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Georgia Man Left Stunned After Receiving $1.4 Million Speeding Ticket

Connor Cato was shocked to see that he owed $1.4 million after getting pulled over in September—but officials clarified that it was just a 'placeholder' amount.

Police officer holding up a speed gun
aijohn784/Getty Images

We all know we should obey traffic laws, and most of us do the best we can.

But we're all human and we all make mistakes, and most of us have rushed through a yellow or red light, or we've driven above the speed limit, at some point.

If caught, we also know we need to follow the steps noted on the traffic violation ticket, whether it's paying a fine or appearing in court. We know there are going to be additional consequences if we don't.

As much as we know all of that, Connor Cato from Georgia surely did not know just how steep his fine would be for speeding.

Back in September, Cato was driving through a 55-mile-per-hour zone while driving at a speed of 90. He was pulled over and given a citation.

In Savannah, Georgia, any citations that involve driving 35mph or more above the speed limit also require the driver to appear in court, where the judge will determine the final price of the citation.

So when Cato received his citation back in September, he was shocked to see a $1.4 million fine on the ticket, but he hoped the figure was a typo.

Following up with the court, Cato reached out for an estimate of what the total cost would be. Because he was driving more than 35mph above the speed limit, he knew he'd have to go to court, but he wanted a better idea of what he'd have to pay.

Cato reasonably panicked during the phone call when he was told that he would either have to pay the fine in full or appear in court in December for an adjusted figure.

Cato's situation quickly went viral, and people could not wrap their minds around the fine.

You can see additional information released since Cato was initially advised about the ticket, below.

A closer look: Chatham County man receives $1.4M speeding

Sneh Patel, a Criminal Defense Attorney, was appalled at the idea of someone having to pay $1.4 just because they didn't show up to a court appointment.

Because of how much Cato was speeding, one of Georgia's "super speeder tickets" was indicated, which Patel pointed out should be an additional $200 fee on top of the standard speeding ticket cost. Patel said the actual fine could not exceed $1,000 in the state of Georgia.

Joshua Peacock, a spokesman for Savannah's city government, also responded to the public concern surrounding Cato's fine and argued that this was a "placeholder" fine amount, which would be adjusted when Cato appeared in court.

In response to what Cato was told on the phone, Peacock stated:

"We do not issue that placeholder as a threat to scare anybody into [appearing in] court, even if this person [Connor Cato] heard differently from somebody in our organization."

Peacock also confirmed that a violation of this kind in the state of Georgia could not exceed $1,000.

So while Cato got the scare of his life, it sounds like the situation will be resolved in December.