On March 22, 2021, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department began the 30-day warning period for the newly implemented school speed zone cameras. As a result, over 2,400 warnings were sent to registered owners of violating vehicles. As of Monday, April 26, 2021, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department will begin sending citations for violations instead of warnings. As a reminder, School zone speed safety cameras are installed near the following schools:
- Barnett Shoals Elementary
- JJ Harris Elementary
- Whitehead Elementary
School zones have a tremendous amount of pedestrian traffic. Studies have shown that a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour is nearly 2/3 less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department urges drivers to slow down and obey the posted speed limit, especially in school zones and other areas with high volumes of pedestrian traffic.
A speeding violation will carry a fine of $75 for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenses will result in a $125 fine. Signs are in place to alert drivers that the school zone is a photo enforcement area and the cameras will only be operational when the beacons are flashing.
Traffic studies conducted at these school zones showed a high number of speeding vehicles while school was in session.
“Our priority is to keep our students safe. The school zone speed cameras will encourage drivers to slow down, thereby protecting children before and after school,” said Dr. Xernona Thomas, Superintendent of the Clarke County School District.
“The school zone speed safety camera program is an important component of our community’s traffic enforcement efforts. These devices help us enforce the speed limit and allow us to utilize our officer resources in the most efficient manner throughout Athens-Clarke County,” said ACCPD Chief of Police Cleveland Spruill. “We strongly advise drivers to be alert and to always abide by the posted speed limit. Speeding is always dangerous to people inside and outside of the vehicle.”
The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government contracts with Verra Mobility (VM) to administer its safety program, now consisting of five speed safety cameras. VM determines whether a violation event has occurred and reviews each warning. They forward their findings to the ACCPD where the photographic evidence is reviewed multiple times before a citation is issued.
For more information on Athens-Clarke County’s School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program, visit https://www.accgov.com/speedsafetycameras.