Un­der­stand­ing traf­fic laws: Avoid be­ing a ‘slow poke’

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - Con­tributed by Sgt. Dane Hunter

The Polk County Stan­dard Jour­nal is part­ner­ing with the Aragon Po­lice Depart­ment to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about Geor­gia Traf­fic Laws, State/Na­tional Traf­fic Safety Pro­grams, and other in­for­ma­tion that you may want to know.

Each week, Sgt. Dane Hunter with the Aragon Po­lice Depart­ment will pro­vide the con­tent of the in­for­ma­tion. The fo­cus and in­tent of the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided is to try to make our road­ways safer, as well as to keep you in­formed on the changes to Geor­gia Traf­fic Laws.

This week cov­ers Geor­gia’s “Slow Poke Law.” This is the Of­fi­cial Code of Geor­gia An­no­tated 40-6-184 ti­tled Min­i­mum Speed Reg­u­la­tion and cov­ers other reg­u­la­tions such as “Im­ped­ing the Free Flow of Traf­fic” OCGA 40-6-184 (a) as well as the “Slow Poke” Law 40-6-184(c). The “Slow Poke” Law went into ef­fect in July 2014, and was de­signed to re­duce “Road Rage” in­ci­dents as well as set “Rules of the Road.”

The OCGA 40- 6- 184 ( c) reads- Upon roads, streets, high­ways with two or more lanes al­low­ing for move­ment in the same di­rec­tions, no per­son shall con­tinue to op­er­ate a mo­tor ve­hi­cle in the pass­ing lane once such per­son knows or should rea­son­ably know that he or she is be­ing over­taken in such lane from the rear by a mo­tor ve­hi­cle trav­el­ing at a higher rate of speed. For the pur­poses of this Code sec­tion, “pass­ing lane” means the most left-hand lane other than a high oc­cu­pancy ve­hi­cle lane.

So what ex­actly does this mean? First off, it means you can­not just ride down the road in the left lane and ex­pect ev­ery­one to go around you on the right.

This also means if you are be­ing ap­proached from the rear by an­other ve­hi­cle, re­gard­less of how fast you are go­ing, you must move to the right (Re­mem­ber to use your turn sig­nal when chang­ing lanes so the ap­proach­ing driver knows what you do­ing.), and al­low the ve­hi­cle ap­proach­ing from the rear to pass.

There are a few ex­cep­tions to this law.

OCGA 40-6-184 (d) cov­ers the ex­cep­tions

( 1) When traf­fic con­di­tions or con­ges­tion makes it nec­es­sary to drive in the pass­ing lane;

(2) When in­clement weather, ob­struc­tions, or haz­ards make it nec­es­sary to drive in the pass­ing lane

(3) When compliance with a law of this state or with an of­fi­cial traf­fic con­trol de­vice makes it nec­es­sary to drive in the pass­ing lane;

(4) When a ve­hi­cle must be driven in the pass­ing lane to exit or turn left;

(5) On toll high­ways, when nec­es­sary to pay a toll or use a pass;

(6) To au­tho­rized emer­gency ve­hi­cles en­gaged in of­fi­cial du­ties; or

(7) To ve­hi­cles en­gaged in high­way main­te­nance and con­struc­tion op­er­a­tions.

Vi­o­la­tion of the “Slow Poke” Law is a mis­de­meanor, and vi­o­la­tors could face up to a year in jail and a fine not to ex­ceed $ 1,000.00. We en­cour­age you to visit www.gahigh­waysafety.org to learn more about Traf­fic Safety Pro­grams as well as Like our Face­book Page.

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