We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Flossmoor, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 posts
84 reviews
Save Topic
Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

This last weekend, our group of five 50+ women visited Tybee Island. The island itself was beautiful, and our rental through Tybee Vacation Rentals could not have been any nicer. We all would have loved to return, or recommend it to others, but we cannot.

On our first night, the friend who had the rental car went out to pick up a pizza at Huc-a-Poo's (excellent !). On her way back, there were two police cars pulled over on the side of the road. She slowed down, and moved over, but not fully into the left lane. Big mistake. One of them jumped in his car and pulled her over. She was polite, and provided her license and rental agreement. Instead of issuing a warning, the officer proceeded to give her a long lecture, and a ticket. He kept her by the side of the road for almost a half hour! He was rude and unpleasant, to say the least.

Today, she logged into the system to find out how much the ticket was for, and how to pay it. Are you sitting down? $ 626 !!! She wasn't thrilled with being pulled over, and expected to have to pay but not an outlandish amount. To top it off, it stated that she could not electronically pay, or mail a check, but was expected to show up in person - from California!

If the police department is trying to discourage people from visiting, then they are doing a great job. We aren't drunken, stupid fools dangerously flying down their roads. We are middle-aged visitors who were excited to explore a new area.

I won't say it ruined our vacation, but it certainly soured us on coastal GA as a future destination.

Mentioned in this post
Tybee Island
Tybee Island
Georgia Coast, GA
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
Level Contributor
12,072 posts
100 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Wow. Was this a violation of the "Move Over" law? I have heard a similar story about extremely high tickets for that in another part of the state. I imagine the ticket is $500 plus court costs.

I expect it would be cheaper for her to hire a local lawyer than to fly back to Georgia to go to court and work out a plea deal. She should not ignore the ticket, as her license could be suspended. Here's the text of the law. Section (a)(2) provides the "out":

O.C.G.A. 40-6-16 (2010)

40-6-16. Procedure for passing stationary authorized emergency vehicles, stationary towing or recovery vehicles, or stationary highway maintenance vehicles

(a) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

...

(c) Violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00.

Edited: 6:09 pm, May 05, 2014
Mentioned in this post
Georgia
Georgia
United States
Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
16,381 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Yep, it's the Move Over law.

You may try to fight it but I'm not sure you will be successful.

The background = loss of life of police officers and emergency responders who have been hit by drivers in the right lane. Law enforcement is taking this seriously, because it's their lives at stake.

Good luck. I'd pay the fine and move on - and move over the next time you see blue lights on the side of the road.

Edited: 7:07 pm, May 05, 2014
Everywhere
Level Contributor
181 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

I never had a bad experience with the Tybee police department but I hear a lot of horror stories. The thing is regardless of the law she couldn't have been going more than 20 mph (if that). It wasn't like it was 80mph on open highway. My guess was no one was in danger and the policemen overreacted.

If yoiu can fight it, fight it. Tell the judge you didn't feel it was safe to move over and,as the law provides, slowed down to an appropriate speed to ensure the safety of the officers.

Edited: 7:45 pm, May 05, 2014
Mentioned in this post
Tybee Island
Tybee Island
Georgia Coast, GA
Flossmoor, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

She was fully prepared to pay the fine, outrageous as it may be, but to require her to fly completely across the country to do so in person? That's egregious.

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
16,381 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

I would call the number on the ticket to make sure there aren't other options.

If not, call a GA lawyer.

The "move over" law is not unique to Georgia and I think the $500+ fine is intentional - because they are serious about the law.

Edited: 12:15 am, May 06, 2014
Mentioned in this post
Georgia
Georgia
United States
Savannah, Ga
Destination Expert
for Cherokee, Tybee Island
Level Contributor
1,469 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Sorry to here about your ticket. She was stopped by the move over law as mention above. They do not play with this one. I would call the court and explain the fact that she would have to fly in from the west coast. They should let you pay the fine. If not fine out if she can have a lawyer represent her. It would cost less than a ticket. I have seen signs on Tybee for a lawyer named Moody, being he is on Tybee he may be helpful. I know nothing about the man however.

Good Luck

Mentioned in this post
Tybee Island
Tybee Island
Georgia Coast, GA
Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
16,381 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Here's an Atlanta TV station coverage of the law - and its problems -

wsbtv.com/news/…

Edited: 12:46 pm, May 06, 2014
Mentioned in this post
Atlanta
Atlanta
Georgia
Savannah,GA
Destination Expert
for Savannah
Level Contributor
4,501 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Tybee is the same backward redneck town it's been since 1965. Personally I would ignore it & never drive in GA. again.

Mentioned in this post
Tybee Island
Tybee Island
Georgia Coast, GA
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
3 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Wow, I a German living in Beijing for almost 20 years and will spend my holidays with my Chinese wife at Tybee Island next month as our daughter studies at SCAD. Seems I need to get familiarized with US traffic rules and not driving there as I got used to it here at Beijing? What exactly is the "move over law"? Can sb explain to avoid spending my holidays at a Tybee Island police prison as we don't have such law her in China nor can I remember we had such at Germany

Mentioned in this post
Tybee Island
Tybee Island
Georgia Coast, GA
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
Level Contributor
12,072 posts
100 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Beautiful island experience ruined by police department

Peter nobody goes to prison for this violation. You just get a ticket. The original poster has greatly exaggerated the severity of this issue. The law requires you to move over one lane if it is safe to do so when there are emergency vehicles on the side of the road. If you see flashing lights, just get in the next lane. It is to protect police officers.