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Georgia Traffic Laws

Few drivers, if any, could recite every road rule in Georgia. However, the state expects you to follow them all while driving to protect public safety.

Reviewing the state's legal quirks can help avoid causing a car accident or getting a traffic ticket. This article explains some of Georgia's unique traffic laws. You can also read the Georgia Driver's Manual for more information and tips.

Notable Driving Laws in Georgia

Though you must follow all traffic rules, start with knowing the fundamental laws. See links to key statutes in Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) for driving and motor vehicles in the chart below.

Drinking & Driving Violations Driving under the influence of alcohol (Georgia Code § 40-6-391)
Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License Valid driver's license required (Georgia Code § 40-5-20)
Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act (Georgia Code § 40-9-1)
Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration Valid registration required (Georgia Code § 40-6-15)
Illegal U-Turn U-turns (Georgia Code § 40-6-121)
Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run Accidents; duties of drivers (Georgia Code § 40-6-270)
Mechanical Violations Vehicles and equipment (Georgia Code § 40-8-7 to 40-8-90)
Reckless Driving Reckless driving (Georgia Code § 40-6-390)
Running a Red Light / Stop Sign Traffic signals (Georgia Code § 40-6-21)
Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations Safety belts (Georgia Code § 40-8-76)
Speeding Speed limits (Georgia Code § 40-6-181)
Unlawful Vehicle Modifications Vehicles and equipment (Georgia Code § 40-8-7 to 40-8-90)

The Slowpoke Law

Speeding is a common traffic violation, but driving too slow can also lead to a ticket. Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-184, you might even impede traffic within the speed limit.

Georgia law requires “slowpokes," or slow drivers, to move out of the far left lane when a faster driver approaches them. Even if the other driver is speeding, you must change lanes to let them pass you. The law offers a few exceptions to this rule, such as heavy traffic conditions.

What Is Georgia's Move-Over Law?

The move-over law (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16) requires motorists to change lanes when driving toward stopped utility or emergency vehicles with flashing lights. You must move over to a different lane to give the vehicle space when possible or otherwise slow down.

The move-over rule does not apply to a stopped school bus. Instead, you must stop in all lanes until the stop arm or sign retracts. This rule also applies if you are driving in the opposite direction except when the bus is on the other side of a physically divided road.

Points for Traffic Offenses

If a law enforcement officer gives you a ticket, it's important to understand Georgia's point system. Many violations are between two and six points. With 15 points on your record within 24 months, you'll face a license suspension.

For example, having an open alcoholic beverage in your cup holder is worth two points. A first-time drunk driving (DUI) conviction is not worth points because it triggers a license suspension for 12 months.

Points add to the other traffic violation penalties, such as fines and jail time. The state of Georgia may allow you to take a driver improvement course to reduce your current points or reinstate your license.

Georgia Traffic Enforcement Cameras

Roughly half of U.S. states use red light cameras to catch and cite drivers who run through intersections too late. Georgia is one of those states under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20.

If you get a red-light running citation in the mail, you are responsible for the penalties as the vehicle owner. Even if someone else was driving, whoever owns the car is legally liable. The law requires a police officer to review the photo to confirm the violation and vehicle but not identify the driver.

Georgia camera tickets don't jeopardize your driver's license points. You must still pay the fine unless you successfully fight the ticket, however.

Defend Your Driving Privileges

The domino effect of a ticket or DUI charge could stop you from getting behind the wheel for a long time. Reach out to a Georgia driving law attorney for advice.

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Protect Your Rights During and After a Traffic Stop

  • Certain traffic violations carry significant penalties under Georgia law.
  • An attorney can help you protect your rights during and after a traffic stop.

Want on-demand legal guidance when you are pulled over? The award-winning TurnSignl app has launched in Georgia!


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