Georgia approves new limits for locals' ticket revenue

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 5/12/2015

A new law set to take effect this summer in Georgia makes changes to existing rules to curtail speed traps.

Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, said the changes are needed to help ensure the state does not leave any loopholes for departments to circumvent the state’s anti-speed-trap law.

Georgia law now limits to 40 percent how much revenue departments can keep from speeding tickets. In place since the early 2000s, the rule states that anything above that amount could result in the department losing their ability to use speed detection devices.

However, speeding tickets issued for exceeding the posted limit by at least 17 mph do not count toward that percentage.

As of July 1, the threshold will be increased to at least 20 mph.

In addition, the amount of revenue local or county departments could keep would be capped at 35 percent.

Frank Rotondo, executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, has said that lowering the threshold by 5 percent is appropriate. He recently testified that 40 percent “is a high percentage that I suspect most legitimate police agencies could easily lower to 35 percent without it impacting the quality of speed enforcement they do.”

The bill signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, SB134, also requires agencies to report to the state each year the amount of money they receive from speeding tickets.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Georgia, click here.

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