New speed detection cameras will debut in Roswell school zones as a way to encourage drivers to slow down this school year.
The city will be working with the company RedSpeed to install the cameras in Roswell school zones. Roswell police began research on this program in February and presented its findings and requests to the committee July 24. During that time, Roswell police looked at six school zones in Roswell and found that Hembree Elementary School and Holcomb Bridge Middle School had over 1,500 speeding violations each from drivers.
“Obviously, the safety of children is of vital importance,” Captain Kyle Ratliff said. “Having worked in the traffic unit here in Roswell, it’s one of the largest complaints involving traffic we get.”
From 2008 to 2017 pedestrian traffic fatalities increased 35%, according to the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System. More than half of pedestrian fatalities are on state and local roads. The Georgia legislature passed House Bill 978, which allowed speed detection devices in school zones.
As speed increases, the ability to slow down and stop takes more time and distance.
“Slowing people down in our school zones and being able to avoid children on our sidewalks and crosswalks is of vital importance,” Ratliff said.
The camera systems do not have flash that may distract drivers and instead use LED inferred technology to capture the images. The system also has 45-day video archiving and licence plate readers that alert officers if a vehicle involved with an Amber Alert passes through a school zone. Officers are able to immediately retrieve videos in case of emergency.
Because the RedSpeed cameras are entirely violator funded, The RedSpeed program will cost the city nothing. The company will provide updated signage in school zones and all the programming and tools needed. There will also be 30-day warning period for drivers before any fines are given. In that first 30 day period, the state is seeing a 60% reduction in speeding and 40% additional drop on top of that after its been there.
Speeding fines will be $75 for the first offence and $150 for other offenses. The detection cameras will be alerted of drivers driving 11 mph over the speed limit. Speeding will not put points on licenses. Areas will be monitored during the entire school day.
RedSpeed does not sell any data and follows all compliance for data. The cameras allow for positive revenue — 35% revenue goes back to the company and the remaining 65% goes back to public safety. In addition, the city is allowed a year termination period if they are not satisfied.
“At the end of the day, our goal to gain voluntary compliance and to get people to understand that when you’re driving through a school zone, there’s kids, there’s people, there’s parents walking, and to get people to obey those rules,” Ratliff said.