Lawmaker wants to eliminate all school zone speed-detection cameras across the state

ATLANTA — A Georgia lawmaker wants to eliminate all school zone cameras across the state.

He told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that he and other lawmakers are hearing complaints from people who got speeding tickets when the zones were not supposed to be operating.

Some think it’s just a way for cities or counties to make money. But some parents say the cameras are forcing people to slow down and keep their kids safe.

Cars drive by the school zone cameras along Bakers Ferry Road near Miles Elementary every day.

The school zone hours are clearly marked, so these cameras should not be operating since it is winter break for Atlanta Public Schools.

But South Georgia Republican Clay Pirkle said his office is flooded with complaints from people who say they have been getting speeding tickets even when schools are out, and the zones are not supposed to be active.

“I had one guy told me he got a ticket with his car on a flatbed going through a school zone being towed,” Pirkle said.

So Pirkle appeared in a House committee Tuesday for this bill that would eliminate these school zone cameras altogether.

Even Gwinnett Democrat Dewey McClain supports it because he’s getting complaints too.

“I love the bill. I think it will help a lot of our constituents,” McClain said.


But opponents like Caroline Herring of Decatur point to stats that they claim show a 90% decrease in excessive speeding through the zones.

“I ask you not to wipe out all options for any speed cameras in school zones in this state,” Herring told the committee.

But Pirkle thinks the cameras are more about generating revenue than keeping students safe.

He said a better option is removing the cameras and posting law enforcement outside the schools during school hours.

“Clearly, there are millions of dollars generated, and we basically have subbed out school safety to a camera, and that should not be the position of the great state of Georgia,” Pirkle said.

Another school zone camera bill would keep the camera in place but make sure all the laws and regulations governing them are uniform across the state.

That bill comes up for debate later this week.