Citations were issued to 417 motorists last week as the Jefferson Police Department has started ticketing speeders detected by cameras placed in school zones.

Jefferson police chief Joe Wirthman, who presented that number to the city council on Feb. 8, said 85 percent of the speeding violations came on Washington St. in front of Jefferson High School.

Wirthman noted that Feb. 5 data for Washington St. is not yet available.

The other speed zone cameras are located on Old Pendergrass Rd. in front of Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson Academy and Jefferson Middle School.

Ticketing began on Feb. 1. Speeders had previously been mailed warnings. Drivers exceeding school zone speed limits by 11 mph will be issued citations through this automated system.

Wirthman said just over 50 percent of those being cited are not Jefferson residents.

The city shares the revenue generated from the fines with the company that installed the cameras, Blue Line Solutions. Revenue is to be applied toward public safety expenses.

Wirthman said officials with Blue Line said citations usually drop by as much as 80 percent after the first two weeks of citations.

“Hopefully the word is getting out,” he said.

Flashing radar signs have been placed on both Washington St. and Old Pendergrass Rd. to warn drivers of their speeds before entering the camera zone.

The speed zone cameras are only live during school days. Automated tickets will not be issued before or after school hours or on days when school is session.

“At the end of the day, I know we had some healthy debate about methodology,” said mayor Jon Howell, who voted against the speed cameras while serving as a councilman, “but what we all want to see is the traffic slow down.”

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