School-zone speed cameras still in the works

Published 9:27 am Thursday, October 19, 2023

Two months after the LaGrange City Council approved an agreement for speed detection cameras in school zones, the cameras have yet to be placed. Police Chief Garrett Fiveash said they are coming later this year.

On Aug. 8, the city approved an agreement with RedSpeed USA, a camera ticketing company, to place speed cameras within all school zones within the city to help slow down motorists.

Fiveash said they are currently waiting on the Georgia Department of Transportation for a final approval before RedSpeed can begin installing the cameras. He said once they get up and running there will be a 30-day grace period before people start getting ticketed.

“They were hoping to have them installed by Dec. 1 and be ready to start the 30-day grace period. So conceivably, if they fall in with that timeline, that means the enforcement will start right after the new year,” Fiveash said.

The cameras are being provided by RedSpeed at no cost to the city at no cost, but in turn, the company will receive a small portion of the proceeds from fines issued. The cameras would otherwise cost the city about $6,000 annually.

The cameras also use tag reading technology which police can use to help solve non-traffic related crimes.

Fiveash said the cameras will help protect children in each school zone, where he says speeding has gotten out of control. The cameras will help as they simply do not have the manpower to constantly monitor each school zone twice a day.

The problem has become so rampant that it’s difficult to even make a dent in stopping speeders, Fiveash said.

During a recent traffic study at five schools, LPD observed 2,700 violations in a four-hour timeframe.

Fiveash said statistically the speed cameras have shown a 90 to 95 percent reduction in speed infractions in those zones. He said they plan to do more traffic studies after the cameras are installed and people start getting tickets to see if they are working to reduce speeds here.

The cameras will only issue tickets to motorists in school zones during school zone hours and only to drivers going at least 15 MPH over the posted speed limit.