CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Changes are coming to school zones in Chatham County and if you do not drive safely, it will cost you.
The Chatham County Police Department (CCPD) is working to further ensure safety of students in the unincorporated area by adding cameras to school zones.
“We want our kids to go to school safe and return home from school safe and this is just one tool in our toolbox to be able to do that,” CCPD Chief Jeff Hadley said.
CCPD will follow what other area departments have already done and partner with Blue Line Solutions to install cameras within school zones.
Chatham County Commission voted on the issue Friday, April 16. Police say six zones are ready to go (May Howard, St. Andrew’s, Coastal and Marshpoint, Isle of Hope and Georgetown) and another three will be added (Hesse, Southwest Middle and Elementary School and St. James) to both public and private schools in the area.
During a five-day period, more than 292,000 cars traveled through the zones and more than 25,000 were found going 10 miles over the speed limit. That means 9 percent of the cars on the road were speeding.
Chief Hadley says when the camera’s go live, they will operate during specific school zone hours and only ticket those going 10 mph over the speed limit.
First offenses will cost drivers $100.
“Really, we want people to slow down. I hope we do not make five dollars on it. You know we don’t want to, we’re not here to create revenue or anything like that, we really want to, it’s really a public safety need and we hope that it lowers the speed limits aggregately in the school zones and it makes it safer for kids,” Chief Hadley said.
The chief says, with a few weeks of school left, they are planning to begin the program this fall when school returns and will have a 30-day warning period. Until then, they will be doing public awareness to remind drivers to slow down.