Some tickets written on River Watch Parkway could be thrown out

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The drivers who were ticketed on River Watch Parkway after a speed limit sign error could likely see their tickets disappear.

Solicitor General Kellie Kenner McIntyre sent an email saying they "anticipate that those that were issued because of the error will be dismissed."

McIntyre says this does not include all citations issued on River Watch Parkway, just the ones in the affected area.

News 12 First Five / Monday, June 24, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Some Augusta drivers are upset over the wrong speed limit sign posted on River Watch Parkway. The city's engineering department says they caught the problem and corrected it in early June.

The problem is that the Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been writing tickets to drivers based on the lower speed limit.

"They normally come down the road and it's 55 mph. Next thing you know, they're getting a ticket. It wasn't their fault," said driver Dorothy Salagado.

The city says Massana Construction could be to blame. The company is building a trail extension and two bridges off River Watch Parkway. The westbound lane of traffic was reduced to 45 mph near the construction site. The problem is the 55 mile per hour sign was just uncovered a few weeks back.

"They put a bag over the 45 mph and not over the 55 mph. They weren't switching it back and forth like they should have been," said
Augusta Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell.

In the meantime, at least 10 or more drivers got tickets.

"It's not where we just pick and choose where we run radar. We don't say, 'Hey they changed the signs, lets go run radar.' We don't do that," said RCSO Lt. Calvin Chew.

He says deputies are only allowed to use their radar guns on state routes. River Watch Parkway falls into that category.

"If he hadn't put up the speed sign incorrectly, the people would not have gotten ticketed. When you get ticketed for going 15 to 17 miles over the speed limit, there are several implications," said Attorney Robert Mullins.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Solicitor General Kelly McIntyre plan to review the cases. Tickets could be thrown out or the fine might be reduced, but the overall message is still the same.

"If an announcement wasn't made, you still have to look at the speed limit and know to adjust your speed," Chew said.

Deputies say obey the rules of the road no matter what. Call the Solicitor General's Office at (706) 821-1220 if you received a ticket in the area.

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