Beginning the first of the year speeding will cost Georgians more than ever when the Super Speeder Law goes into effect.
Adopted by the Georgia House of Representatives in March, the new law will tack on an additional $200 for drivers who go 85 mph or more on four-lane roads and interstate highways and for those driving 75 mph or more on a two-lane road. The cost will be in addition to what the county charges for their ticket. The additional money would go to help the 15 trauma centers in the state’s network. According to Dr. Dennis Ashley, chair of the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission and the director of the trauma unit at Medical Center of Central Georgia, the group of hospitals are in desperate need of the funding.
"The folks that are using the trauma system most are the folks that are driving the fastest," Ashley said, "and this extra tax or burden is on them, so I think that's the fairest way it could be done."
According to Ashley, nearly 60 percent of all trauma center patients are there because of crash-related injuries. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has said that they expect the new law to bring in roughly $23 million a year, but that approximately $80 million is needed to fund the trauma system in such a way that it would expand to give all Georgians access to trauma care should they need it.
"Under the provisions of the new Georgia law, any driver convicted of violating HB160 will now be classified by the state as a ‘Super Speeder’ and subject to an additional fee," according to the governor’s office. "The new ‘Super Speeder Law’ is designed to get tough on high-risk drivers who’ve been endangering other motorists and ignoring warnings to slow down. On average, there’s a speed-related death a day in Georgia."
Failure to pay the Super Speeder fee will result in an extra $50 fee and the suspension of the speeder’s license.
"These new fees will save lives in another way," according to the governor’s office. "… Now for the first time, ‘Super Speeders’ will help pay for the hospital beds where their crash victims are being treated."
In other traffic news:
According to Newton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Randy Downs, the NCSO Traffic Unit will be out in force to conduct multiple roadblocks during the holiday season.
"We will be on the roads in an effort to suppress drunk drivers, people driving on suspended licenses and to watch for seatbelt violations," he said. "We will be conducting roadblocks throughout the entire county starting Wednesday through Sunday."