Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Governor Perdue Commends Passage of Super Speeder Legislation

Increased fines will slow drivers, fund trauma network

Governor Sonny Perdue today commended the final passage of “Super Speeder” legislation, HB 160, by the General Assembly. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Jim Cole and will help reduce traumatic automobile accidents and provide funds for trauma care in the state. The legislation passed the House 113-53 and passed the Senate 42-10.

“I commend the General Assembly for passing legislation to discourage reckless driving and increase funding for trauma care in Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “The Super Speeder bill will make our roads safer and save lives.”

In 2007, traffic accidents on Georgia’s roadways caused more than 1,600 fatalities. The overall cost of accidents totals $7.8 billion a year. The Super Speeder legislation will generate approximately $23 million in Fiscal Year 2010, which Governor Perdue recommended be spent to improve the state’s trauma care network. This is the second infusion of state funds by Governor Perdue into the trauma network. In the Amended 08 budget, the Governor recommended $53 million for the state’s first-ever investment into improving trauma care in Georgia. The General Assembly eventually appropriated an additional $5 million for a total of $58 million in the Amended 08 budget.

“I want to thank the Senate for giving their favorable consideration to HB 160,” said Rep. Cole. “This bill sends a strong message that Georgia is serious about slowing people down to make our highways and byways safer for our citizens, visitors and future generations of drivers. I was honored to carry this bill for Governor Perdue and his team.”

Super Speeder legislation discourages trauma-causing behavior by increasing fines for dangerous drivers. The legislation adds an additional $200 fine for driving over 85 mph anywhere in the state and for driving 75 mph or more on a two lane road. Super Speeders will also increase driver’s license reinstatement fees for drivers committing a second and third offense for violations that result in a suspended license and for other negligent behaviors.
Senator Bill Heath, the Governor’s Senior Administration Floor Leader, carried HB 160 in the Senate.

“This legislation will slow down reckless drivers and prevent life-threatening accidents, while providing additional funding for trauma care,” said Sen. Bill Heath. “Simply put, this bill saves lives.”

Bob Dallas, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, praised the bill. “Nearly one fourth of fatal crashes involve excessive speeds,” said Dallas. “Reduced speeds allow more reaction time for drivers and lead to less severe crashes, both of which will make our highways safer.”
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