New Traffic Safety Program coming to City School Zones
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lt. Nathan McDonald
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, 12-14-2020) - 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-129BUS/Washington Street. 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 this Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 with a warning period lasting until February 1st, 2021. Vehicles traveling 11MPH and above will receive warning citations in the mail during this warning period. These warnings will carry no fine, just a warning to travel slower in the school zones.
After the warning period, and beginning on February 1st, 2021, owners of speeding vehicles caught traveling 11MPH and above the speed limit will then receive speeding citations in the mail. State law sets the fine at $75.00 plus a $25.00 processing fee. Second and subsequent offenses will be $125.00 plus a $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.
Citations will start being issued on school days beginning on February 1st, 2021. The Speed Cameras will operate in School Zones throughout the entire school day while the children and educators are present at the schools. The Speed Cameras will not issue citations at all at night time, on weekends, on holidays or any other day school is not in session.
The “Flashing Light" Lower Speed of 25mph on Old Pendergrass Road will be enforced from 7:00am to 8:30am during morning drop off and 2:15pm to 4:00pm during afternoon pickup, as this road has 3 different schools with 3 different start times off of it. During the other in-between times, the cameras will enforce the regular 35mph speed of the road through the School Zone.
The "Flashing Light" Lower Speed of 35mph on Washington Street (US129Bus) will be enforced from 7:35am to 8:35am during morning drop off and 3:10pm to 4:10pm during afternoon pickup, as there is only 1 school on this road. During the other in-between times, the cameras will enforce the regular 45mph speed of the road through the School Zone.