Understanding traffic laws: Avoid being a ‘slow poke’
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.