. If you are in the left lane and someone comes up behind you, you are obligated to get over. Speed limit or not.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    So under that law, if you have someone going the speed limit in the left lane and a speeder wanting to pass, who do you feel deserves the ticket? Or both, assuming the cop can stop them both at the same time?


    Allowing the speed limit exemption wouldn't invalidate the law. It would still apply to those running well under the limit holding up traffic.
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  7. #7  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    Every state should enact this law immediately. Apparently parents do not teach their children how to drive properly anymore and this has to be a law in order for people to get their rears out of the Left(passing) lane.
    Are you really that impatient?

    The current project I am on is 61.7 miles from my house, so I run into this all the time, but it doesn't cause me to flip out or cause road rage.

    It's not a criminal offense. If they really want to strictly enforce if, it should be no more that a petty misdemeanor, not a criminal offense
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    So under that law, if you have someone going the speed limit in the left lane and a speeder wanting to pass, who do you feel deserves the ticket? Or both, assuming the cop can stop them both at the same time?


    Allowing the speed limit exemption wouldn't invalidate the law. It would still apply to those running well under the limit holding up traffic.
    Ideally both, but if I had to choose one I'd choose the one playing the role of vigilante. That's a little hyperbolic, but not much. It's not up to joe schmoe to create drama in order to promote their own view of justice unless they're trying to protect something - and even with the best of intentions, anyone with common sense can see this as childish, egotistical and ineffective at public protection.

    There are of course possible mitigating factors, but on the flip side - the person speeding could have much more imperative factors, such as a medical emergency, an in progress flight from another, possibly ongoing crime, etc. and the probability of the one speeding having a just cause far outweighs (IMO) the possibility that the vigilante's jerk move actually does more good than the potential harm it causes, reasons for speeding notwithstanding.

    It's impossible for the slower driver to know whether or not the reasons for the faster driver's faster driving is valid or not and if they're concerned they should remove themselves from the situation by letting the other driver pass and then phone law enforcement if they believe unsafe behaviors to be in progress. Also, how do we know which, if either speedometer is right?

    This is 100% my opinion and how I'd weigh it out - not a legal opinion of how I think the law does or ought to read (I didn't read the article) - but I treat it the same way I treat trolls and troll respondents here. The troll might not know they're a troll, but the one that calls them out and tries to take things into their own hands has a deliberate choice that they're making and intentionally doing the wrong thing. It might be harsh and sometimes seem backwards, but being ignorant and being a jerk (even a well intentioned jerk) have different levels of response and if you have to choose one, I go after the one I know ought to know better... the one that didn't have to be in the situation.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by palandri View Post
    Are you really that impatient?

    The current project I am on is 61.7 miles from my house, so I run into this all the time, but it doesn't cause me to flip out or cause road rage.

    It's not a criminal offense. If they really want to strictly enforce if, it should be no more that a petty misdemeanor, not a criminal offense
    Road rage is absolutely ridiculous. People get so flipped out over the dumbest little stuff and act in ways they never would were there not car doors and dangerous speeds between them and their target. Cowardice at its best.
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by palandri View Post
    Are you really that impatient?

    The current project I am on is 61.7 miles from my house, so I run into this all the time, but it doesn't cause me to flip out or cause road rage.

    It's not a criminal offense. If they really want to strictly enforce if, it should be no more that a petty misdemeanor, not a criminal offense
    I drove roughly 400 miles today. 3 50+ mile stretches of that, myself and anywhere from 10 to 30 other cars were caught behind people blocking both lanes while barely doing the limit. My whole trip as well as several others' trips could have been shorter if these fools would have been curtious enough to not get out of the passing lane and stop blocking the flow of traffic. My parents taught me how to properly drive on highways. Why can so many other people's parents not teach them?

    The real tragedy is that this has to be a law at all. It should be as common as holding the door open for each other, but I see it literally everyday.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    I drove roughly 400 miles today. 3 50+ mile stretches of that, myself and anywhere from 10 to 30 other cars were caught behind people blocking both lanes while barely doing the limit. My whole trip as well as several others' trips could have been shorter if these fools would have been curtious enough to not get out of the passing lane and stop blocking the flow of traffic. My parents taught me how to properly drive on highways. Why can so many other people's parents not teach them?

    The real tragedy is that this has to be a law at all. It should be as common as holding the door open for each other, but I see it literally everyday.
    Here's the problem: (assumes speed limit 65 mph) Car 1, right lane, 55 mph. Totally legal. Car 2, right lane, 58 mph, car 3, right lane 64 mph, car 4, has been in the left lane for 40 miles doing at least 85 except when the lane is obstructed. Everyone agrees that car 2 is justified in passing car 1 and car 3 is justified in passing both of those. Assuming 40 feet passing distance, it will take approximately 9 seconds for car 2 to overtake 1 and then 12 seconds for car 3 to overtake both 2 and 1. during that approximately 21 seconds car 4 can travel half a mile. When all of that maneuvering begins, it's easily possible that none of the cars 1-3 are aware of car 4 way in the back, let alone getting an accurate gauge of car 4's rate of travel. And that 21 seconds is a best case scenario, assuming everyone moves optimally. Everything 1-3 are doing is legal, it just takes longer than car 4 thinks it ought to because car 4 can see the whole thing unfolding and can tell how fast they're closing and that they'll need to slow down. RAGE RAGE!

    Also, 40 feet is pretty shallow for highway passing. I'd like to see it at about 100-150 feet, but that makes the math feel ridiculous.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    So under that law, if you have someone going the speed limit in the left lane and a speeder wanting to pass, who do you feel deserves the ticket? Or both, assuming the cop can stop them both at the same time?


    Allowing the speed limit exemption wouldn't invalidate the law. It would still apply to those running well under the limit holding up traffic.
    The law and the speed limit are 2 completely separate things. Both drivers are responcible for thier own speed. If either one gets caught speeding, they are subject to speeding laws reguardless.

    The difference is that now it is illegal for someone to be the judge of that other than the police. If the limit is 70 and you are doing 80 and someone comes up behind you doing 90, it is still your responsibility to get over. What speed someone else is doing is of no concern to you minus maybe calling the cops for reckless behavior if you feel so inclined.

    If the cop clocks both of you doing 80, then it is luck of the draw who he pulls over.
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  13. #13  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    I'll agree that jail time does seem a little excessive, but as frustrating as those slow left lane drivers can be, I can understand wanting to throw them in the slammer....haha

    I will say that there are a few things I wouldn't mind seeing get jail time though; the drivers that think they're the official pace car of the highway and intentionally bottleneck traffic because they think everyone should go the same speed they're going, people that are using the left lane because they're busy doing something other than driving (using their cell phones, applying make-up/shaving, and even reading to name a few that I've seen), and especially large vehicles such as 18-wheelers (when a vehicle is that much larger than all the other vehicles in the vicinity, it doesn't make any sense that they should be driving faster than the flow of traffic given how much longer it generally takes a larger vehicle to stop or the general laws of physics that prohibit such a vehicle from making evasive maneuvers like a smaller vehicle can).

    As a rule of thumb, when I'm in the left lane and someone approaches me from behind, if I can, I will generally move over. One, I have no idea why they may be going faster (a loved one was hospitalized, they're prairie dogging something awful, they're trying to make a flight), two if they go ahead of me at a higher rate of speed, they'll trip all the speed traps ahead of me, and three it helps ease congestion if that person gets to their destination sooner.

    I don't generally pimp out another website but I was introduced to this site back when I had my GTO Left Lane Drivers Unite!
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    Here's the problem: (assumes speed limit 65 mph) Car 1, right lane, 55 mph. Totally legal. Car 2, right lane, 58 mph, car 3, right lane 64 mph, car 4, has been in the left lane for 40 miles doing at least 85 except when the lane is obstructed. Everyone agrees that car 2 is justified in passing car 1 and car 3 is justified in passing both of those. Assuming 40 feet passing distance, it will take approximately 9 seconds for car 2 to overtake 1 and then 12 seconds for car 3 to overtake both 2 and 1. during that approximately 21 seconds car 4 can travel half a mile. When all of that maneuvering begins, it's easily possible that none of the cars 1-3 are aware of car 4 way in the back, let alone getting an accurate gauge of car 4's rate of travel. And that 21 seconds is a best case scenario, assuming everyone moves optimally. Everything 1-3 are doing is legal, it just takes longer than car 4 thinks it ought to because car 4 can see the whole thing unfolding and can tell how fast they're closing and that they'll need to slow down. RAGE RAGE!

    Also, 40 feet is pretty shallow for highway passing. I'd like to see it at about 100-150 feet, but that makes the math feel ridiculous.
    The scenarios i experienced today(and almost everyday), were the same 2 cars holding up traffic that whole time.

    As long as the traffic is flowing, common curiosity is being met. Congestion will happen regardless, but laws like this one will help keep it to a minimum.

    First slow car gets over. Second car passes. Next car passes and chooses to pass second car or get behind second car. So on and so forth.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    Road rage is absolutely ridiculous. People get so flipped out over the dumbest little stuff and act in ways they never would were there not car doors and dangerous speeds between them and their target. Cowardice at its best.
    I think road rage is a byproduct of people being less courteous and inattentive on the road as well. What we're seeing is the 2nd reaction. It reminds me of the NFL or the NBA where you'll see the ref call a foul on someone that's reacting to something that didn't initially get called on their opponent.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    I think road rage is a byproduct of people being less courteous and inattentive on the road as well. What we're seeing is the 2nd reaction. It reminds me of the NFL or the NBA where you'll see the ref call a foul on someone that's reacting to something that didn't initially get called on their opponent.
    Yeah I totally just admitted to doing that as a ref here too

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  17. #17  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    Ideally both, but if I had to choose one I'd choose the one playing the role of vigilante. That's a little hyperbolic, but not much. It's not up to joe schmoe to create drama in order to promote their own view of justice unless they're trying to protect something - and even with the best of intentions, anyone with common sense can see this as childish, egotistical and ineffective at public protection.

    There are of course possible mitigating factors, but on the flip side - the person speeding could have much more imperative factors, such as a medical emergency, an in progress flight from another, possibly ongoing crime, etc. and the probability of the one speeding having a just cause far outweighs (IMO) the possibility that the vigilante's jerk move actually does more good than the potential harm it causes, reasons for speeding notwithstanding.

    It's impossible for the slower driver to know whether or not the reasons for the faster driver's faster driving is valid or not and if they're concerned they should remove themselves from the situation by letting the other driver pass and then phone law enforcement if they believe unsafe behaviors to be in progress. Also, how do we know which, if either speedometer is right?
    It's pretty rare that people in the left lane and speeding are having those kinds of emergencies. I'd wager a guess that those doing the speed limit in the left lane are just as unlikely to be trying to take things into their own hands. So that's a pretty far fetched argument in my opinion.

    This is 100% my opinion and how I'd weigh it out - not a legal opinion of how I think the law does or ought to read (I didn't read the article)
    Fair enough. My view is that people shouldn't be speeding in the first place, so they shouldn't be passing others regardless of which lane their in. I understand there's always exceptions to the rule, but they aren't often enough in this case to warrant much consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    I drove roughly 400 miles today. 3 50+ mile stretches of that, myself and anywhere from 10 to 30 other cars were caught behind people blocking both lanes while barely doing the limit. My whole trip as well as several others' trips could have been shorter if these fools would have been curtious enough to not get out of the passing lane and stop blocking the flow of traffic.
    If they went doing the speed limit, that's one thing. I'm talking about those that are. And if you're irritated by someone doing the speed limit, perhaps you need to look at why. It most likely has to do with you.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    It's pretty rare that people in the left lane and speeding are having those kinds of emergencies. I'd wager a guess that those doing the speed limit in the left lane are just as unlikely to be trying to take things into their own hands. So that's a pretty far fetched argument in my opinion.



    Fair enough. My view is that people shouldn't be speeding in the first place, so they shouldn't be passing others regardless of which lane their in. I understand there's always exceptions to the rule, but they aren't often enough in this case to warrant much consideration.



    If they went doing the speed limit, that's one thing. I'm talking about those that are. And if you're irritated by someone doing the speed limit, perhaps you need to look at why. It most likely has to do with you.
    We're going to get into semantics of probabilities again haha let me amend to 1% chance of slower person helping matters and 2% chance of legitimate reason for speeding... compounded per encounter. Exponentially halved and um.... You're right but I think I am too.

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  19. #19  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    Yeah I totally just admitted to doing that as a ref here too

    XTNiT-1060 through spacetime. Android Central Moderator.
    Well in your defense, the troll comparison had me thinking, "Is he talking about me?!?!" and almost got me to post something trollish....
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    So under that law, if you have someone going the speed limit in the left lane and a speeder wanting to pass, who do you feel deserves the ticket? Or both, assuming the cop can stop them both at the same time?


    Allowing the speed limit exemption wouldn't invalidate the law. It would still apply to those running well under the limit holding up traffic.
    Honestly I would day in a ideal world ticket both but if I had to choose one it would be the person one going to speed limit. Reason being is they are the one who is greatly increasing an accident happenings.

    One thing I was taught in drivers ed is go with the flow of traffic. If traffic is going 15 over the limit you go 15 over the limit as it is safer. It is the person not going with the flow that causes wrecks.
    The slower person causing passing on the right, people to hit their brakes and so on. All of which risk causing a wreck.

    There is a reason vigilance justice is against the law.

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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    If they went doing the speed limit, that's one thing. I'm talking about those that are. And if you're irritated by someone doing the speed limit, perhaps you need to look at why. It most likely has to do with you.
    Regardless, what speed someone else is doing is of no concern to you. Them wanting to go around you is.

    Without getting off on too much of a tangent: Speed limits are honestly more guidelines than anything. If municipalities really care about you speeding, they would set the ticket penalties at $20,000+ or have pace cars every mile. They want you to measure risk vs reward.

    And to be honest, 5mph over the speed limit on the interstate is common courtesy imo.
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    The law and the speed limit are 2 completely separate things.
    I wouldn't have believed anyone actually saying this if I hadn't seen it myself. Lol
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    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    I wouldn't have believed anyone actually saying this if I hadn't seen it myself. Lol
    Just to clarify THIS law and the speed limit are 2 separate laws is what I meant. Not sure if that came across or not...
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  24. #24  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    Fair enough. My view is that people shouldn't be speeding in the first place, so they shouldn't be passing others regardless of which lane their in. I understand there's always exceptions to the rule, but they aren't often enough in this case to warrant much consideration.
    Can you define what you mean by "speeding"? I've actually seen people on the road going SLOWER than the speed limit, thus posing a greater threat than someone that was "speeding" because they weren't going with the flow of traffic. When you consider when the 55 MPH mandate was created (1974 -- Lets wait quietly for a post from our elder members that can remember driving prior to that year COUGHyouknowwhoyouareyesyouCOUGH ) cars have come a long way as far as drive-ability and safety since that arbitrary number was created. Also, that number was created mostly due to the oil price spikes, and had nothing to do with "safety", but my guess is now that all these government entities are used to the supplemental revenue, there's no way we're going back, even though oil prices are relatively stable.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: Georgia "Slowpoke Law"

    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    Just to clarify THIS law and the speed limit are 2 separate laws is what I meant. Not sure if that came across or not...
    I was hoping that's what you meant, but I wasn't sure. Even still, this new law doesn't nullify the existing laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    Can you define what you mean by "speeding"?
    I think the law would state anything above the posted limit is speeding (and I've heard of tickets issued for 1mph), but speedometers are also allowed to be off I think 5mph at 55 and still be considered ok. So I personally don't mind a little over when accounting for variables in speedometers.

    Btw, anyone else find this a rather odd topic to be so active here? :beer:
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