Posts on Jan 1970

Fireworks Use Must Stop At Midnight For July 4th Holiday

If shooting off fireworks is part of the plan for your Independence Day celebration, you should take note of changes made to Georgia’s fireworks law. On July 3rd and 4th, all fireworks use must stop at midnight.

After most types of fireworks were legalized in Georgia in 2015, lawmakers heard a lot of complaints about fireworks disturbing the peace. As a result, the Georgia legislature passed HB 727 to amend the law to set limits on when fireworks may be used. With the exception of the New Year’s holiday and Independence Day, fireworks can’t be used after 9:00 pm. On July 3rd, July 4th, and December 31st, fireworks can be used until 11:59 pm. On January 1st, fireworks can be used from 12:00 midnight until 1:00 am (essentially meaning the night of New Year’s Eve you can use fireworks until an hour after the clock strikes midnight).  The city of Dalton’s noise ordinance also has the same exceptions for the Independence Day and New Year’s holidays. Dalton officers will enforce both laws after midnight.

There are also other restrictions set for where fireworks may be used. It is illegal to use fireworks:

  • Within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home, or healthcare facility
  • Within 100 yards of an electric plant or water treatment plant
  • Within 100 yards of a facility that sells flammable liquids or gases
  • Within 100 yards of an electrical substation
  • Inside any park, historic site, or recreational area owned by a governing authority without a special permit

It is also unlawful to use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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Officer Retires From DPD After 25+ Years Of Service

After nearly 26 years of service to the city, Officer Ray Figg has served his last patrol shift as a Dalton police officer. Figg’s retirement from the agency was marked with a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Police Services Center.

Chief Jason Parker presented Figg with his badge in front of a gathering of family, friends, and fellow DPD officers Tuesday afternoon. In addition to serving as a police officer, Figg is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. He served as a police officer with the Collegedale Police Department before joining the Dalton Police Department in September 1990. During his remarks at Tuesday’s ceremony, Chief Parker noted that he was the officer who performed Figg’s background check while Figg was joining the agency.

Figg isn’t heading for a rocking chair any time soon, though. He plans to continue on in law enforcement, joining the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy.

Below: Chief Jason Parker (right) shakes hands with Officer Ray Figg before presenting Figg with his badge during a retirement ceremony; Figg poses with a cake marking his retirement at Tuesday afternoon’s ceremony

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DPD Welcomes Two Rookie Officers

The Dalton Police Department’s two newest hands are now officially officers within the ranks thanks to their unanimous confirmation Tuesday by the Public Safety Commission. Officers Evan Driskill and Paul Ledford both graduated from the police academy in Cherokee County, Georgia earlier this month.

Officer Ledford is a new officer but not a new employee of the city of Dalton. Since 2003 he has worked with the city’s Public Works Department before transferring to the DPD in March and attending the police academy. He is also a veteran of the United State Marine Corps. He graduated from Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1991.

Officer Driskill comes to Dalton from the state of Kentucky with a stop in Chattanooga along the way. He graduated high school in Graves County, Kentucky in 2011 and received his associate’s degree in criminal justice from Chattanooga State in May 2014. He is currently continuing his studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in addition to beginning his duties with the Dalton Police Department.

Both officers have already embarked on the DPD’s field training program in which they ride with experienced officers during a probationary period. Both officers had their hiring and appointment as officers confirmed by unanimous 4-0 votes of the Public Safety Commission (Commissioner Carlos Calderin did not attend Tuesday morning’s meeting).

Below: DPD Chief Jason Parker (left) stands with new officers Evan Driskill (center) and Paul Ledford (right) during Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission.

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Traffic Light’s Out? Then It’s A Four-Way Stop

Many drivers take functioning traffic lights for granted, and it definitely showed earlier this month when a powerful storm knocked out power downtown. Many drivers didn’t know what to do when approaching intersections where traffic signals had failed and it led to several crashes. In short, when a traffic signal is out drivers must treat the intersection like a four-way stop.

Here’s what Georgia law has to say on the subject:

 Georgia Law O.C.G.A  40-6-70. Vehicles approaching or entering intersection 

  • When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right, provided that when a vehicle approaches or enters an intersection with no stop signs or other traffic-control devices from a highway that terminates at the intersection, the driver of that vehicle shall yield the right of way to the other vehicle, whether the latter vehicle be on such driver’s right or left. When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection with an inoperative traffic light, the driver of each vehicle shall be required to stop in the same manner as if a stop sign were facing in each direction at the intersection. Drivers shall not be required to stop if the traffic signal is properly signed as a pedestrian hybrid beacon and operating in the inactivated dark mode. When a flashing indication is given, the driver shall stop for the flashing red signal and exhibit caution while passing through a flashing yellow indication.

We added bold print to the most important part: drivers must stop when approaching an intersection where the traffic signal is not working and treat the intersection as a four-way stop. Additionally, traffic signals will often flash after power has been restored but they have not yet been reset. Drivers approaching a flashing red light must stop and make sure the intersection is clear before proceeding with caution and must yield to oncoming traffic. Drivers approaching a flashing yellow light do not have to stop but must use caution when entering the intersection (that means slowing down and looking around to make sure the way is clear).

Incidentally, when approaching a four-way stop, the driver arriving at a full stop first has the right to proceed through the intersection. Drivers may proceed through the stop in the order in which they arrived. If two or more drivers arrive at the stop sign at the same time, the driver furthest to the right can proceed first, and then the next driver clockwise may proceed.

Follow these simple rules and the next time the lights go out in Georgia, you’ll know what to do to get home safely.

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DPD Seeks Witnesses To Morning Crash

The Dalton Police Department is investigating a morning crash on Glenwood Avenue that sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries. Both drivers reported to police that they had the right of way on a green light and the DPD is looking for witnesses to the crash.

The crash happened just after 7:00 am at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Waugh Street. A 2002 Ford Explorer driven by 38 year old Maria Adame was traveling eastbound on Waugh Street towards MLK Boulevard when it collided with a 2010 Kia Soul traveling northbound on Glenwood driven by 20 year old Cassie Coker. Coker complained of back pain and was transported to Hamilton Medical Center for evaluation.

Both drivers told an investigating officer that they had the green light. No other drivers stopped to serve as witnesses to the crash. Anyone who saw the crash happen is asked to please contact Officer Michael Hughes at 706-278-9085 extension 9130.

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College Drive Speed Limit Change Coming Friday

The Dalton City Council voted Monday to change the speed limit for the entire length of College Drive to 30 mph and that change will go into effect on Friday, June 10th. Dalton Public Works will be changing speed limit signs to reflect the new speed limit that day.  The Dalton Police Department will also be posting the traffic unit’s electronic message board in the area to notify motorists of the change.

Before Monday’s vote, the area of College Drive near the Dalton State College campus was a 30 mph zone but the area on either end of the road was a 40 mph zone. The entire length of College Drive from Walnut Avenue to Tibbs Road is now a 30 mph zone.

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DPD Thanks Sponsors Of Publications

The Dalton Police Department recently partnered with Law Enforcement Publications to create coloring books and other materials to teach children important safety lessons. These publications will be given to children at community events, school visits, and other encounters with officers. Sponsorships by area businesses helped make the publications possible.

Area businesses that paid to sponsor the materials included Affordable Vision, Carnicera Nacho, Columbia Recycling, Dalton Service, Inc., Green Vulture, Los Pablos Mexican Restaurant, Norville Industries, Specialty Textile, Associates In Orthopedics, Carniceria Zacatecas Mexican Restaurant, Dalton Animal Care, Dalyn Rug Company, Kirk’s Cycle, Mariscos Puerto Vallarta, NPC South, Inc., SIRT Machinery Company, Caraustar, Chef Lin Buffet, Dalton Plastic Surgery, ETEX America, Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, Max Food Mart, Peds Care PC, and Tijuana’s Mexican Restaurant.

We thank all of the area businesses for helping us teach kids to stay safe!

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