A Savannah, Georgia, man received a speeding ticket in the amount of $1.4 million and was told by city officials that he needed to pay the amount or appear in court.
In Chatham County, Georgia, Connor Cato was driving home when he was pulled over by a Georgia State Patrol officer who ticketed him for going 90 mph in a 55 mph zone.
This constitutes a “super speeder ticket” according to WSAV, which spoke to the man and his lawyer. While Cato said he knew he would be receiving such a ticket, he didn’t anticipate having to potentially pay the fortune.
When he called the city, Cato said the operator told him it wasn’t a mistake.
“‘$1.4 million,’ the lady told me on the phone. I said, ‘This might be a typo,’ and she said, ‘No sir, you either pay the amount on the ticket or you come to court on Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m.’”
WSAV sought clarification from officials who work for the city of Savannah and received answers that appeared to pass the blame onto the ticketing system. In explanation for the fine amount, the city said that the charge is for “a super speeder ticket” and that the actual fine amount is set by the judge at the court appearance.
“The balance reflected in the e-citation is a placeholder, not a fine. Anyone that is caught speeding 35+ miles per hour receives the placeholder because it is a mandatory court appearance,” they added.
The city further explained that the placeholder amount is $999,999 for such tickets, which comes to $1.4 million after other costs are calculated.
“The system automatically puts in $999,999.99 as the base amount plus other costs since the only way to resolve the ticket is to appear in court,” the city stated.
Officials confirmed that the astronomical amount is not enforced but has been in place with their newest system since 2017. The representatives of the city also said the fine cannot exceed $1,000.
A City of Savannah spokesperson provided a statement in which they noted that they are working on “adjusting the language” in e-citations to avoid future confusion.
“The City did not implement the placeholder amount in order to force or scare people into court,” the spokesperson added.
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