(NewsSpace.com) – When people break the law, they shouldn’t be surprised when they have to face the consequences. However, penalties usually fall in line with the severity of the crime, particularly when it comes to driving infractions. One driver who was caught speeding got the shock of a lifetime when he received his fine in the mail — and the city is standing behind it.
In September, Connor Cato of Savannah, Georgia, was pulled over for speeding. He was doing 90 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. He fully expected the ticket that arrived in the mail but did not expect to see the dollar amount listed — an astonishing $1.4 million. Convinced it was a clerical error, he called the city and was further shocked to learn it wasn’t a mistake. The court clerk, according to WSAV, said, “No, sir, you either pay the amount on the ticket or you come to court” on the specified date.
According to Georgia law, any driver ticketed for traveling at 85 mph or faster on a highway or 75 mph or faster on a two-lane road receives a “super speeder ticket.” In Savannah, those who are clocked at 35+ mph over the speed limit have to appear in court before a judge to receive their fine. In the interim, a placeholder figure is put into the system, which is $999,999. When all of the fees are calculated and added to the amount, it comes out to $1.4 million, the very fine that Cato received.
The city of Savannah responded to WSAV’s questions about the ticket and said that the amount listed isn’t a fine but a placeholder, and it isn’t enforced. This practice has been in place for six years, since 2017. The driver must appear in court, at which time the actual fine is levied and will not exceed $1,000. The spokesperson further said that the fine isn’t meant as a scare tactic to force people to appear in court; it’s simply something that programmers added to the software design.
The city said it is in the process of updating the language in the citations to avoid future confusion and panic.
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