"Super speeder" legislation could be a life saver - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

"Super speeder" legislation could be a life saver

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January 14, 2008

Albany -- They're excuses many drivers have used before.

"I'm late for work. I have a doctors appointment. I wasn't paying attention. It just got away from me," says Trooper First Class Andrew McKenzie with the Georgia State Patrol.

But those excuses given to state troopers and law enforcement officers by speeders they've pulled over don't stand in the way of the danger they bring to the roadways.

"Speeding leads to crashes, and crashes lead to fatalities," said McKenzie.

In 2006, over 1,700 people were killed in car wrecks in Georgia. That prompted Governor Sonny Perdue to introduce the "super speeder" legislation in 2007.

If passed this year, speeding fines will be increased for anyone caught driving 85 miles per hour or more on any road in Georgia, or 75 miles or higher on a two lane highway.

Trooper McKenzie admits he's seen his fair share of speeders. "In North Georgia, I saw some triple digits. Down here, I haven't seen any triple digits. However, I've seen some above 80 in the Albany area that we cover."

Tickets for those speeds could result in tacked on fines upwards of $200.00. But while the higher fines outlined in the bill would hopefully save lives by slowing drivers down, the estimated $25 to 30 million earned from super speeder fines would go towards Georgia's trauma care network, which is in dire need of funding.

Either way, those that patrol the roadways just want drivers to slow down.

"There's no excuse. Everyone know what the speed limit is. And we need the drivers to obide by those speed laws,"McKenzie said.

Excuses aside in 2008, stiff fines could be coming to those that put the petal to the metal.