Everything You Wanted to Know about Driving in the Gore in Georgia
Most Americans think of gore as bloody scenes in movies and tv shows. However, the term gore is also used to describe the portion of the road between the entrance ramp and the lanes of the highway. Furthermore, many people are unaware of the danger that driving in the gore poses and are even less aware that it is a crime. The Law Office of Richard Lawson and his team of Georgia Traffic Attorneys will work with you to fight a charge of driving in the gore. Remember a charge is not the same as a conviction so it is crucial to retain legal representation from the very beginning.
The term gore means “the area of convergence between two lanes of traffic.“ In other words, it is the divider between a highway lane and either an entrance or exit ramp. Moreover, O.C.G.A. §40-5-50(b) states “no vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any dividing space, barrier, gore, paved shoulder, or section separating the roadways of a divided highway”. Gores were created to help protect ongoing traffic when cars are entering and exiting the freeway. The intent was that the marked out area would help organize traffic so people could safely merge into traffic.
Driving in the gore can occur when you are exiting or entering an exit ramp. It is usually a triangle shaped area created by white areas. Some examples of driving unlawfully on the gore include but are not limited to:
- Realizing you are exiting off the wrong ramp, and you cut back across the gore onto the highway
- Realizing you should be getting off at an exit and cutting cut through the gore area to get to the ramp
- Coming down an entrance ramp and cutting across the gore before the lane mergers your car onto the highway area
Consequences of Being Charged with Driving in the Gore
The penalty for driving in the gore is a fine with the possibility of points being added to your driving record. The consequences of having points added to your license can be very costly. Points on your license could lead to higher insurance premiums or cause you to be dropped by your current insurance provider. Further, your license could be suspended or revoked after so many points are accumulated. Lastly, it could cost hundreds of dollars to get your license reinstated after a suspension. Therefore, while some consider traffic violations to be trivial offenses; they could result in substantial penalties.
Defenses to Driving in the Gore
If you have been charged with driving in the gore, there are some defenses at your disposal. It is important to have a Lawyer who is knowledgeable in traffic violations and is prepared to formulate the best defense possible for your case. Some arguments that could be applied to your case include but are not limited to:
- If it was for an emergency. If you begin to experience car trouble and park in the gore or use the gore to pull off the road, then you could have a defense. However, remaining in the gore area is not advised as you could endanger other people. A short period in the gore due to an emergency will likely not result in a conviction.
- Another defense is if the gore was not clearly marked. Sometimes highway lines become faded over the years, and if it was dark and you could not adequately see the lines, then you may have a defense.
- If you were forced into the gore area to avoid an accident or because of traffic issues, any evidence or witness testimony would help to support this argument. Your Attorney will help you present this argument to a judge in hopes of getting the charged dropped.
Furthermore, some defenses will not be accepted. These include but are not limited to:
- Almost missing your exit or realizing you are about to get off on the wrong exit are not defenses to driving in the gore. There are other options you could take such as waiting until the next exit or continuing on the exit ramp and reentering another way.
- In addition, being in a hurry and cutting across the gore to merge into traffic faster instead of waiting until the lane eventually merges will not be a sufficient argument. The lanes were created to give oncoming traffic a warning that cars will be merging into their lane, and any attempt to merge early will be a violation of driving in the gore.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson today to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly experienced Georgia Traffic Lawyers. Your Attorney will investigate all the details surrounding your case and evaluate your options. They will be available all the time to you – even nights and weekends – because your case is important. Don't wait, call today and schedule a free consultation.