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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    6

    Default School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of Georgia. My teenage daughter stayed about 30 minutes late at school and by the time she was leaving it didn't feel like 'school zone' time anymore - no students/cars leaving the school parking lots. She could not see that the yellow 'school zone' lights were still on as they are at the ends of the school zone facing outwards, and she was leaving the parking lot inside of the school campus. She started driving with the same speed as other drivers on the road and got pulled over for 43 on 25 (that road is normally 35 and 25 when the flashing lights are on). She wants to go to the court and try to explain what happen to a judge in hopes to have the points reduced. Does the fact the she could not see that the yellow lights were still flashing gives her any hope for reduced points? Or is it a typical situation for high school kids?

  2. #2

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    She should have been aware of the time. Go to court and try to work out a deal since this is double points and will cost you dearly in insurance for the next three years. Do not take a Nolo plea.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    6

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    Thank you very much for your reply. I have not even realized about double points. That's very bad news, as 18 over speed limit is 2 points. Does it mean it automatically turns into 4 points for school zone? I have not seen anything on the back of the court summons (if that's the right name for the letter we received) about points doubling for school zone ticket. It had a point table and also said that in Georgia for under-18 driver 4 points means suspended license. My daughter is 16. She can't even plea Nolo (or at least I have not seen it in the list of options - I've never dealt with the juvenile court before). Does it mean that she would automatically lose the license if we don't plea 'not guilty' and fight it? That would be terrible for her as she is actually a very careful driver and really needs to drive to get to school and activities. I have already warned her that she would have to pay us the difference between insurance premiums for the next few years, but I really don't want her to lose her license. Do you think we need a lawyer?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    If she told you she "was driving with the same speed as other drivers", she was most likely telling you something that wasn't true....whether she believes it or not. It would make me suspicious of some of the other details.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    6

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    Actually, I drive that same stretch of the road several times a day every day, and very rarely people drive there slower than 40mph (with speed limit 35) other than when school zone light are on, so I believe her. In the busy parts of Atlanta driving with a speed limit actually in not very safe as most of the drivers go about 5-10 miles over the limit, if not more. I can easily believe that when she merged into the traffic, people around her were moving in low 40s. This is not an excuse for speeding, and my daughter will be punished for this by paying the ticket and then paying higher insurance premiums out of her puny minimum wage salary at her part-time job, but as far as believing her, I do believe the story.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    Good...but, as you say, it's not going to affect the outcome. I just am always suspicious when someone is stopped for speeding when they're 'driving exactly the same speed as everyone else'. It defies common sense.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    She said that out of the 2 cars ahead of her one got flagged down too, and another kept going. It's just a matter of luck sometimes, as they cannot stop everyone if everyone on the road is speeding. They also probably dislike teenagers more than older people, etc. Anyway, what happened to the other cars is probably irrelevant to her case.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    First, I am not familiar with GA law. However, the problem, as I see it, is that she was speeding, regardless of the school zone. And GA is not the most friendly place to get a speeding ticket (or any other, for that matter, from what I understand from others on these forums). But, I think it's worth the time to try to get the "school zone" part removed -- along with the double penalties. I would go to the school and get a copy of their "bell schedule", showing the time that school lets out. Then take pictures from the point she exited the parking lot, proving that it's not possible to see if the lights ARE flashing. Taking the pictures at the EXACT time shown on the citation showing that there were NO students present would also help.

    I would present it like this: it's 30 minutes after school let out (according to the time on the citation and the bell schedule); you cannot see, for a fact, that the lights are still flashing (show the photos); and there were no students present to make you think that the school zone might still be in effect (again, the photos). You may still be found guilty of 7 over in a 35 zone, but that should be much easier in terms of points, fines, and insurance costs.

    I'd also seriously consider getting an attorney.

    Good luck,
    Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    Thanks, Barry. This is very useful! We will do everything you said, except that in Georgia the school year is over now, so the picture taken in exact time of the ticket doesn't really prove the fact that there were no students present. I can't help that one now, the students won't be back to school until mid-August.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: School Zone Speeding Ticket Leaving School

    Just wanted to post an update here - in case anyone has similar situation and reads this thread later.

    My daughter and I went to Juvenile Court this morning.

    On the bright side, everyone with a minor first time offense (like my daughter) was offered a chance to plea bargain and have a reduced points in exchange for community service and defensive driving class. So my daughter ended up with the 13mph over speed limit speeding ticket, which carries no points for insurance. But the ticket will still be on her driving record, and we had to pay $137 fee.

    On the down side, the prosecutor explained to my daughter that it would need to be at least 1.5 hour after school ended (not 30 minutes) before she can assume that school zone time is over when she is leaving the school parking lot. The fact that the flashing lights are not visible from the school exit is not an excuse.

    Bottom line: it was definitely worth going to court and not paying the fees in advance. Thank you everybody for your advice!

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