Fines will begin for those speeding in the school zone in front of Rome Middle School and Rome High School Wednesday, when a 30-day warning period expires.
The system installed by Illinois-based RedSpeed USA has sent out 1,284 warnings since activated on Aug. 5. As of Wednesday, it will generate $75 tickets for vehicles traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.
The second offense will cost $125.
The cameras only capture the license plates — not the drivers’ images. The owner of the vehicle is ticketed.
The cameras will only issue tickets during the periods from an hour before school begins to an hour after school ends, while the school zone lights are flashing on Veterans Memorial Highway.
The Rome City school board approved the measure in 2019 and the City of Rome approved it in March 2020 after the Rome Police Department approached each board. RPD Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett said speeding on Veterans Memorial Highway has been an issue for law enforcement for years.
“Our motorcycle officers work the school zone (one Veterans Memorial Highway) as often as they could,” Burnett said. “This will free them up to work other school zones, like elementary schools.”
The option to place the cameras in school zones to catch speeding drivers was approved by the Georgia Legislature through House Bill 978, which was passed into law during the 2018 legislative session.
Of the revenue generated from the speed cameras, 35% goes to RedSpeed, which installed and monitors the devices. The other 65% goes to the Rome Police Department. It does not go into the city’s general fund.
That could potentially be a boon to the police department. Assuming the rate of tickets for a 30-day period continues as it did for the warning period and those were first time offenders, it could add approximately $60,000 to the RPD’s coffers.