Disregarding stop signs means failing to come to a full stop and follow the rules of the road. It is typically a misdemeanor in Georgia, and penalties include fines, points on your driving record, and rarely, jail time.
Making a Complete Stop at Stop Signs
According to Georgia Code § 40-6-72, when you come upon a stop sign while driving, you must make a complete stop before a crosswalk, intersection, or marked line, depending on how the stop is marked. This also applies to solid or flashing red lights. If you do not follow this law, a police officer can pull you over and cite you for disregarding stop signs.
Turning After Stopping at a Red Light
There are specific laws drivers must understand when it comes to turns at red lights. For example, although you can make a right turn at a red light in Georgia (unless it’s otherwise marked), you must still make a complete stop before getting ready to turn.
When turning left from a one-way street onto another one-way street, Georgia drivers can make a left turn at a red light—only after making a full stop first. This is assuming the driver is following right-of-way laws and that the intersection is not marked otherwise.
Penalties for Disregarding Stop Signs
In Georgia, stop sign violations are typically treated as misdemeanor offenses resulting in fines and points on your driving record.
Fines for Stop Sign Violations
The fine for disregarding stop signs or red lights is usually around $200 to $250, but misdemeanor fines can be up to $1,000. Punishment for a misdemeanor can also include up to 12 months of jail time, but jail time is very rare for traffic violations.
Driving Record Points
A conviction for disregarding stop signs or red lights often adds three points to your driving record. However, you might have the option to avoid these points by taking and completing a defensive driving course. There is typically a significant fee to take one of these courses, but it’s worth it to keep your driving record clean.
It’s best to avoid points on your driving record as much as possible. If you rack up too many, your license will get suspended. If you are not sure how many points you have on your driving record, you can request a copy of your driving history through the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
Higher Insurance Rates
Additional points on your driving record after disregarding stop signs usually leads to higher insurance rates. Your insurance company will see you as more of a liability, thus increasing your monthly premium.
Right Light Camera Violations
If you run a red light and it’s caught on a traffic camera, the penalties are much less. A red light camera ticket is a civil violation, not a misdemeanor, with a fine of $70. It also will not add points to your driving record.
Injured in a Car Accident? We Can Help
Poor driving choices, such as disregarding stop signs, lead to car accidents in Georgia every day. If you were hurt because of another driver’s actions, you should not have to pay for your damages. John Foy & Associates can help.
Call us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation to discuss your legal options and how we can assist. Contact us at (404) 400-4000 or online today.