Georgia, Alabama rate among highest for traffic tickets

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a familiar sight on a holiday weekend.

Georgia State Patrol perched on the side of the road, running radar, looking for speeders.

But authorities say it's for good reason.

"The biggest violation we see during a holiday weekend, any given holiday period, is excessive speed. And excessive speed is one of the contributing factors to the cause of accidents, especially in our town," Lt. Mark D. Starling of the Columbus Police Department said.

And new statistics released by the National Motorists Association validate why law enforcement officials are so adamant about looking for speeders.

Georgia tied for second out of all 50 States and Washington D.C. For the most ticketed drivers.

Alabama was fifth.

The numbers may be startling, but it's not to say that drivers in both states are simply prone to speed.

Gary Biller is the executive director of the National Motorists Association.

"What that tells us is that typically, the speed limit in that area is set too low. Because, if you've got the majority or many drivers going over the speed limit, and we're not endorsing speeding by any means, what we're endorsing is that situation is, let's look at the speed limit, let's do a traffic engineering study," Biller said.

While the holiday weekend may be too soon to increase speed limits in Georgia and Alabama, cops say even a slight increase wouldn't solve the entire problem of speeders in the deep south.

"They seem to exceed the speed limit by 20 miles per hour, which is excessive and isn't necessary to make it a safe weekend," Starling said.

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