We had a client who came to us with a Georgia traffic ticket out of Barrow County for violating a traffic sign stating that no trucks were allowed to use a certain road. Our traffic ticket client was driving what would be called by most people a big rig or tractor trailer. He is a professional driver with a Georgia commercial drivers license. His ability to drive is critical to him providing for himself and his family. The traffic citation attorneys at Goldstein Law Group knew that and attempted to fight his failure to obey a traffic control device ticket.
The Law of Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device
Specifically, the ticket was for failure to obey a traffic control device in Georgia, which is governed by the Georgia Statute O.C.G.A. 40-6-20, which reads in pertinent part:
- (a) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of an official traffic-control device applicable thereto, placed in accordance with this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter. A violation of this subsection shall be a misdemeanor, except as otherwise provided by subsection (f) of this Code section.
- (b) No provisions of this chapter which require official traffic-control devices shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official device was not in proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular Code section does not state that official traffic-control devices are required, such Code section shall be effective even though no devices are erected or in place.
This failure to obey a traffic control device can apply to red light tickets in Georgia or stop sign tickets in Georgia. Any type of traffic signal, whether stationary or electronic, that is not properly followed by Georgia drivers will be given a traffic citation under the failure to obey a traffic control device code section under O.C.G.A. 40-6-20.
How High Does a Traffic Control Sign Have to Be in Georgia?
The important part: The traffic sign in our client’s case wasn’t high enough.
It turns out that all traffic signs are governed by federal law. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the federal Department of Transportation is the authority which dictates the height which all traffic signs are required to be in order to be legal. It reads in relevant part:
04 The minimum height, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the elevation of the near edge of the pavement, of signs installed at the side of the road in rural areas shall be 5 feet (see Figure 2A-2).
Since our client was given his no truck ticket in a rural area of Barrow County, the sign needed to be a minimum of 5 feet off of the ground from the bottom of the no truck sign to the bottom of the sign.
How Did Our Atlanta Traffic Ticket Attorneys Prove the Sign Wasn’t High Enough?
First, we got tipped off that the no truck sign might not be high enough by looking at Google Maps. It was clear that the sign was tilted down toward the edge of the pavement and might not be high enough. We then went to the scene and measured the sign as you can see from the photo.
We took a standard tape measure and set it at five feet. We then followed the MUTCD and measured the no truck sign from the edge of the pavement to the bottom of the traffic sign.
Once we measured the traffic control device sign, it was painfully clear that the sign was not high enough according to the standards for traffic control signs set out under the MUTCD.
After our Georgia traffic citation attorneys determined this sign was not high enough, we went to court three times to negotiate with the prosecutors regarding the no truck signs deficiencies. After presenting the traffic court prosecutors with the relevant sections from the MUTCD and pictures of the sign, they agreed to dismiss the failure to obey a traffic control device ticket against our CDL driver client.
Contact the Atlanta Traffic Ticket Attorneys at Goldstein Law Group Today
If you’ve gotten a traffic ticket in Atlanta, or anywhere in the State of Georgia including Gwinnett County, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County, or Barrow County, or in the cities of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Douglasville, Dunwoody, Duluth, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Norcross, Roswell, Sandy Springs, or Suwanee, call us at (678) 757-5529 for a free consultation or Contact Goldstein Law Group online.