2020 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 6 - Uniform Rules of the Road
Article 9 - Speed Restrictions
§ 40-6-184. Impeding Traffic Flow; Minimum Speed Limits; Slower Driving in a Passing Lane

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-6-184 (2020)
  1. No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.
  2. Whenever the commissioner of public safety or the commissioner of transportation or local authorities determine on the basis of any engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a road under their respective jurisdictions impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, such commissioners jointly, or such local authorities, may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation, and such limit shall be effective when posted upon fixed or variable signs.
  3. Upon roads, streets, or highways with two or more lanes allowing for movement in the same direction, no person shall continue to operate a motor vehicle in the passing lane once such person knows or should reasonably know that he or she is being overtaken in such lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed. For purposes of this Code section, "passing lane" means the most left-hand lane other than a high occupancy vehicle lane.
  4. Subsection (c) of this Code section shall not apply:
    1. When traffic conditions or congestion make it necessary to drive in the passing lane;
    2. When inclement weather, obstructions, or hazards make it necessary to drive in the passing lane;
    3. When compliance with a law of this state or with an official traffic control device makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane;
    4. When a vehicle must be driven in the passing lane to exit or turn left;
    5. On toll highways, when necessary to pay a toll or use a pass;
    6. To authorized emergency vehicles engaged in official duties; or
    7. To vehicles engaged in highway maintenance and construction operations.

(Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 51; Code 1933, § 68A-805, enacted by Ga. L. 1975, p. 1582, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 361, § 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5; Ga. L. 2014, p. 167, § 1/HB 459.)

Cross references.

- Truck use of left-hand lane on multi-lane highways, § 40-6-52.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2014, p. 167, § 2/HB 459, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2014, and shall apply to offenses committed on or after such date."


Legislative intent.

- O.C.G.A. § 40-6-184(a) does not apply when the driver is being overtaken by another vehicle that is exceeding the maximum speed limit since in such a context the other vehicle is not overtaking the driver because the latter is impeding the flow of traffic by traveling unreasonably slow, but rather because the other vehicle is traveling unreasonably fast in violation of the traffic laws; the legislative intent behind the statute was to prevent unsafe slow driving, not to punish drivers for failing to yield the lane to speeders. State v. Parke, 304 Ga. App. 124, 695 S.E.2d 413 (2010).

Negligence per se.

- When the defendant came to a complete or almost complete stop in the road, allegedly without any brake, emergency, or signal lights, at a time and place where traffic was "bad," there was evidence that the defendant was negligent per se and partially at fault for the subsequent accident after a car following the defendant was hit by another car and a directed verdict in favor of the defendant was reversed. Harrison v. Jenkins, 235 Ga. App. 665, 510 S.E.2d 345 (1998).

Operation of farm machinery on public roads.

- Former Code 1933, T. 68A did not exclude farm machinery from the public roads, but to permit the jury to impose liability on the basis of the speed of a corn combine would be tantamount to holding that the operation of farm machinery on the public roadway typically constituted negligence per se. Lott v. Smith, 156 Ga. App. 826, 275 S.E.2d 720 (1980).

Traffic stops for driving too slowly.

- Fact that a vehicle was being driven so slowly as to create a traffic hazard authorized a stop for a traffic violation and authorized the officers to investigate the condition of the driver. Taylor v. State, 230 Ga. App. 749, 498 S.E.2d 113 (1998).

Trial court did not err in granting the defendant's motion to suppress because the trial court was authorized to find that the police officer who initiated the traffic stop lacked an articulable suspicion to believe that the defendant was impeding the flow of traffic in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-184(a) when under the facts, the officer's belief that the defendant was impeding the flow of traffic was an insufficient basis for initiating an investigative stop; the court of appeals would not disturb the trial court's findings, which was based upon conflicting witness testimony, that at the time of the traffic stop, the defendant was traveling above the posted minimum speed limit and only a few miles below the posted maximum speed limit when the defendant's vehicle was passed by two vehicles that were speeding. State v. Parke, 304 Ga. App. 124, 695 S.E.2d 413 (2010).

Investigative stop held proper.

- Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress cocaine found during a search of the defendant's car as the officer's testimony authorized a finding that the officer saw the defendant committing traffic violations for which the defendant received either a warning or a citation - impeding traffic, in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-184(a), and following too closely, in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49. Warren v. State, 314 Ga. App. 477, 724 S.E.2d 404 (2012), cert. denied, No. S12C1072, 2012 Ga. LEXIS 548 (Ga. 2012).

Reasonable opportunity to attain speed.

- Minimum speed does not apply to vehicle entering highway from the emergency strip until there has been reasonable opportunity to attain this speed. Blake v. Continental S.E. Lines, 168 Ga. App. 718, 309 S.E.2d 829 (1983).

Momentary delay in proceeding through green light.

- Since merely delaying one's start momentarily at an intersection is not impeding the flow of traffic on a four-lane road, a deputy sheriff lacked reasonable articulable suspicion to stop the defendant for impeding the flow of traffic in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-184(a) since the defendant was stopped at a green light for only two or three seconds before the defendant proceeded forward. Martin v. State, 257 Ga. App. 435, 571 S.E.2d 459 (2002).

Evidence held sufficient for conviction.

- Because the evidence sufficiently showed that the defendant's truck was traveling at a low rate of speed, approximately 25 to 30 m.p.h., on an interstate highway with a minimum posted speed limit of 40 m.p.h., and the investigating officer testified that traffic was getting backed up behind the defendant's truck, the appeals court found that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's conviction under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-184(a)(1). Dunn v. State, 289 Ga. App. 585, 657 S.E.2d 649 (2008), cert. denied, No. S08C1021, 2008 Ga. LEXIS 496 (Ga. 2008).

Sufficient evidence supported the defendant's conviction for impeding traffic because the record showed that the defendant slowed the truck and stopped at a green light on a busy highway, forcing traffic to maneuver around the defendant's truck because although traffic was not stopped completely by such conduct, the evidence authorized a jury to conclude that the defendant interfered with other drivers' ability to proceed normally and safely through a busy intersection. Smith v. State, 338 Ga. App. 635, 791 S.E.2d 418 (2016).

Evidence insufficient for conviction.

- Because there was no evidence that the defendant was driving unusually slowly or that any other cars attempted to pass the defendant while the defendant was stopped in a lane of travel, the defendant's conviction for impeding traffic could not stand. Darwicki v. State, 291 Ga. App. 239, 661 S.E.2d 859 (2008).

Since there was no evidence any vehicles attempted to pass the defendant while the defendant was stopped, the evidence was not sufficient to support the conviction for impeding the flow of traffic. Green v. State, 323 Ga. App. 832, 748 S.E.2d 479 (2013).

Cited in Simpson v. Reed, 186 Ga. App. 297, 367 S.E.2d 563 (1988); Gossett v. State, 199 Ga. App. 286, 404 S.E.2d 595 (1991); Hall v. Buck, 206 Ga. App. 754, 426 S.E.2d 586 (1992); State v. Whelchel, 269 Ga. App. 314, 604 S.E.2d 200 (2004); Brantley v. State, 290 Ga. App. 764, 660 S.E.2d 846 (2008).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, § 277.


- 60A C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, § 723.


- Right of way at street or highway intersections, 37 A.L.R. 493; 47 A.L.R. 595.

Construction, application, and effect, in civil motor vehicle accident cases, of "slow speed" traffic statutes prohibiting driving at such a slow speed as to create danger, to impede normal traffic movement, or the like, 66 A.L.R.2d 1194.

Indefiniteness of automobile speed regulations as affecting validity, 6 A.L.R.3d 1326.

Liability or recovery in automobile negligence action as affected by driver's being blinded by lights of motor vehicle, 64 A.L.R.3d 551.

Liability or recovery in automobile negligence action as affected by driver's being blinded by lights other than those of a motor vehicle, 64 A.L.R.3d 760.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.