2022 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 8 - Equipment and Inspection of Motor Vehicles
Article 1 - Equipment Generally
Part 5 - Equipment of Law Enforcement and Emergency Vehicles
§ 40-8-91. Marking and Equipment of Law Enforcement Vehicles; Motorist Allowed to Continue to Safe Location Before Stopping for Law Enforcement Officer Vehicles
- Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, any motor vehicle which is used on official business by any person authorized to make arrests for traffic violations in this state, or any municipality or county thereof, shall be distinctly marked on each side and the back with the name of the agency responsible therefor, in letters not less than four inches in height.
- Any motor vehicle, except as hereinafter provided in this subsection, used by any employee of the Georgia State Patrol for the purpose of enforcing the traffic laws of this state shall be distinctly painted, marked, and equipped in such manner as shall be prescribed by the commissioner of public safety pursuant to this Code section. The commissioner in prescribing the manner in which such vehicles shall be painted, marked, or equipped shall:
- Require that all such motor vehicles be painted in a two toned uniform color or a solid color. For vehicles painted in a two toned uniform color, the hood, top, and the top area not to exceed 12 inches below the bottom of the window opening thereof shall be a light gray color and the remaining portion of said motor vehicle shall be painted a dark blue color;
- Require that any such motor vehicle be equipped with at least one lamp which when lighted shall display a flashing or revolving light, primarily blue in color, visible under normal atmospheric conditions for a distance of 500 feet from the front and rear of such vehicle; and
- Require that any such motor vehicle shall be distinctly marked on each side and the back thereof with the wording “State Patrol” in letters not less than six inches in height of a contrasting color from the background color of the motor vehicle.
- It shall be unlawful for any person, except persons lawfully entitled to own vehicles for law enforcement purposes, to paint, mark, or equip any motor vehicle in the same manner prescribed by this Code section or by the commissioner for law enforcement vehicles.
- When a law enforcement vehicle is disposed of, or is not in use for law enforcement, the lettering and colored lights must be removed. Any person using such vehicle for personal use prior to removing colored lights and lettering shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Whenever a motorist driving on the roadways of this state is directed to stop by a law enforcement officer in a law enforcement vehicle marked as required under this Code section, the motorist may continue to drive until a reasonably safe location for stopping is reached. Such motorist shall indicate to the officer his or her intent to proceed to a safe location by displaying the vehicle’s flashing lights or turn signal. In proceeding to a safe location, the motorist shall observe the posted maximum speed limit.
- An otherwise lawful arrest shall not be invalidated or in any manner affected by failure to comply with this Code section.
History. Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 107A; Ga. L. 1966, p. 166, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 208, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 802, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 405; Ga. L. 2006, p. 231, § 3/SB 64; Ga. L. 2006, p. 255, § 1/SB 454; Ga. L. 2010, p. 105, § 1-1/HB 981; Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 40/SB 340; Ga. L. 2018, p. 232, § 1/HB 809; Ga. L. 2022, p. 295, § 2/HB 1146.
The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in paragraph (b)(1), added “or a solid color” at the end of the first sentence and substituted “For vehicles painted in a two-toned uniform color, the” for “The” at the beginning of the second sentence.
The 2022 amendment, effective July 1, 2022, substituted “two toned” for “two-toned” twice in paragraph (b)(1), and substituted “light, primarily blue in color,” for “colored light” in paragraph (b)(2).
Provision that marked vehicles normally used for transporting criminals or those accused of crime shall not be used for transporting mental patients, persons undergoing habilitation for mental retardation, alcoholics, or others, §§ 37-3-101 , 37-4-61 , 37-7-101 .
Code Commission notes.
Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1988, “in” was substituted for “is” preceding “use for law enforcement” near the beginning of subsection (d).
Ga. L. 2010, p. 105, § 3-1/HB 981, not codified by the General Assembly, provided for the repeal of the amendment to subsection (b) of this Code section by that Act, effective June 30, 2013.
For survey article on local government law, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 285 (2007) and 60 Mercer L. Rev. 263 (2008).