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Old 12-21-2009, 09:57 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,032 times
Reputation: 12

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I live in Atlanta, GA, and I just got cited for impeding traffic flow by riding (my scooter) too slow -- 35 mph in a 60 mph -- on GA-400S in Alpharetta (minimum speed 40 mph). The ticket doesn't mention a fine but has set a court date in February 2010 at the (an?) Alpharetta Municipal Court. This is the first time I've been cited for anything and I have these questions:

(i) What fine can I expect?

(ii) The charge is almost certainly bogus. I am quite sure I was between 40 and 45 mph (I frequently looked at the speedometer because I knew I was dangerously close to the legal limit), but it's barely possible I dipped below 40 momentarily. Anyway, the reason I was going slower than usual (that is, 50 mph) was that my scooter was shaking and wobbling -- the right side of the handlebar, specifically -- so I was finding the speed at which it would go away (which has worked before).

I was "paced" at 35 mph, the ticket says. I'm fairly sure the officer just made up the 35 mph for the following two reasons: (a) The first thing he said to me was that my scooter was not fast enough for the highway and was unsafe and that I had to get off it. Only later, after I said I had been going between 40 and 45 mph, did he mention the 35 mph, almost as an afterthought. He also seemed thrown when I told him that the scooter's max speed was 60 mph. (b) After the citation, he forced me off the highway, though the scooter is highway legal.

Clearly he was prejudiced that the scooter HAD to be going too slow: would he have forced a car off the highway for the same charge?

Please advise me on the course I should take. I don't think the judge will buy the officer-misled-because-of-preconceived-notions defense. Should I just argue that I was going slow to avoid the wobble, which endagered my safety, as the law allows (see below)? Please help.

I don't suppose this is relevant, but the officer was riding a white BMW motorcycle (and had a white helmet) and I had passed him just a few minutes before I got pulled over, talking to another guy in a car in the shoulder that he had pulled over (probably citing). As I passed I saw him look at me (or in my general direction), but thought nothing of it.

I am going to have my scooter checked out tomorrow. I can probably get some sort of evidence that the scooter indeed had the problem (I suspect one of wheels is not balanced -- we'll see). I did tell the officer about the wobble Will that help any?

-----

40-6-184 (2b) Whenever the commissioner of public safety or the commissioner of transportation or local authorities determine on the basis of any engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a road under their respective jurisdictions impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, such commissioners jointly, or such local authorities, may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation, and that limit shall be effective when posted upon fixed or variable signs.

Last edited by joechuck; 12-21-2009 at 10:01 PM.. Reason: Forgot to add this piece of information
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:19 AM
 
278 posts, read 1,099,978 times
Reputation: 266
If the scooter can do 60...then on the expressway you should do 60. If it has a wobbily wheel it is just unsafe on probably any road, let alone a highway. Probably if its anything less than a 200cc you shouldn't be on 400. Take hwy 9.

I love scooters, but that is just way way too slow for that road!...50 is too slow for that road...even in a car!
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:21 AM
 
80 posts, read 350,325 times
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There should be a phone number on the ticket that you can call to find out the fine. It's a traffic ticket, they are payable in advance of court. And yes, they would pull over a car that was going 35mph, if only to find out if the driver needed a tow instead of attempting that crazy highway.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:47 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 36,262,305 times
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Anything, be it a car, motorcycle, scooter, or albatross, doing even 50 mph on 400 is impeding traffic and creating an unsafe conditions for everyone- there's too many Nascar-wannabees out there. I'd seriously consider alternate routes if you're going to ride a scooter and plan to live a long life, I'm sorry to say.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Odessa, FL
2,218 posts, read 4,347,859 times
Reputation: 2942
I once rode a bicycle on GA 400!

But the road was closed to automobiles at the time.

Hospitality Highway Century
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:26 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,032 times
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@cmills
The citation only gives the address of the court: 12624 Broadwell Rd, Alpharetta GA 30004. No phone number is mentioned. Nor is there a fine mentioned anywhere.

Anybody have any idea what defense I should present? Please remember that the posted minimum speed is 40 mph.

Last edited by joechuck; 12-22-2009 at 05:29 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
8,977 posts, read 17,438,169 times
Reputation: 4000
Quote:
Originally Posted by joechuck View Post
@cmills
The citation only gives the address of the court: 12624 Broadwell Rd, Alpharetta GA 30004. No phone number is mentioned. Nor is there a fine mentioned anywhere.

Anybody have any idea what defense I should present? Please remember that the posted minimum speed is 40 mph.
I would surely skip the part about your vehicle not being capable of smooth travel at the minimum speed. It could go something like 'I can normally maintain highway speeds but just as I passed the LEO, my scooter developed this shimmy and I was about to exit ASAP.'

After 28 years in Atlanta and seeing 400 go from a drag strip to congested highway to congested drag strip, I would have to agree with those recommendations to stay off the Hospitality Highway. (This comes from a former owner of 6 motorcycles) Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:11 PM
 
1,817 posts, read 4,905,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joechuck View Post
@cmills


Anybody have any idea what defense I should present?
I would say the only thing dumber than going 40 MPH on GA-400 would be to seek legal advice on city data.

Not to mention in another post you mentioned that it is quite possible that you dipped below 40 MPH. You just admitted that the ticket was warranted.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:24 PM
 
13,975 posts, read 25,815,937 times
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Here is the number for the Alpharetta court: 678-297-6250. Hopefully someone there can answer your questions.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:48 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,032 times
Reputation: 12
@Mattie: Thanks!
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