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Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve

Georgia law regulates when it is safe and legal to pass other drivers on the roadways. 

You can read my article about Improper Passing and some related offenses here.

There is one Improper Passing rule that is more serious than others. It is known as "Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve." In this article, you'll learn what the law says about this offense as well as possible penalties for a conviction.

What Does the Law Say?

The applicable code section here is O.C.G.A. § 40-6-45. Under the law, no vehicle may drive on the left side of a roadway designed for travel in opposite directions when approaching:

  • The crest of a hill, or 
  • A curve in the highway. 

Essentially, you cannot pass another car on a multi-lane road when you cannot see what's in front of you due to a curve or hill in the road. This is because another car coming from the opposite direction may be approaching, and you may not be able to see it. This could cause an accident.

Penalties for Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve in Georgia

Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia. As a misdemeanor, it carries a possible penalty of:

  • A fine of up to $1,000, and
  • A jail term of up to 12 months.

Instead of jail time, judges may order a term of probation of up to 12 months. That said, most people convicted of Improper Passing will not go to jail. It is far more likely that they will be ordered to pay a fine. That said, traffic court fines are often fairly steep. As such, they should be taken seriously.

License Implications for Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve

Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve is a 4-point offense. This is different from other Improper Passing-related offenses, which are all 3-point offenses.

If you plead guilty to this offense, the court will send a record of your conviction to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). DDS keeps track of the number of points on a person's driving history. 

Learn the basics about the Georgia points system here.

Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve is especially problematic for younger drivers. This is because it is a 4-point offense. 

For drivers under 21, a conviction for any 4-point offense will result in an automatic license suspension. 

Click here to read my article about Under 21 Traffic Cases.

Importantly, for these younger drivers, DDS considers pleas of nolo contendere (no contest) to be convictions. As a result, a nolo plea will not save your license from suspension. 

Does paying the ticket for Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve count as a guilty plea?

Yes! Many people do not realize this because paying a fine online without going to traffic court seems easy and painless. But paying a ticket counts as a conviction. It will appear on your record, and the court will still send the ticket to DDS, which will assess points to your driving record.

Why Hire a Georgia Traffic Court Attorney for an Improper Passing on a Hill or Curve ticket?

If you are charged with this offense, your best bet is to hire an experienced Georgia Traffic Court Attorney to fight for you. This is especially true if you are under 21 because a conviction will result in a license suspension. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge, which could save you from suspension. Questions? Call me today.

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Kevin Fisher

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