Georgia Enacts Speeding Ticket Tax

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
georgia enacts speeding ticket tax

Drivers in Georgia were hit for the first time last Friday with a new tax on speeding tickets designed to raise between $25 and $30 million in annual revenue for the general fund. The plan was modeled on the driver responsibility taxes in states like Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas. A similar plan in Virginia was so unpopular that legislators repealed the tax within six months and refunded all of the money that had been collected under the program.

Governor Sonny Perdue sold the plan as a tax that only hits “Super Speeders.” The levy first proposed by state officials, however, would have been imposed upon anyone who receives a citation that carries license points — no matter how minor — as is the practice in the states with so-called driver responsibility fees. For now, the legislature decided to limit the tax to those accused of driving over 85 MPH anywhere in Georgia or over 75 MPH on a two-lane road.

Those accused of such “super speeding” offenses will pay a hefty fine to the jurisdiction where the violation occurred. Within thirty days, the state’s motor vehicle department will mail a bill demanding a separate $200 payment. This secondary punishment must be paid within ninety days of conviction, as those who cannot afford the fee will have their license automatically suspended. Those who fail to receive the bill or suspension notice in the mail are out of luck because the new law does not require any effort on the part of the state to ensure the letter is actually received.

“No other notice shall be required to make the driver’s license suspension effective,” Georgia Code Section 40-6-189 states.

License suspension under the new law become even more lucrative by imposing a $100 “restoration fee” for license reinstatement. The bill also ups the reinstatement fee for other offenses to as much as $400. In Texas, for example, the speeding ticket tax generated over 1.5 million suspended licenses. Lawmakers in the Lone Star state were disappointed, however, by the amount of revenue this generated. It turns out that only about one-third of fee recipients were able to pay to regain their licenses. The remainder simply drove without a license or insurance.

View a copy of the law in a 75k PDF file at the source link below.

House Bill 160 (Georgia House of Representatives, 5/5/2009)

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  • Turbobeetle Turbobeetle on Jan 06, 2010

    If everybody looked for every speed limit sign they passed it would be more distracting to the driver then txting while driving. I know the answer to my problem... slow down.. and I have a lot, but I don't live in a perfect world where I'm always calm and able to watch speed limit signs and my gauges every second I'm driving. People get stressed, we get in hurries, we live in a world that is just, go! go! go! and then we get fined significantly when we do so which just adds to the stress. If speeding is such a "safety" issue than why don't your GPS warn you when your speeding???

    • Accs Accs on Jan 06, 2010

      Actually it does.. It shows you the speed listed... and your speed.. in CLOSE proxmitity

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Jan 06, 2010

    As soon as the option of a GPS-interfaced-cruise control is offered, I'm buying it no matter what the price! Soon as this feature, or a GPS-speed-limiter becomes standard on all vehicles, this tired safety v. tax debate will be forever laid to rest along with the potential for questionable use, misuse and abuse of the funds by public officials. (Also, speed limits will again be set by traffic engineers and not by the tax-man ... this probably means limits will be able to go up on the better roads.) Personally I can't wait.

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  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
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