COVINGTON -- The Governor's Office for Highway Safety is reminding motorists that a new state law will go into effect New Year's Day that increases penalties for speeding, according to a press release from spokesman Jim Shuler.
"Georgia drivers should mark that date on their calendars and put a sticky note next to their keys," Shuler said. "Any high-risk drivers who make a habit of ignoring posted speed limits will be the first to feel the pinch of higher state fees on their wallets."
Called the Super Speeder Law, HB160 adds on another $200 state fee for any driver convicted of speeding at 75 mph or more on any two-lane roads or 85 and over anywhere in Georgia.
"Those new state fees will be in addition to any local fines already in effect in the jurisdiction where the speeding offense occurs," Shuler warned. "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."
Shuler pointed out that after Jan. 1, those convicted of speeding and who have been notified they are being charged under the Super Speeder Law will be responsible for making two separate payments. The fine for the speeding conviction will be paid in the jurisdiction that issued the speeding ticket and the Super Speeder fee will be paid to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The DDS will notify Super Speeder offenders of the imposition of a fee imposed under this new law within 30 days after DDS receives a qualifying ticket and notice of conviction. The notice will be sent by first-class mail to the address shown on department records and will include information about paying the fee online, by mail or in person at one of the DDS' customer service centers.
Failure to pay the Super Speeder fee will result in an additional charge of $50 and suspension of the offender's driving license.
The fees collected under the new law will be used to help fund Georgia's trauma care hospital system. Sixty percent of all trauma care patients are victims of car crashes.
Shuler said drivers need to remember there are safety reasons for posted speed limits.
"Any time motorists drive at illegal speeds, they put themselves, their passengers and others at tremendous risk," he said, pointing out the following:
* Crash forces double on impact with every 10 mph increase in speed above 50, increasing the chance of serious injury or death;
* Speed increases the likelihood of crashing and increases the severity of the crash once it occurs;
* Speed reduces the amount of available time needed to avoid a crash;
* Speed extends the distance traveled before a vehicle can stop and increases the distance the vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a hazard.
Shuler said there were 15,753 crashes attributed to speed in 2008, with 7,187 of those resulting in injuries and with 309 fatalities.
For more information on the Super Speeder law, go to the Web at www.superspeedergeorgia.org or www.dds.ga.gov at "Save Time with DDS Internet Services."