LaGrange approves speed cameras for school zones

Published 8:30 am Thursday, August 10, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The LaGrange City Council has approved an agreement for speed detection cameras to slow down motorists in school zones.

The council approved an agreement with RedSpeed USA, a camera ticketing company, which will provide speed cameras for school zones within the city.

The cameras will be provided by RedSpeed, who will receive a portion of the proceeds from the fines issued through the initiative.

LaGrange Police Chief Garrett Fiveash said the cameras will help as they simply do not have the manpower to constantly monitor every school zone. During a recent traffic study at five schools, the department documented more than 4,700 violations where motorists were going at least 11 MPH over the posted speed limit.

Fiveash said the cameras will only issue tickets to motorists in school zones and only to drivers going at least 15 MPH over the posted speed limit. The tickets will also only be issued for violations during school zone hours before and after school.

Fiveash said that speeding in school zones has become so rampant that it’s difficult to even make a dent in stopping speeders.

“If we send an officer out there to do speed enforcement, by the time we stop one person, 40 or 50 other violations have occurred,” Fiveash said.

The chief noted that cameras do not allow for discretion some officers might give to speeders.

“There’s no discretion in it. If they commit the violation, then that person is cited for it,” Fiveash said.

Fiveash said the cameras also use the Flock camera technology, so with nine schools in LaGrange the agreement will provide 18 more Flock cameras at no cost to the city. The cameras would otherwise cost the city about $6,000 annually.

Signs will warn motorists that the speed detection cameras are in use for 30 days before any citations being sent out.

The fine for the first speeding offense will be $75. Subsequent offenses are $125.

Councilman Mark Mitchell also noted that the citations are issued as civil offenses, so they should not affect auto insurance.

“If somebody’s going 15 miles over the speed limit in a school zone that’s actively going on, then they need a ticket,” Mitchell said.

The council unanimously approved the agreement in a 6-0 vote.