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What Does Too Fast for Conditions Mean?

In order to maintain safety on the roads, there are a number of traffic violations that drivers must be constantly aware of. Even the speed limit, one of the most basic and constant regulations on the road, must be considered from a subjective perspective in the moment. Otherwise, a driver may be facing a “Too Fast for Conditions” violation from Georgia law enforcement. Any number of circumstances may be the source of this violation, and though this offense is a minor one, it can also predicate more serious charges. Understanding what Too Fast for Conditions means in Georgia is crucial to staying on the right side of the law.

WHAT IS TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS?

Too Fast for Conditions is a highly subjective violation that applies in a variety of different situations, dependent on particular circumstances. Georgia law states that “no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing.” The mentioned conditions can refer to any situation in which driving becomes more hazardous, such as severe weather, traffic, slippery roads or low visibility. Driving too fast in conditions like these may make it difficult for a driver to maintain control of their car; they may not be able to maneuver around obstacles in the road.

TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS ATTORNEY IN CUMMING, GA

“Conditions” do not necessarily need to be physically hazardous. In Georgia, law enforcement may also issue a citation for Too Fast for Conditions in the case of a driver not slowing down appropriately when approaching an intersection or failing to maintain their lane due to driving too fast on a curve. In this case, the “conditions” refer to the situation the driver is in, as opposed to external conditions like the weather. Even if no other traffic violation is observed, a driver can receive a Too Fast for Conditions violation when there is inclement weather.

THE VALUE OF A TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS VIOLATION

Although Too Fast for Conditions is a violation in its own right, it is often used when an attorney is trying to get a more serious traffic offense reduced. Too Fast for Conditions is considered a “Basic Rules Violation”; in Georgia, these violations do not need to be reported to the Department of Driver Services. Therefore, a Too Fast for Conditions violation will not cause points to be assessed to a Georgia driver. If a driver is charged with a speeding ticket or another traffic ticket, an experienced traffic attorney may be able to argue the charge down to Too Fast for Conditions. This is also a good option for out of state drivers who have received a traffic ticket in Georgia.

TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS AND CDL DRIVERS

The exception to this strategy is CDL drivers. Although Georgia court clerks will not send a Too Fast for Conditions violation for a regular driver to the Department of Driver Services, all violations against CDL drivers are reported to the Department of Driver Services. There is a higher standard for those who are driving commercially. If you are a CDL driver, your attorney will need to fight the Too Fast for Conditions charge for you.

TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS AND DUI

Too Fast for Conditions can also often go hand in hand with a DUI charge. Once a law enforcement officer has pulled a driver over for any moving violation, they are within their rights to investigate for any additional violations. The driver can be arrested if drugs are visible “in plain view,” and the officer may also start investigating if the driver appears to be impaired, requesting a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. A DUI is a very serious charge that can result in license suspension, community service, fines or even jail time, and certainly impacts your driving record permanently.

Whether your only violation was driving too fast in poor weather or if the original violation was followed with a DUI or other more severe offense, the best way to protect your ability to drive is to seek out the counsel of an experienced Georgia DUI attorney.