There are new laws, stupid laws and should-be laws

There are a lot of new laws hitting us in January, then again in July. Local and state laws are amended, sometimes dressed up to look amended, and sometimes new laws are put into play following legislative approval.

Some laws, introduced but not passed, never get so much as a public mention. Depending on where you live, some of those laws shot down may include:

  • No pot-bellied pig racing before noon on Sundays.
  • Wet T-shirt contests are forbidden during pot-bellied pig races.
  • Required height/weight to be in proportion in order to wear Spandex.
  • Restrictions on bicycle helmets so they look like giant mushrooms.

Stupid laws actually on the books include:

  • Restrictions on handcuffing another person wearing a clown suit.
  • Donkeys in bathtubs,
  • One cannot make disturbing sounds at a fair. (Not counting the sound of me throwing up after riding anything that spins.)
  • Local ordinance requiring the owning of a rake.

And on and on. One new law is the Super Speeder Law. Essentially the law targets high-risk drivers who ignore posted speed limits. Well, everyone ignores them, but keep reading.

Any driver convicted of violating HB160 will be classified as a “super speeder” and subject to additional fines in the form of 200 extra dollars. This includes anyone found driving 75 mph or more on any two-lane road, or 85 mph or more on multiple-lane roads anywhere in the state.

This new law kicks in Jan. 1, a Friday, and it won’t take much rocket science to figure out that police and state troopers will be looking.

The fines collected for super speeder convictions will be used to fund Georgia’s trauma care hospital system where they say 60 percent of all trauma cases are crash-related. You can find more online about the Super Speeder Law.

Now, about those odd-looking bike helmets. How come they have to sit a foot and a half up on top of your head? Can’t they bring them down a bit to look more like hockey helmets?

You see a guy in a hockey helmet, you think: “Wow, uh, hockey player?” If you see him wearing a hockey helmet with a suit at work you think “Wow, crazy guy in a hockey helmet.”

You see a guy in a suit and bicycle helmet, you think: “Well, maybe if it had a dorsal fin or a set of Viking horns on it…”

Don’t get all sensitive about the helmet. I’m just poking at it some.

I have one when I ride — it’s got that dorsal fin…and Viking horns…and pictures of the cast of the 1979 movie “Breaking Away.”

Seriously, I’m just kidding. Don’t get all Quicksilver on me. I’m just saying those helmets could use some work. Looks like a small space-pod. That’s all.

37 comments Add your comment

Z

December 11th, 2009
8:19 pm

Instead of focusing on super speeder laws, we should be introducing legislation to require more difficult testing on the elderly to maintain a license over the age of about 70. Get out of the way, grandma!

Producer

December 11th, 2009
8:52 pm

I’m sorry to see cops being turned into revenue collectors. I know the majority of them hate it. Basically, it is harassment of citizens who are really doing nothing wrong. Studies show that speed isn’t a major problem. Everyone speeds. Everyone. Generating the anticipated revenue is no harder than shooting fish in a barrel. I’m former law enforcement and I resent the fact that cops are being used in this way.

jabster

December 11th, 2009
9:19 pm

If this is like every other add-on charge to tickets, the cause designated for the money (trauma centers) won’t see a single nickel of the money. Of all of the ticket surcharges passed since they were allowed, not one cause has gotten the money–it’s all wound up in the general fund.

Watch people not drive that fast–and trauma still goes wanting for money. And watch the traffic courts get clogged with people wanting to cut a deal with the prosecutor or subpoena every written record of the arresting officer short of his grades in kindergarten.

Get ready for some serious court pay, Officer.

WestOfAthens

December 11th, 2009
9:38 pm

True, so true. Everyone speeds, agreed. Speed should never be the issue if one is familiar with it’s surroundings. Heck, i know when to slow down when going into that curve. Defensive driving is key and a huge thing not to ignore. It is the young (inexperienced) and the old (weary reflexes) that hinders the true license bearers.

Will

December 11th, 2009
10:43 pm

Steve, graduating High School from another state that required Drivers Ed(6 hours classroom 6 hours behind the wheel on the road & paid for by student) to qualify for a drivers permit, I am amazed we don’t have more roadside memorials for teenage drivers. What is Georgia and its parents thinking? I would have no problem at all not allowing a drivers license until a High School diploma or GED is earned. And don’t anyone bring up farm kids. How many farm kids do you know driving tractors in Metro Atlanta.

Pi$$onaDawg

December 12th, 2009
12:46 am

New cars can do 100mph easily and be safe. People are the problem. Charging more for the ticket ain’t the answer. Why pay it? Half the Illegals driving don’t have insurance or a license so why should I.

Bill

December 12th, 2009
9:10 am

Why are all of you so in love with speed? If you do 80 instead of 60, how much sooner do you arrive? I am disturbed by the notion that it is not really wrong because everyone does it.
Someone suggested that speed is not really a problem, and there may be some merit to this. However, differences in speed can be a big problem. If everyone were following the law on the perimeter for example, then everyone would be going between 45 and 55. A ten mile an hour difference is pretty easy to handle. But, the reality is we have some drivers doing 90, and a few hapless citizens obeying the law, not to mention people trying to merge. That is a difference of 35 miles per hour, and that is incredibly dangerous. Drag yourself out of bed five minutes earlier.

I have no real objections to the super speeder laws. However, we probably would gain more by enforcing existing laws. There have been times in this country when we enforced speed limits. Years ago, I lived in North Carolina during a gas crisis, and he governor would publicly warn everyone on holiday weekends that he had instructed state troopers to write up anyone doing even one mile over the speed limit. (I know they can’t really do that). But, you rarely saw anyone doing more than 60.

I am sure that some of you will argue that, because of our congestion, traffic would slow down even more if everyone did 55. I think the opposite it true. If you are doing 75-80, and you approach a slower car, you hit your brakes. Then EVERYONE behind you hits their brakes in a ripple effect. That is why traffic slows way down, then speeds up a little, then slows down. If everyone drove between 50 and 60, traffic would flow much more smoothly and if we all take a deep breath and turn on some tunes, then our collective blood pressure will go down as well.

Having said all that, yes I speed. On Atlanta freeways I usually drive between 10 and 5 miles an hour over the speed limit. For the reasons described above, this is for defensive reasons. I would prefer to relax and do the speed limit, but I am afraid of being run over.

KennesawDave

December 12th, 2009
10:04 am

I have to echo what most are saying in here. Speeding isn’t the problem. Inexperience and deminished reflexes are. A perfect example is the 82 year old woman that took out a 5 yr old as she got off the bus this week.(I hope the family sues the hell out of her and her family by the way. But I digress) Speeding tickets have always been about producing extra revenue for the state,county, city, ect. The super speeder law though is absurd and if any of you remember was discussed and put together around the same time that Grady was going broke because of God aweful management and thier misuse of funds. This is just another bailout program.

Lee

December 12th, 2009
10:43 am

Super speeder law is nothing more than politicians trying to look as though they are actually doing something about a problem.

One reason trauma care centers (i.e. emergency rooms) are in financial trouble because all the illegal aliens use them for free primary health care. A better solution would be to charge the country of origin $10,000 for each illegal alien we catch (we could just take it from the foreign aid we give them) and redirect this money to the local jurisdiction.

Presto, two problems solved!!

KennesawDave

December 12th, 2009
11:11 am

Damn you’re good Lee!

jabster

December 12th, 2009
11:47 am

Here’s the sneaky thing–if you read the law, the extra $200 isn’t assessed and collected by the court. Rather, the state sends you a bill in the mail, after you pay the fine and think you’re done. This is an obvious attempt to trick people to not take this into account when they decide whether or not to pay the fine or fight it.

If you don’t pay the bill, they yank your license and you have to pay an extra $50, even if the bill got lost in the mail (the bills go first-class mail, not certified etc.).

Sunni Perdue should be ashamed of himself.

jabster

December 12th, 2009
11:51 am

@Bill: Where I see this being an issue is on rural interstates, where the speed limit is 70 (and 80 in some other states, I might add) and the regular flow of traffic can easily top 85 and trigger this extra surcharge. Not on the Perimeter, where you’re lucky to do 70 anymore.

jabster

December 12th, 2009
11:52 am

@Bill: Where I see this being a problem is on the rural interstates where the speed limit is 70 (and as high as 80 in some other states, I might add) and the regular flow of traffic can top 85. Not on the Perimeter, where you really have to be over-driving the flow of traffic to do 85.

Scott

December 12th, 2009
2:43 pm

I agree with many of the posts. Speed is not the problem. I live in Augusta and the problem on county roads and interstates here is elderly people getting into the left lane and going extremely slow. You have to zig and zag to get around them, thus creating hazards to those behind you.

jopar

December 12th, 2009
3:02 pm

Bill, if you drive 80 instead of 60 you get there 25% quicker. Maybe Will was onto something with those education requirements!
OK, I know the question was rhetorical.
Seriously, though, people staying in the fast lane when they aren’t passing is a huge problem and never enforced.I’ve heard that this is a huge no-no on the autobahn, it should be everywhere.

Realitymom

December 12th, 2009
3:50 pm

Stop picking on the young and the old. One you once were and hopefully one you will become. Treat all of the young as if they were YOUR CHILD and the old and is theey were YOUR MOM OR DAD.

Slow down and follow the laws that we already have. Strictly enforce keep right, use turn signals, head lights and following to closely. Get people without licenses and insurance OFF THE ROAD. Let the illegals and the law breakers pay the fines (ie…optional tax) to support the trauma centers and law enforcement.

Chris Broe

December 12th, 2009
5:02 pm

There is a law that the faster you go on the highway, the longer your wife will take to pee when you stop and the two even out. Just do 9mph over the speed limit and you’ll get there soon enough, and the rest of us won’t have to watch out for you.

Another law states that if there is a live Nascar race on television, then traffic all over the country goes 15mph faster on every type of road, including the driveway, on average, cancelling out the extreme ends of the spectrum, and of course, discounting those trapped behind mopeds.

s

December 12th, 2009
11:34 pm

Anyone that says speed isn’t a factor is lying to themselves. Remember, “55 you live. 65 you die.” It’s still true. It is easier to manage a vehicle at 555 vs 85. How can anyone say differently with a straight face?

s

December 12th, 2009
11:35 pm

LawDog

December 13th, 2009
7:42 am

I can’t really speak for the Urban areas, but out here in the rural areas, the cops (I used to be one) are more guilty of unnecessarily exceeding the speed limit than the average citizen. The police in rural Georgia, most especially, fly up and down these two-lane roads with reckless abandon, yet spend a great deal of time running speed detection devices to produce revenue. YES – it IS a matter of revenue production disquised as “performance productivity”.

I hate to admit that I was probably just as guilty of this attitude of an “inherent right” to exceed the speed limit, whether I had a legitimate reason to or not. The reality is, you pin on the badge, slide behind the wheel of a super-charged Crown Vic, and the mind/body goes into Nascar mode !!

What’s really frightening, especially out here in the “boonies” is that the police, after arresting somebody, seem to think it’s imperative that they get the offender to the jail as quickly as possible – again flying like a rocket, and putting themselves, the public, and the arestee at risk. It’s a mind-set. The only reason you don’t see that as frequently in the “city” is because of the traffic volume.

Super-speeder laws are, as others have indicated, just another way to drag money out of the general public, while the police violate every restrictive traffic law on the books without justification.

My Reflexes Are Better Than Yours

December 13th, 2009
8:17 am

This is in answer to “Z”…….Z, I’m that age and I’ll guarantee that I can drive better and have better reflexes than you. One of these days, if you’re lucky and one of those 70’s driver’s don’t spot you trying to cross the Interstate on foot :) , you might just become one of those “overage” drivers but, be careful now, hear.

Granny T.

December 13th, 2009
2:10 pm

As an 80* driver who lives alone,I need groceries,to go to the doctor and other necessities with no one to take me here and there. I drive the speed limit and I wish you would get off my bumper! I drive in the left lane when I know that I will have to make a left turn soon. So try driving with common sense and live longer.

Jeff

December 13th, 2009
9:11 pm

Mr. Rose,

FYI. the money from Super Speeder, as has been said, will go directly to the General Fund – not trauma care.

What hasn’t been discussed is the reason: In Georgia, no revenue stream can be earmarked for any particular budget item without passing a Constitutional Amendment. The CA has not been passed (honestly, I’m not sure if one was even introduced into the General Assembly this year), and therefore all monies generated by Super Speeder go directly to the General Fund.

Z

December 14th, 2009
7:54 am

Name your contest, grandma. The only thing you can beat me at is a prune eating contest!

Z

December 14th, 2009
7:56 am

@ My Reflexes are Better than yours….You also assume I’m uneducated/underemployed based on my opinion and observations. You’re funny; as an old coot I assume you’re slow, love the price is right, and smell like nutmeg. Make sure your orderly gives you all the right meds this morning, we don’t want you peeing on the floor again in arts and crafts!

BIOMASS

December 14th, 2009
11:50 am

I agree about the bicycle helmets. Are they designed to protect only if you are dropped upside down on the top of your head? What about the front, back and side parts?

BiteMe

December 14th, 2009
2:39 pm

Does the “super speeder law” include the cops that fly down Deerfield Parkway in Alpharetta at over 60 MPH in a 35 MPH zone?!?! Make me SICK that they will pull you over for going 37 MPH on that road, but I get run over almost daily while trying to cross the street with my dog because these cops think the law is above them.

Yup. That seems fair.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

December 15th, 2009
12:59 am

This is a response to Lee’s comment that we should just tax illegal immigrants when they’re caught driving–and then take it out of the foreign aid!!1!

1) The United States spends less per capita on foreign aid than any other country in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. For instance, in 1995, a family in Denmark paid the equivalent of $900 in foreign aid through taxes, while families in our “generous” country paid roughly $44. And that includes “military aid.” One percent of the U.S. budget is spent on foreign aid. One percent is shameful for such a wealthy nation.

2) The reason illegal immigrants are here is because BUSINESSES hire them. If you really want to tackle the problem of illegal immigration, then fine the heck out of BUSINESSES caught hiring illegals. Can you really blame people who are hungry for seeking better lives for their families? Sure, if you’re completely without heart or conscience. Sure. Can you blame American businesses for wanting to take shortcuts around appropriate taxes and wages? Sure, if you have a modicum of sense.

3) If you’re not willing to tap businesses for hiring illegals, then stop being stupid. License them for driving so they can have insurance. See, those are the choices. 1) Cut off demand, ’cause you ain’t cutting off supply. 2) Accept that they’re here and you aren’t willing to cut off demand, and stop being foolish about refusing to license them, forcing them to drive without insurance if they’re going to drive at all.

The world would be a better place if everyone treated themselves the way Republicans think the world should be treated (i.e., heavy emphasis on personal responsibility) and if everyone treated everyone else the way Democrats think the world should be treated (i.e., heavy emphasis on grace and the social safety net).

Ref

December 16th, 2009
12:05 pm

Speed kills but not in the manner our legislature wants us to believe. Ban the use of cell phones while driving unless using a hands free device. Ban use of cell phones period for anyone under the age of 21. Get off the elderly. One day you will be there and your freedom will be taken away when your driver’s license is. I do agree with them having to be tested more frequently.

Wally

December 16th, 2009
12:48 pm

Bite Me, you must have been BITTEN by a STUPID BUG. You won’t receive a ticket for going “37″ in a 35 (MPH) zone unless you have committed another infraction. In your case, we all know what that infraction is….

Drakie Jordan

December 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

I concur with most here, However we need the cops we have left doing more constructive things where human rights are actually violated since we (Georgia keeps laying them off) and as for the money raised it will get mishandled by the big wigs as usual, and they wonder why they are in the mess they are in

jus me

December 16th, 2009
2:02 pm

wally, you have not been to alpharetta then.they do the same on north point pkwy in the morn rush hour.

Sandy Springs Guy

December 16th, 2009
2:24 pm

While I do not agree that an extra fine would do any good, I would like to reserve the right to issue my $200 bonus check directly to the trauma care. At least I know it would make to the intended recipient!

Pete

December 16th, 2009
6:20 pm

This is simply fund-raising. Troopers (or more likely, local sheriffs) can easily pick off a speeder on I-16. However, they will have great difficulty catching speeders on the downtown connector or I-285 because of the density of the traffic. And guess where the real danger from speeding is?

work with the po po

December 27th, 2009
6:31 pm

Georgia law states that you can not be ticketed for less than 10 over the speed limit by anyone other than Georgia State Patrol. If you have been cited for going over less than 10 then you need to be questioning the clerk of court for whichever jurisdiction it is that cited you. They have to be in a marked unit and visible for 500 feet to work traffic. But just because they have to give 9 miles over before they can cite you doesnt mean when they bust you for going 15 over you only get written for 6 because of the freebie 9…you get all 15. I say that because that seems to be a question asked quite often.

Now, Georgia State Patrol-aka GSP-aka Gods Special Police can hide in the tree tops and write you for one mile over if they choose. The free 9 over only applies to City and County po po.

John

December 28th, 2009
5:40 pm

Speed isn’t an issue, I think an issue as far as traffic is people in the passing lane that shouldn’t be there, cars being unsafe at even the speed limit, we all know there are plenty out there that shouldn’t be on the road period, bad drivers yet we can never get rid of them, which also consists of people doing well under the speed limit. You can’t just say well if everyone 50-60, because that will never happen, and if you can somehow manage to get everyone in safe vehicles to go 50-60 why not just get everyone to go 80+? There was a test in china that had a bunch of people drive in a set circle at a set speed and they still somehow manage to get congested, it just happens. Slow people stayed right that would eliminate so much of the issues. Also the rubberneckers never help. Personally I ride a sportbike and their built for speed, its a pain in the behind to go 50-60, their much more comfortable 80-100. And its not really all that unsafe because their built for that.

Then we all know the issues with officers just wanting to write tickets and dont obey the law themselves, I wish there would be enforcement on them to but I don’t see it happening. Heck I got arrested for doing 75-80 on a highway where I live, cop made up a lot of stuff that all got dropped, and on the way to jail he was doing that same speed in a 45!

The whole issue on elderly and young driving, for the young its moreso whats between their ears than anything else. But amongst all ages there will be bad drivers. I think there needs to be stricter license enforcement amongst all ages.

Then towards immigrants, just its an issue that will not be resolved any time soon. Why should the US have to pay so much towards them in all honesty, I have my own personal opinions but that aside why must they jump the border when they can go threw the proper processes and be legal? I also recall one of the presidents saying something about the people in poverty reproducing alot and the well off people not so much creating more people in poverty then successful people. I can’t remember the direct quote or anything so maybe someone can throw it in i don’t care. Not saying people in poverty wont be successful but 9 times outta 10 they will stay just as bad off as they are, and that’s hurting things. Also our country isn’t exactly rich so I don’t know where your getting that from, it is in so much debt. And just catching them is easier said then done because there are efforts to catch them.

Dan from Orlando

January 5th, 2010
2:13 am

Producer, it is good to see a law enforcement officer who agrees what is in the best interest of the people for a change instead of greedy and corrupt politicians. To be honest, I had thought very few law enforcement officers nowadays had any morals, and it is refreshing to see what lately has seemed to be all too rare. I too agree that officers should not be used to harass travelers who are, in reality, doing nothing wrong. In my opinion, the manner that state troopers, whether willingly or forcefully, are stealing money from travelers to be a violation of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. And I have been a victim of this racket several times, and every time, I was driving safely and responsibly and was not endangering any lives.

This new law claims to fund trauma centers. Hello? How many truly diabolical laws and events throughout history have been given a supposedly good purpose? All politicians except Ron Paul lie. This new “Super Speeder” law in Georgia reminds me of Larkhill in V for Vendetta. If the officers are truly being forced to write tickets against their will as Producer says (which I have no reason to disbelieve him), they are similar to Delia Surridge / Diane Stanton. There is still blood on their hands as they have indeed still committed a crime against humanity, but at least either (a) that was not their intention or (b) they had no choice in the matter. This “Super Speeder” law is a classic example of the old adage “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Or at least what they claim to be good intentions. Anyone who honestly thinks that this “Super Speeder” law (or speeding tickets in general) are for the purpose of safety and are NOT fueled by greed and corruption, then I have a bridge to sell you in New York.