GDOT collects millions from drivers involved in accidents - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

GDOT collects millions from drivers involved in accidents

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

GDOT said it has collected $2 million from drivers involved in accidents that damage state property and it expects that figure to double by summer.

The agency said it has never had the resources to go after responsible drivers, so it recently hired a company, CMR, to handle collections.

 "It belongs to you and I and when it gets damaged, whether it's by an accident or irresponsible driving, you and I have to pay for it," said GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale. "We don't want taxpayers to pay for that. We want your insurance to pay for that."

The state estimates it spends $10 million to repair damage to signs, guardrails and other property.

"It's a good idea because maybe that will make people more conscious of how they're driving , to be more safe on the roads," said driver Sheryl Solomon.

CMR does not charge the state for its services but receives 15.5 percent of the money it collects.

GDOT said it is worth it, since the state was collecting little to nothing prior to hiring CMR.

"Anything you can do to recoup what the state pays for will ultimately save taxpayers money," agreed driver Scott Janz.

GDOT has a three-year contract with CMR and said the additional money it collects will go to various road improvement projects.

"We want to use that money for cleanup," said Dale. "We want to use that money to keep our drains clean. We want to use that money to keep potholes filled so that it doesn't affect your car."

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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