ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Armed with figures showing excessive violations by motorists, Alpharetta city leaders are exploring a sweeping program to target speeders in school zones.
At its May 20 meeting, the City Council heard from Alpharetta Police Maj. T. Lindgren who came with a report he said attested to concerns residents have voiced over the issue of school safety. Lindgren cited a recent study that logged more than 3,500 speed violations during a one-week period at six local schools. The study covered 10 hours — one hour before classes began and one hour after dismissal — for five days.
The study was conducted by Red Speed USA and Verra Mobility, two companies that specialize in traffic safety systems.
Statistics over the one-week study revealed dozens of cases where motorists were clocked at more than 30 mph over the speed limit in the school zone. New Prospect Elementary logged 53 such cases. One motorist was clocked at 59 mph through a school zone.
“We just don’t have enough people to address this effectively,” Lindgren said.
He proposed the city consider seeking proposals from a private firm to install and monitor cameras at all school zones. There are a number of services, he said, that provide all the equipment and monitoring at no cost, with proceeds from fines split with the city.
The city’s share of the fines would be channeled to public safety, he said.
City officials were generally approving of the idea.
“In my first discussion with you all, I was a little equivocal — the libertarian inside of me — until I saw the numbers,” Councilman John Hipes said.
Lindgren said the monitoring equipment used under the program would be state certified for calibration, and all violations would be reviewed by an Alpharetta police officer before a citation would be issued.
If the city wishes to pursue the program, the City Council may place the item on the agenda for a vote at an upcoming meeting.