US 441 in front of new Midway extremely fertile RedSpeed ground
RedSpeed cameras certainly have succeeded in slowing down vehicle traffic in front of local schools, especially Georgia Military College and John Milledge Academy, which was the original goal, according to local law enforcement officials.
Hitting people in the wallet often is the best way to send a message. Around Midway Hills Academy on US 441, however, people apparently have been slow to get the message. A total of 1,647 RedSpeed traffic citations were mailed out in the first 17 school days of the "enforcement phase" in front of Midway, according to data from the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, which averages out to 97 per day and roughly $8,000 per day in tickets. In theory, that would average out to more than $1.4 million per school year in front of Midway.
For those who may not be completely familiar with the Redspeed program, here is some more information in a nifty question-and-answer form:
- QUESTION: What does the Sheriff's Office get out of it?
- ANSWER: The revenue split is 65 percent for the BCSO and 35 percent for RedSpeed, the company that’s partnering with the city and handling all of the equipment and operations. The revenue for the BCSO “can only be spent on new police equipment or for school safety programs."
- QUESTION: Will a citation impact my driver’s license?
- ANSWER: The RedSpeed citations will not cause drivers “to lose points on their licenses,” according to Milledgeville Police Department Chief Dray Swicord. “It’s simply a civil summons against the owner of the vehicle,” he added
- QUESTION: So, why pay the ticket if it doesn't take points off of my license?
- ANSWER: Although drivers and vehicle owners will not lose their licenses for refusing to pay any RedSpeed tickets, they won’t be able to renew their vehicle tags at the Tax Commissioner’s Office, Swicord said.
- QUESTION: What if someone else was driving my car?
- ANSWER: The speeding citation/summons will be issued against the owner of the vehicle caught on camera and not the actual driver. So, if a family member or someone else was borrowing your car and was caught speeding on camera, “that’s up for the vehicle owner and whoever else was involved to figure out how to pay,” said Swicord.
More daily traffic, along with more out-of-town traffic, inevitably equals more RedSpeed tickets. Take South Elbert Street in front of Georgia Military College, for example, where 434 Redspeed speeding tickets were mailed out during the first 50 days of the initiative back in 2021. So far, Midway has had roughly four times that many in less than one month.
There are two "school zone" blinking lights on US 441 in front of Midway that activate during school hours, as well as a pair of "school safety zone speed limit enforced" road signs. Here is the RedSpeed enforcement schedule for school days in front of Midway, with the first number representing the "posted" speed limit and the second number the "trigger" speed. Anything at or above the "trigger speed" equals a ticket in the mail.
|6:45 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.||55||66|
|7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.||35||46|
|8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.||55||66|
|2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.||35||46|
|any other time||55||NONE|