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Police Install Automated Speed Enforcement in School Zones

Police in Perry, Ga., implemented the new program to deter speeding in school zones. After a 30-day warning period, police will mail speeding tickets to drivers that exceed speed limits during school hours.

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(TNS) — An automated school zone enforcement system began operation at four Perry schools earlier this month.

The Perry Police Department implemented the new program to monitor drivers and deter speeding in school zones. After a 30-day warning period, police will mail speeding tickets to drivers that exceed 10 mph over the speed limit during school hours.

School hours are from one hour before school starts to one hour after school ends.

The automated enforcement system manufactured by Redspeed International uses cameras and radar technology to monitor up to 350 cars simultaneously. The department says the radar is accurate within 0.1 mph.

Visible signage is in place to warn drivers at the four schools where the system is currently operational: Tucker Elementary, Morningside Elementary, Mossy Creek Middle and Perry High. The department is waiting for approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation to activate the system at two remaining schools: Perry Middle and Matt Arthur Elementary,

During the current 30-day warning period, any drivers the system catches speeding will receive warning notices in the mail. The warning period is a courtesy to inform drivers about the new system before enforcement starts.

Starting Sept. 1, speeders will receive tickets in the mail. Every violation flagged by the system will be manually reviewed and approved by a sworn officer before a ticket is issued.

The fine for the first violation is $75 and $125 for subsequent violations.

"Over the past 10 years, there's been a nationwide spike in pedestrian fatalities due to a combination of speeding and distracted driving," Perry Communications Manager Tabitha Clark said. "We're focusing on the safety of the students and pedestrians walking to school. We're using this automated enforcement that is endorsed by the Georgia Governor's [ Office of] Highway Safety ... as a way to help people remember and realize to slow down and pay attention in school zones.

"This also will help the efficiency of the Perry Police Department as far as their workload. So while they are responding to calls, we can use this automated enforcement tool to make sure that we're able to be proactive in those areas."

A portion of the paid citation revenue will go to Redspeed International to maintain the system. The rest will be put toward Perry law enforcement activities such as purchasing new equipment or funding new school resource officers, as required by state law.

"We have high hopes that automated enforcement will encourage drivers to slow down and obey the law," Interim Police Chief Alan Everidge said in a press release. "Traffic fatalities are the number one cause of death for children aged 5-14 and for young adults (aged 15-29). Very minimal reductions in speed make the roads a lot safer, especially for children."

© 2022 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.