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Lack of insurance could cost drivers

Lack of insurance could cost drivers

Posted: Friday, June 18, 2010 8:58 pm

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
The South Fulton City Commission has taken the first step to make it a city violation for drivers who fail to show required proof of automobile insurance.
During its session Thursday evening, the commission approved the first reading of an ordinance to make violation of the state code regarding proof of insurance a municipal violation.
According to the proposed ordinance, drivers of vehicles charged with local traffic violations or involved in traffic accidents are required to produce proof of automobile insurance.
The ordinance specifically outlines the requirements for compliance with the financial responsibility law (proof of insurance) and explains that violation of the ordinance is punishable by a civil penalty up to $50, which would be in addition to any other state or city penalties imposed.
However, on or before a scheduled court date, a person charged with the violation may submit evidence of compliance with the ordinance, which could result in the charge of failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility being dismissed if the court is satisfied with compliance, according to the proposed ordinance.
The ordinance will require a second reading before becoming final.
In other action during Thursday evening’s brief meeting, which was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and with prayer led by commissioner Tony Perry, the commission:
• Heard the second and final reading of an ordinance to call a city election.
The election will be held Nov. 2 for the selection of city commissioners from Districts 2 and 3 for four-year terms, according to the ordinance. The District 2 seat is currently held by Perry and the District 3 seat by Thomas Pettigrew.
• Heard the first of two required readings of an ordinance to amend the city’s municipal zoning map to rezone property along East Collinwood and Wild Cherry Lane from R-1 (low-density residential) to R-2 (medium-density residential). The change was recommended by the South Fulton Municipal Planning Commission.
• Learned from city manager Jeff Vowell that South Fulton is still in the running for COPS grant funding for the police department. He said the city applied for the grant last year, but was not awarded funding and was placed in a “stand-by” pool for the time when additional funds became available. He said more funds have become available and the city has amended its request from two officers to one officer.
According to Vowell, the grant would provide 100 percent funding for an officer for three years and then South Fulton would be obligated for one year after that.
• Was informed Vowell is continuing to negotiate with Verizon for the possible placement of a cell phone tower in South Fulton. He said the company is interested in a site in the industrial park.
• Learned a called meeting has been set for next Thursday at 5 p.m. in the board room at the South Fulton Municipal Complex to discuss budget amendments, a budget extension and other items that need to be addressed before the current fiscal year ends June 30.
• Was reminded by Perry of the Neighborhood Watch program being implemented and of a meeting scheduled for next month.
Vice Mayor Keith Curlin was absent from Thursday evening’s meeting.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.18.10

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