Americus police announce additional school zone speed camera

AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) – School zone speeding cameras are continuing to pop up throughout South Georgia. Now, Americus law enforcement is adding another camera to one of their school zones.

“Well as you can see this is a very highly traveled highway. It’s a straight shot from town to Bumphead Road. It’s a lot of people coming this way,” said Americus Police Chief Chief Mark Scott.

He said within the past five years there have been 20 traffic accidents in front of North Lee Street, where the school is located. Fortunately, out of all of those accidents, there have been no fatalities. That’s something he wants to continue to prevent.

“Residents are concerned about their kids walking to school and cars speeding. We get complaints all over the city constantly about cars speeding through neighborhoods, cars speeding through school zones,” he said.

The new school zone speed camera is the last camera to be added to the county schools. Within the past few years, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office launched school zone speed cameras in other school zones like in front of Americus-Sumter High School.

Scott said the system will only target speeders during students’ arrival time to school and during their dismissal time. The first 30 days the system is operational will be a grace period for drivers where they’ll only receive a warning.

“Every vehicle that’s flagged that’s speeding during the school zone will have a person dedicated that will go through every day and check and make sure that they are legitimate tickets before it goes out,” he said.

Across the United States, only 26 states can legally enforce school zone speed cameras, including Georgia. This is why we’ve continued to see the automated ticket system show up in counties across South Georgia.

“Automated speed enforcement is something that’s going across the state of Georgia. All of the school zones in Sumter County except for this one have speed enforcement,” Scott said.

The school zone speed cameras in Americus are just some out of many others that have been implemented throughout South Georgia. Within the past few years, other counties like Lee, Clinch, and Thomas County have started operating the automated ticketing system.

Holly Cooper, CEO of Altumint, a photo enforcement camera system company, said each time a school speed camera is put in place it’s because a speed study was done that showed alarming speed data.

“Prior to having a photo enforcement program in place, when that data is collected, we typically see about a 90% drop in people’s speeding just between the time the study is done until we go live with enforcement,” she said.

Repeat violators are subject to receive a maximum of $125 citations.

“The programs that we set up are not intended to be a money grab. This is really about the safety benefits,” Cooper said.

Law enforcement says no matter where these photo enforcement systems are set up throughout south Georgia, they still want you to buckle up and slow down in school zones.Within the past few years, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office launched school zone speed cameras in other school zones like in front of Americus-Sumter High.

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