The Fayette Citizen-Opinion Page
Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Unkind justice over Fayetteville Pavilion speeding ticket?

Way back in November of this past year I was driving down Ga. Highway 314 in search of the Office Depot in town. Having not been in the area for almost 10 years, I noticed a lot of changes around what is now Pavilion Parkway.

While approaching the intersection, I observed the speed limit to be 55 mph. I turned left onto Pavilion and traveled all the way to Ga. Highway 85 to the Office Depot, where I completed my errand and started for home.

Upon leaving the parking lot of Office Depot and traveling northbound on Hwy. 85 I did not see a speed limit sign, and seeing that it was a divided four-lane roadway, I assumed it to be 55, in comparison to Hwy. 314 up to Pavilion southbound.

Much to my surprise when I was pulled over for speeding, the speed limit was 45 mph. A few days later and in the daytime hours, I observed that not only is there no sign posting the 45 mph speed limit at a major intersection, but the nearest speed limit sign is a little over one half mile north!

So on June 3, 1999, I took my case to the state court and was seen by the honorable Fletcher Sams. My argument was simple: How can someone know what the speed limit is without proper signage along the way? And so after several minutes of discussion on that issue it was agreed that, yes, there should be a sign immediately after the intersection to notify travelers of the speed limit.

Now comes the biggie. I was found guilty, sentenced to 12 months probation with no more speeding tickets at all or I will be revoked, a $500 fine plus this cost and that cost, and of course the $35 monthly probation monitoring fee, all over a $125 ticket that could have been paid at anytime and be done with.

But because I saw a growing problem where I am certain that I am not alone, and where the city obviously knew about (why else set up a speed trap?) I am made to suffer with over $1,000 out of my pocket, not to mention driving 40 miles from Luthersville, Ga., twice a month to report!

Am I crazy or does this not add up? I believe I have been given the proverbial short end of the stick and justice was not at all kind toward me.

You can very well bet that I will be appealing this one, if I only knew how.

Mike Winfrey


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