ATESD Program Enforcement Begins Today 02-01-21
City of Jefferson to Implement New Traffic Safety Program to Reduce Excessive Speeding in Jefferson Elementary-Academy and Jefferson High School Zones
Implementation of an automated traffic enforcement safety device program to be put in place to increase children’s safety.
(Jefferson, GA, February 1, 2021) - The Jefferson Police Department announces the start of its school zone safety and automated traffic enforcement program for Jefferson Elementary-Academy School zone located on Old Pendergrass Road and Jefferson High School zone located on US-129. The goal is to reduce excessive speeding in the school zones.
Speed studies were conducted during school hours for a five-day period. These studies revealed that 15,458 vehicles traveled through the Jefferson Elementary-Academy school zone and 2,429 were speeding at 11 MPH and above. Another study revealed that 29,260 vehicles traveled through the Jefferson High School zone and 3,063 were speeding at 11 MPH and above. If we used this data to estimate monthly violations, it could have exceeded 22,000 speeding vehicles combined in the school zones. In 2018, 1,514 people died on Georgia’s roads. These deaths could have been prevented by practicing safe driving behaviors, including driving within the posted speed limit.
The enforcement will begin on February 1, 2021 at the conclusion of the 30-day warning period. Vehicles that were traveling 11MPH and above had received warning citations in the mail. These warnings carried no fine, just a warning to travel slower in the school zones. After the 30-day warning period, owners of speeding vehicles caught traveling 11MPH and above the speed limit will receive speeding citations in the mail. State law set the fine at $75.00 plus a $25.00 processing fee. Second and subsequent offenses will be $125.00 + $25.00 processing fee. If the fine goes unpaid, state law indicates that vehicle owners will be unable to renew their vehicle registration or transfer the title until the fine is satisfied. The citations are considered civil violations, much like tollway, or handicap parking violations, and will not affect the driver’s license, or insurance. Owners that wish to contest the citations will have the right to do so in the court of jurisdiction before a Judge.
Four key elements will be included for program implementation: Speed Studies, Public Information, Education, & Enforcement (PI&E). Parents can expect to see brochures from the police department and school system as education tools regarding the dangers of speeding in school zones. Other measures may incorporate information included in utility bills, social media, and public service announcements (PSA). Speed studies will be conducted at least four times during the first year to measure the positive impacts of the program. It is important to inform the public, not only about the existence of the program, but the reasons and results.