HAMILTON, Ga. (WTVM) - The city of Hamilton is cracking down on speeders with six relatively new traffic cameras.
A law passed in Georgia in 2018 allowing the enforcement of speeding in school zones with digital recording devices is the inspiration behind the City of Hamilton’s latest installment of six speeding cameras.
“We’re a small town,” said Buddy Walker with the City of Hamilton. “We do not have police capability of being in every school zone twice a day when they are flashing.”
Two cameras face opposite directions on a road within a school zone. If you are driving more than 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, a device snaps a picture of your license plate and you’ll be served a civil infraction ticket and have to pay up to $75 for the first ticket.
“Every one after the first one is $125. So, if you have five tickets, you are going to pay over $700 in fines,” Walker said.
When the cameras first went up, motorists were given a grace period from Nov. 30 to Jan. 6. If someone was caught speeding, they got a warning. In total, 1,273 warnings were issued. Since the grace period ended and enforcement began on Jan. 6, over 700 tickets have been issued.
Residents say they have mixed opinions about it.
“I think they are an asset to the city because they slow people down, or should,” Diane Geter said.
“I think a lot of residents were not prepared for that because it was so quick. They don’t understand where their money is going to and generating from,” Jarred Hubbard said.
According to Hamilton city officials, the money collected from the tickets will be put toward public safety initiatives for local law enforcement.
“It is not like we need another police car,” Walker said. “We feel like with the former police chief and the officer being terminated or gone, it would be good to have public safety initiative.”
Due to former Hamilton police chief Gene Almond’s resignation, any tickets issued from Jan. 26 to Jan. 29 with his name on them will be dismissed.
City of Hamilton officials say if they get all the money from the 700 plus tickets issued, that should generate $38,000 in revenue.