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  1. #1

    Default Improper Lane Change vs Failure to Maintain Lane

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Georgia.

    I was in lane next to the left turn lane. The left turn is one I make often. I turned on my left turn blinker, looked in my left mirror and saw no one. I suddenly thought something had dropped out from under the front lane of the car and do not remember actually starting the turn into the left turn lane. I ended up with the edge of my left front in the right front of a car to my left I was going very slowly because the light was red. The detective who came out had me turn my wheel (which was bent) hard to the right to disengage from the two cars and had us both turn left and into a parking area. The first thing that she asked me when she got to the car was whether I was taking medication. I told her no. After talking to me and the other driver she came back and asked if I had seen the other car in the turn lane. I had not. She told me that I turned into his car which was sitting waiting to make the left turn. I received a citation for improper lane change code 40648 with a court date and time in January. I was told I could pay the fine on line before that date if I didn't want to contest the citation.

    Today I received a letter from the county court with a new date in February stating offense was 93 - failure to maintain lane with no code number and stating that I had to go to court.

    Are these two offense one and the same? I don't see that they are when I google them. Also why might the letter from the court state that I have to appear in court with no option to pay a fine on line?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Improper Lane Change vs Failure to Maintain Lane

    "Failure to maintain lanes" suggests that the charge is being specified as a violation of OCGA Sec. 40-6-48(1), the same statute, but a specific subsection of the statute:
    Quote Quoting OCGA Sec. 40-6-48. Driving on roadways laned for traffic.
    Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent with this Code section, shall apply:

    (1) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety;

    (2) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes, and provides for two-way movement of traffic, with two lanes in one direction, a vehicle being driven in a continuous or center lane shall have the right of way when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction;

    (3) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction when such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for making a left turn, or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction that the vehicle is proceeding and such allocation is designated by official traffic-control devices or road striping;

    (4) Official traffic-control devices may be erected directing specified traffic, including but not limited to buses or trucks, to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device; and

    (5) Official traffic-control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.
    I have no access to the ticket or to your driving history, so I am reluctant to speculate about the mandatory court appearance. It could have to do with factors not known to us, and could even be a mistake by the court. Contact the court to see if you can pay the fine in advance of the court date, if that's your preference.

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