Legality of random "no thru traffic" traffic stops by police

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by latter_day_hippie, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. latter_day_hippie

    latter_day_hippie Well-Known Member

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    An interesting issue has come up in my north Atlanta neighborhood.

    1. Due to traffic flow changes, residential streets in the neighborhood increasingly are being used by commuters to avoid traffic on major arteries.

    2. Some of those residential streets have "No Thru Traffic" signs posted.

    3. Residents complained to the local police department and requested police intervention.

    4. Officers have begun pulling over and detaining motorists at random to check their drivers licenses to determine whether they reside in that neighborhood.

    5. This is not a roadblock or checkpoint of the sort used for immigration enforcement, DUI enforcement, etc. where every vehicle is being stopped and driver questioned. Only some vehicles are being stopped.

    6. Officers have stated to drivers that the stop was for the sole purpose of identifying cut-thru drivers and there was no other cause for the stop (e.g., a moving violation).

    Are these stops legal? Please note I am asking about the legality of the stops themselves rather than the legality of the No Thru Traffic signs themselves (there is a thread on that already - https://www.georgiapacking.org/threads/no-thru-traffic-signs-legal.272555/).
     
  2. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

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    How many tickets are they writing for cut-thru violators? Since when is it in fact illegal to use public streets? Sounds wrong, but.

    If Gunsmoker is correct in the other thread, it sounds like local governments can declare blue cars can't drive on streets with names beginning with the letter "B", on weekdays. If such a law exists, then why couldn't they stop you to write a ticket? Or, or your question, just give a "warning?"
     

  3. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    I can think of several reasons why I might be passing through such a neighborhood without using it as a cut through (lost, visiting someone, making a housecall, etc,) and I would be incensed to be detained because I might not "belong" there.

    Can you tell us which municipality is hassling these motorists?
     
  4. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

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    I think this is the section GS referred to (Article 9, Section 2, Paragraph 3):

    https://law.justia.com/constitution/georgia/conart9.html

    I don't read anything there allowing local govs to declare any public roads off-limit to certain classes of citizens.
     
  5. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    Can you please tell us which neighborhoods? I follow Waze and it will frequently take me through neighborhood streets. Regardless, it sounds like I need to print out some real estate listings in various areas to leave in my car so I have a purpose for being there.
     
  6. latter_day_hippie

    latter_day_hippie Well-Known Member

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    Dunwoody.
     
  7. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

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    It certainly seems ripe for abuse if it did.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  8. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    I'd say contact WSB, they seem to enjoy stories like these, and cities usually back off once their operation has been blown.
     
  9. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    Dunwoody has a Traffic Calming Policy. In it, they admit that all the most effective measures (like speed humps and islands) are the most expensive.

    http://dunwoodyga.gov/ckeditorfiles..._12 Traffic Calming Policy Final Approved.pdf

    From their policy:

    "Passive traffic calming measures include radar signs, re-striping, and installing signs."

    "General disadvantages of passive traffic calming measures:
     Not necessarily enforceable"
     
  10. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

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    There is a certain hassle factor with being pulled over just for hassle purposes. It's not exactly optional. Although, back to the OP's question, isn't a traffic stop an arrest? Wouldn't this fall under false arrest?
     
  11. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

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    10 years ago I had a short cut that went by the UPS headquarters then on up north. Marked 'no thru traffic'. Several times cops followed me and I had to duck into a house's driveway until they went on their way.

    They were not using two cops, one at each end of the section or I would have been caught.

    Here's some Dunwoody news: http://dunwoodynorth.blogspot.com/2...Feed:+DunwoodyNorth+(Heneghans+Dunwoody+Blog)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  12. a_springfield

    a_springfield Well-Known Member

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    If it is county maintained I don't believe they can stop you for using it unless you are in larger commercial vehicles. If it is private then they can.
    I would fight any citation issued for or resulting from being stopped for through
     
  13. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

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    That goes back to my question, are they writing citations? If so, what would be the charge? Otherwise, it's just harassment or abuse of power I would think. Like stopping pretty girls in hopes of getting a phone number.
     
  14. a_springfield

    a_springfield Well-Known Member

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    What street and what time is this happening? I have about two more weeks till I am cleared to go back to work I might just happen to be in dunwoody. In the next few weeks
     
  15. GoDores

    GoDores Like a Boss

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    I can’t find anything in either Georgia or Dunwoody code allowing the state or a municipality to restrict traffic on public streets on the basis of whether it's “thru” or not, and I also didn’t find a catch all rule allowing the enforcement of any sign a city wants to put up. If citations or written warnings are being issued, is a state or local code section cited?

    Right now it looks to me like these stops would be totally illegal based on the information provided. Can you tell us the street or neighborhood where this is happening? Do you know whose city council district it's in?
     
  16. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    Anyone gonna call one of local TV stations about this?
     
  17. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    This section looks to be addressing red lights/ red light cameras, correct? It doesn't look like it would cover the "No through traffic" type signs. Even if it does cover signs, it repeatedly mentions "Official traffic-control devices". What would make a traffic control device "Official" as opposed to Unofficial if there is no statute that allows them to restrict public access to a public road?
     
  18. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    I would not answer questions regarding why I was there.

    They may just try to keep you busy on the stop up longer than it would take on the main highway to get to your destination.

    Nemo
     
  19. latter_day_hippie

    latter_day_hippie Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE: At least one and potentially several residents received citations for violating the "no thru traffic" signs. According to someone who attended a neighborhood meeting last night, the Chief of Police announced that all citations issues will be dropped as they are not legally enforceable. He indicated that his instructions to his officers (monitor closely for speeding, stop sign and signal compliance, etc.) were misinterpreted.

    Thanks, everyone for the responses to my original post.