Passing in a No Passing Zone
There are several types of road regulations in the state of Georgia about which motor vehicle operators must be aware including “no passing” zones. No passing zones were established for the benefit of oncoming vehicles traveling in the opposite direction as well as to protect the safety of motor vehicle drivers on the road who are passed. Motor vehicle drivers who violate the prohibition against passing in a no passing zone without a lawful exception must understand that these charges can result in significant penalties and create tremendous accidents that can severely injure other motor vehicle drivers, passengers, property, and motor vehicles. If you are involved in an accident involving a no passing zone, it is a wise idea to contact the legal team at Yeargan, Barber & Kert.
Applicable Georgia Law for Passing In A No Passing Zone
There are several applicable laws in the state of Georgia concerning no passing zones that motor vehicle drivers in the state of Georgia must understand. The Georgia Department of Transportation and local authorities are tasked with the responsibility of determining what sections of roads in Georgia are particularly dangerous for individuals overtaking or passing vehicles and are also granted the authority to assign no passing zones. No passing zones must be clearly marked by a solid barrier line that is placed on the right hand side of dotted lines that are located in the middle of the road. Drivers are strictly prohibited from passing these signs.
Exceptions to No Passing Zone Regulations
Nearly all drivers in the state of Georgia are prohibited from driving on the right side of the road, but there are some notable exceptions to these no-passing restrictions. When an obstruction exists in the road that makes it necessary to drive on the left of the center of a no passing zone line, motor vehicle operators are permitted to do so provided that the driver yields the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the oncoming lane of traffic. These restrictions also do not apply to motor vehicle drivers who turning left into or from alleys, driveways, or private roads.
Situations in which Passing is Legal
Motor vehicle drivers are not lawfully permitted to pass a motor vehicle unless this passing occurs outside of a no passing zone and the left side is visibly free from any oncoming traffic for enough of a distance that the motor vehicle operator can make the turn on the road without being overtaken. If the passing is on a two lane road then the overtaking must occur before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle and the motor vehicle driver must return to the right hand lane as soon as is practicably possible or safe enough to reasonably do so.
Passing someone on the left is much more common than passing a motor vehicle operator who is traveling on the right hand side of the road. Provided that a motor vehicle operator is traveling outside of a no passing zone, individuals are permitted to pass on the right side only when the vehicle overtaken is immediately preparing to make a left turn or when a motor vehicle operator is traveling on a street or highway that contains two more same direction lanes.
Consequences of Passing In A No Passing Zone
A citation for illegal passing in a no passing zone results in motor vehicle drivers facing three points on their driver’s license in addition to fines. The accumulation of greater than fifteen points on an individual’s license within a twenty four month period frequently results in motor vehicle drivers facing substantial charges. Insurance rates for many motor vehicle operators increase after citations for no passing. If an accident resulted from the illegal passing, motor vehicle drivers can also risk being charged in a civil court concerning the accident for any damages that were directly caused by the accident.
Defenses to Illegal Passing Charges
There are a limited number of ways in which motor vehicle operators are able to successfully defend against illegal passing charges.
If motor vehicle operators were unaware that the passing occurred in a no passing zone due to weather conditions, a strong argument can likely be raised.
Strong legal defenses also exist when the appropriate county or agency has failed to adequately maintain the road making it difficult for motor vehicle operators to determine whether a no passing zone existed.
For individuals who are charged with illegal passing who claim that poor maintenance conditions made it uncertain that the road location in question was a no passing zones, drivers will be unable to raise successful defenses if the passing occurred on a hill or at a location involving a blind spot.
A third defense exists concerning obstructions in the road. These obstructions include accidents that might occur immediately in front of a motor vehicle operator and cause the driver to swerve in order to avoid an accident.
Contact a Skilled Attorney
For motor vehicle drivers in the state of Georgia who are charged with passing in a no passing zone, it is often a wise idea to retain the services of strong and capable legal counsel like the team at Yeargan, Barber & Kert. Our firm understands the applicable law in these situations and knows how to best create strong legal defenses. Our firm is always available to help defend motor vehicle drivers in the state of Georgia.