Gwinnett County  BOC file photo

Gwinnett County commissioners take up business at a meeting in this file photo from February. A new noise ordinance that commissioners approved in May goes into effect Tuesday.

This isn’t exactly candid camera. Or, at least not the kind of candid camera that produces laughter.

Gwinnett County drivers are going to want to slow down near schools because they will end up on camera. County commissioners recently approved a contract with RedSpeed Georgia LLC to operate speed detection cameras in the county’s school zones to catch people who drive too fast past an elementary, middle or high school.

The cameras will be installed during the 2021-2022 school year. The police department will work with the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation, as well as the school systems to determine where the cameras should be placed.

“By using automated speed enforcement, we hope to leverage technology in a manner that will make school zones safer for both students and motorists.” said Gwinnett Deputy Police Chief J.D. McClure. “This will also allow us to dedicate more time to priority calls and other patrol functions.”

Police initially approached commissioners in May about pursuing the speed cameras, although they had not determined a company to provide the cameras at that time. One of the arguments provided to commissioners in favor of the cameras last month was that they would allow officers who had been providing speed details at schools to be redeployed elsewhere.

There will be consequences of course for people caught on camera speeding in a school zone. Technically, points won’t go a person’s driver’s license for speeding in the zones, but they may find themselves unable to legally drive their cars once their license plates are up for renewal. That’s because drivers who receive a citation for speeding in a school zone, and don’t pay the fine, will be prohibited from renewing their vehicle registration until the fine is paid. In other words, they will either have to pay the fine, have to start walking everywhere or hitching a ride.

They could always try to do something law enforcement really frowns upon, which illegally drive with an expired tag — but they would be doing so at their own peril because that would result in additional citations and fines.

The annual contract awarded to RedSpeed Georgia does not call for the county to pay to have the cameras installed or monitored, but there is a revenue-sharing clause which will let the county get 71.6% of the funds generated from fines.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

(6) comments

jgman100

This isn’t about safety. A private company earning revenue by leasing equipment and holding the owner of a vehicle hostage for the driver of the vehicle without right to defend, violates more protection and freedoms than saving lives.

If real concern was speeding then crossing guards, traffic lights, volunteer traffic monitors, would all ensure lives are saved.

This approach says speed then wait to be billed. If someone is killed in the meantime; oops.

Also what private personal information is being shared with a private company to perform this service and how are they using, protecting or selling this data? Did they send all citizens a privacy policy? Perhaps I’d rather take Uber instead of drive if I learned my data was being sold to marketing firms or China.

MarvinGardens

The crookedness of these is the revenue sharing. The company should be paid a flat fee for installation and maintenance, not a percentage of the fines.

dadof4

If the goal is to get drivers to slow down, the cameras will be CLEARLY marked with flashing lights when operating.

hpytravlr

This is disgusting. A private company allowed to tax the citizens.

BB22

hpytravir.....big difference between a tax and a fine.....just say'in.

MissDaisy

Not really a big difference; just the name. Both are levied by a government with dire consequences if not paid.

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