Jocelyn Connell/CBS Atlanta- Police will begin issuing tickets for anyone traveling in the GA 400 shoulder lane outside of posted hours.
SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -
Beginning Wednesday morning, drivers on Georgia 400 will need to exercise extra caution. Sandy Springs police will no longer issue just warnings to those who violate the flex lane hours, but tickets.
"The need for aggressive enforcement stems from drivers abusing the lane usage during non flex-lane hours and the concern that such activity affects timely emergency vehicle response to accident or other emergencies on GA 400 which requires the use of the emergency lane," stated a press release.
The Georgia Department of Transportation in May opened up the southbound right shoulder of GA 400 from Holcomb Bridge Road to the North Springs Marta Station exit to ease congestion during the morning commute. Drivers are only allowed to shoulder-hop weekday mornings between the hours of 6:30-9:30, but many people break the law.
"A lot of times people get in a hurry and are not conscious of the time, so they'll jump in those lanes," driver Warren Cousins told CBS Atlanta.
However, many drivers Wednesday said they think police should give them a longer grace period.
"I think, maybe, a couple more months of warning may help things, if we can get some kind of system going," said Chantay Williams.
L. Green agreed, adding, "I think they should give people enough time to get accustomed to when it's a shoulder, when it's not a shoulder. But to do it so early, it seems more like a money-grab than anything."
If you get caught, you face up to a year behind bars and a $1000 fine.
A police department spokeswoman said the enforcement went into effect Tuesday night, but as of Wednesday morning, no tickets had been written. She said tickets likely won't be issued until there's an accident because that's when drivers typically abuse the flex lanes.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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