Ordinance aims to stop drivers cutting through parking lots
A new ordinance makes it illegal to use parking lot entrances such as this one on Shiloh Road near McFarland Parkway as a cut through to avoid a traffic signal. This side road leads directly to the right turn lane that enters Ga. 400. - photo by Jim Dean

Drivers trying to get ahead of traffic by cutting through parking lots are going to have to wait their turn like everybody else.

Forsyth County Commissioners adopted by a 4-0 vote, with the District 2 seat vacant, at their regular meeting on Thursday to a new ordinance to stop drivers going through parking lots.

Sheriff Ron Freeman said safety was the No. 1 concern.

“It’s not about my deputies going and writing tickets,” Freeman said. “If you know me, I’m not that concerned about writing people tickets; I’m concerned about keeping people safe. But we can’t even stop people and give them warnings now because the simple fact is what they are doing doesn’t violate a Forsyth County ordinance or a Georgia uniform traffic law.”

Freeman said previously deputies didn’t have the authority to stop anyone cutting through unless they were “reckless driving or unless they really do something significantly dangerous.”

The ordinance does not allow drivers to “disobey the instructions of an official traffic-control device unless otherwise directed by a police officer” and prohibits drivers getting around a traffic-control device by driving through public or private property.

Residents spoke in favor of the ordinance and no one spoke against it.

John Hannis Mize, a veterinarian and owner of Big Creek Animal Hospital on Post Road, said he was in favor and there were safety concerns at his business.

 “This is a safety issue,” he said. “We’ve had multiple cases of clients, employees, pets almost run over by people cutting through at Majors [Road] to Post Road.”