LaGrange hears proposal from company that would put ticket cameras in school zones

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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On Tuesday, LaGrange City Council heard a proposal from RedSpeed USA, a camera ticketing company, which would ensure commuters would slow down in school zones.

Greg Parks, a representative of RedSpeed USA, said they’ve seen a 50 to 90 percent decrease in school zone speeding using their cameras, which ticket drivers for going a certain number over the speed limit. He said statewide 90% of people who get one citation never receive a second one.

“It’s greatly modifying behavior and improving school children safety,” Parks said.

LaGrange Police Chief Garrett Fiveash said that a traffic study was conducted at five schools in the city of LaGrange between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. There were 4,706 violations where drivers were going at least 11 MPH over the posted speed limit, and that was in just one day.

“Obviously, there’s a problem,” Fiveash said.

The RedSpeed USA program would not cost the city of LaGrange anything. A portion of ticket proceeds would go to RedSpeed, and a portion to the city of LaGrange. All proceeds from fines must be used to fund local police initiatives.

Citations are sent with a code to a website, which shows the speeding violation, including a video. The citation is also vetted by RedSpeed and by the LaGrange Police Department before being sent out. 

The speed would only be enforced an hour before school begins through an hour after school lets out for the day.  There’s a $75 fine for the first violation and $125 violation for the second and subsequent violation. 

The speed enforced could be a higher number than 11 MPH over the speed limit. Parks said the number enforced is up to the city. 

City Councilman Mark Mitchell recommended a public hearing to discuss before the city chooses to go forward.

Parks said a30-day advanced warning is sent through the schools so that parents know ahead of time before the program starts.

Fiveash said the city would get approximately $70,000 in camera equipment through the partnership. 

Parks said the council would need to approve the program, which would then need GDOT permitting and school zone approval. The Troup County School Board would also have to approve it.

“I have heard of that concept, but we’ve had no conversations with any of the local law enforcement agencies about doing this,” Superintendent Brian Shumate said. 

Shumate said if the city is in favor, he’d take the idea to the school board.