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While rare, racing on Ga. 400 also happens in Forsyth

FORSYTH COUNTY — The recent arrest of a Forsyth County man for racing at 116 mph along Ga. 400 in neighboring Dawson County drew attention, but local authorities say such incidents, while rare, can occur anywhere.

“This is definitely not an offense we see every day,” said Robin Regan, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. “It is a rare occasion.

“But we do patrol Ga. 400 with [the Georgia State Patrol], especially on the weekends when people are driving north to the mountains.”

The call for drivers to obey speed limits, especially on well-traveled corridors and state routes, comes after 29-year-old Brett Jace Peterson of Cumming was arrested for racing a 37-year-old man from Stone Mountain.

The men apparently drove side by side to prevent anyone from passing, clearing the road for miles ahead before starting to race.

A state patrol trooper reportedly clocked the two cars at speeds of up to 116 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Peterson and his racing opponent had supposedly been at a Camaro club event in the mountain town of Helen earlier that day.

The trooper who cited the men said car enthusiasts “like to come up here and run the mountains. We've been having this issue for years now."

The incident was the second of two on Ga. 400 in Dawson that involved racing. Days earlier, a couple of men had been arrested after a race that reached speeds in excess of 90 mph.

Referring to racing, Regan said it is “something that we do not want our citizens to be endangered with.”

When a sheriff’s deputy pulls over a vehicle, he or she has discretion to issue a verbal warning, a citation or an arrest.

Peterson was charged with speeding, reckless driving, tinted tail lights and driving or participating in a race.

However, penalties are assessed by the court system, not the deputy or sheriff’s office.

Drivers may be classified as a “super” speeder if they are convicted of traveling at a speed of 85 mph or more on any highway, or 75 mph or more on any two-lane road.

In addition to other fines or penalties imposed by a local jurisdiction, the Department of Driver Services can fine “super” speeders $200, according to the Georgia code.

Racing is considered a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.