SCHOOL SAFETY

The City of Hoschton and the Jackson County School System have agreed to install speed-monitoring cameras in the school zone of West Jackson Elementary School off Hwy. 53 in downtown Hoschton.

The city plans to have the cameras up and running before the school’s fall break in October.

The presence of speed-monitoring cameras in school zones has become prevalent throughout the state, including in nearby Jefferson. They automatically detect those going over the speed limit and send out violation tickets without having to use an officer.

According to advocates, the move will improve the safety and reduce speeds in school zones.

 Hoschton hired Sensys Gatso Group (SGG), a company specializing in speed-monitoring devices and other traffic measuring systems, to conduct a traffic study in May during the last week of school for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.

Over the five-day study, SGG’s cameras flagged 9,008 citations for drivers going over 35 mph with the majority of speeders traveling between 46 and 66 mph and a significant number traveling over 76 mph. According to SGG, the number of citations flagged in Hoschton is comparable to a metro Atlanta city.

The cameras are slated to send citations to anyone going 11 mph over the speed limit during the school day.  SGG will install and maintain the cameras at no cost to the city, but will keep 35% of the ticket revenues.

The penalty for a first violation is $75 and $125 for any subsequent violation. 

“This will be a great way to slow the speed down in Hoschton so our new chief can concentrate on setting up our police department,” said councilman Adam Ledbetter.

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