Speeders closer to new fines

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ATLANTA --- Georgia drivers traveling well above the speed limit would be slapped with stiff new fines under a bill that cleared the state Legislature on Wednesday.

The fines -- expected to total about $23 million a year -- are intended to help the state's cash-strapped network of trauma hospitals.

The measure is expected to have no trouble winning Gov. Sonny Perdue's signature. He has been pushing the so-called super speeder legislation for three years and commended the state Senate for passing the bill 42-10 Wednesday. It has passed the House.

Mr. Perdue said the measure would discourage reckless driving. Traffic accidents on Georgia roadways claimed more than 1,600 lives in 2007. Bob Dallas, the director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, said nearly one-quarter of fatal crashes involve excessive speed.

The bill that passed Wednesday would tack an additional $200 fine on drivers busted for topping 85 mph on four-lane roads and interstate highways, or 75 mph on two-lane roads. The fines would be on top of the original speeding fine, which officials said vary by jurisdiction. The upper speed limit on Georgia intestates is 70 miles per hour.

The bill also imposes new fees of up to $400 for some drivers seeking to reinstate their licenses.

The legislation would give police and judges some discretion in imposing the fines.

State Sen. Bill Heath, who sponsored the bill, said the fines are "high enough to get someone's attention."

"Georgia is known as a state where you can make up lost time when traveling," the Republican from Bremen said. "We want to encourage them to slow down."

The money is designed to help bolster trauma care in Georgia. A 2007 legislative study committee concluded the state's trauma network is in crisis.

The committee found that the death rate in Georgia from traumatic injury is far greater than the national rate, and suggested targeting drivers because motor vehicle accidents account for almost three-quarters of trauma injuries in Georgia.

The money collected in super speeder fines will go into the general fund. Legislators must then appropriate the money to trauma care each year when they adopt the budget.

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politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 06:26 am
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Premeditated fines to take

Premeditated fines to take money from those who have little or none. I'm safe, I DO NOT SPEED or break traffic laws. It's easy to do..Just do it & you stay out of trouble. I have not had a traffic violation in 30 years:)

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 06:28 am
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If you travel Bobby Jones you

If you travel Bobby Jones you better set your cruise control cause they don't play on BJ

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 06:31 am
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Most used explanation for

Most used explanation for speeding: I was late for work, late for...most used answer? Well you are really going to be late now!
Solution: Leave earlier,..your welcome.

TechLover
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TechLover 03/26/09 - 10:14 am
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I never quite understood why

I never quite understood why they haven't been enforcing the speed limit to start with. Some roads around here are like racetracks.

Bantana
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Bantana 03/26/09 - 06:42 pm
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Now the state takes a share

Now the state takes a share under the guise of building a trauma network that will never be. It's all about the dollars.

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