State Representative Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro) recently introduced legislation that would allow motorists to refuse to sign for traffic tickets.
Neal said this proposed legislation, House Bill 1054, comes following the death of a motorist last fall after he declined to sign an Atlanta Police Department traffic ticket.
“I’m excited to have bipartisan support for my bill that keeps law enforcement safe, keeps citizens safe and saves local governments and taxpayers a lot of money,” said Rep. Neal. “Law enforcement officials and local governments who support this bill have told me they don’t want their law enforcement officers fighting with citizens over minor traffic violations. Granted, a person can still be arrested if absolutely necessary, but this bill allows for law enforcement officers to have another option and for all parties to make it home each night. I look forward to working alongside my legislative colleagues to advance this bill in the coming weeks.”
Under HB 1054, a person who is issued a traffic citation may sign the citation to acknowledge receipt of the citation and of his or her obligation to appear for trial. In addition, the officer who issues the citation would advise the person that signing the citation is not an admission of guilt and that failure to sign would result in the person having to appear for trial. Further, if such person does not sign the citation, it would constitute reasonable cause to believe that the person would not appear at trial and the officer would write “Refusal to Sign” on such citation.
This would then mandate that individual to appear before a judicial officer or traffic violations bureau. If the individual does not appear in court, a failure to appear would be issued resulting in a suspended license.
HB 1054 has been assigned to the House Committee on Motor Vehicles.
The full text of HB 1054 may be found here.
Representative Yasmin Neal represents the citizens of District 79, which includes portions of Clayton County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2020 and currently serves on the Economic Development & Tourism, Judiciary Non-Civil, Juvenile Justice and Public Safety and Homeland Security committees.