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Ask the Times: Turn lanes are just for turning, law says

POSTED: September 28, 2012 11:59 p.m.

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

I have noticed many times trucks hauling automobiles parked in the center turn lane for extended periods of time unloading their load of automobiles. Is this a legal use of the center turn lanes?

Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department, said this is not a legal use of the center turn lanes.

The same rule that applies to your average driver in using those turn lanes also applies to these trucks, he said.

According to state law: “Whenever a highway or roadway has a central lane in which traffic may enter from either direction for the purpose of making a left turn, no vehicle shall be driven into such central lane except for the purpose of making a left turn, and no vehicle shall enter into such central lane at a location which is more than 300 feet from the location where the vehicle will turn left across one or more lanes of oncoming traffic. No vehicle which has been driven into such a central lane shall be operated in such a central lane for more than 300 feet.”

“This does pose a problem especially along (Ga.) 369/Browns Bridge Road at times,” Holbrook said.

How much does it cost to educate a child per year in the Hall County school system? And does it cost more to educate an undocumented student?

Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield said the system spends $7,747.15 per pupil.

That is 90 percent of the average $8,593.97 spent per pupil in Georgia, as determined by expenditures and revenues of all state school districts, published annually by the Georgia Department of Education.

“The Hall County School District was among the most efficient in the state,” Schofield noted.

Determining how much it costs to educate an undocumented student is not as simple.

“The cost of educating undocumented or illegal (immigrant) students is impossible to answer as public schools are not legally allowed to inquire about citizenship status,” Schofield said.

What does sometimes cost more is educating a child who requires special services, whether that be a special needs child, an English language learner or some other obstacle.

“To paint with a broad brush and say because you’re undocumented you’re going to require extra services, that’s not necessarily accurate,” Schofield said.

“The beauty of our country is a kid, is a kid, is a kid. But if a kid is fragile in some way, that this is they have special needs, then yes it costs more, but that happens with documented or undocumented kids.”

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