Stop Sign Laws

Georgia Stop Sign Laws can be confusing. Examples include:

  • For how long do I have to stop?
  • Does a pause count? 
  • Does it count if I have stopped behind the car in front of me? 
  • What if there is no line telling me where to stop? 
  • We are going to review the Georgia law on stop signs and try to determine precisely what counts as a sufficient stop. 

Georgia Law on Stop Signs – Running a Stop Sign and Rolling Stops:

O.C.G.A. §40-6-72 states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. 

Some Things to Notice About Georgia's Stop Sign Law:

  1. First, there is no mention of how long you should stop. Many people think that you have to stop for three (3) seconds, but that is not promulgated in the law. 
  2. Second, pausing does not count as a stop. 
  3. Third, it does not count if you stop behind another car. You must stop at the clearly marked stop line. 
  4. Fourth, if there is no stop line, then you must stop at the point nearest the intersection. 
  5. Fifth, The police often substitute their judgment for yours.  Be careful to be conservative in your judgment to avoid a citation. 

Another question people have is whether they have to stop at stop signs in parking lots? Wherever there is a stop sign, a complete stop is required, even if it is a store parking lot. 

Therefore, if you adhere to this statute, there is no reason why you should receive a rolling stop or running a stop sign ticket. 

Penalty for Running a Stop Sign:

The consequences of running a stop sign may include fines as well as points on your driver's license. Receiving points on your license will likely cause your insurance rates to increase. In Georgia, failure to stop at a stop sign will result in three points added to your MVR. A driver with 15 points in a 24-month period will be suspended. 

Interestingly, all Georgia traffic offenses are technically misdemeanors.  As a result, a person can be sentenced up to 12 months in jail.  However, from a practical point of view, this will not happen.  

However, when a traffic offense is an underlying reason to stop someone for a DUI, then many courts will add 12-months of probation to a person's case, because of the traffic violation.  This is perfectly legal and common.  As a result, a person charged with DUI and Running a Stop Sign in Georgia could receive 12 months of probation for the DUI and an additional 12 months of probation for the stop sign violation.  

In the event of a violation of probation, a person on probation for DUI and Running a Stop Sign may, in fact, be sent to jail for the remainder of the time on probation.  

Contact Us:

If you have received a ticket for a Georgia traffic violation, contact our offices today. The Law Office of Richard Lawson has over 25 years of defense experience and can help you with your case today.  Do not let yourself face punishment without our help. 

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