Sheriff's Office launches JMA Redspeed safety initiative; new Midway next

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Redspeed traffic safety cameras officially began monitoring motorists on Log Cabin Road in front of John Milledge Academy at 7:30 this morning. 

By 8 o'clock, a whopping 92 vehicles had been clocked traveling at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, an image of their license plates captured. Several were going over 50, which was more than twice the speed limit, according to Maj. Scott Deason with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.  The owners of those 92 vehicles, as well as all subsequent speeders for the next 30 days, will receive a "warning" in the mail. After the 30-day grace period is up, however, speeding past JMA during school hours will equal a $75 citation.

The cameras will only be turned on during school days and not on the weekends and school holidays and breaks. Between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. each school day, the speed limit will be 25 miles per hour, and the "trigger speed" for the Redspeed cameras will be 36 mph. The speed limit then rises to 45 miles per hour with a "trigger speed" of 56 until 2:30 in the afternoon, when the speed limit once again is reduced to 25. 

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This is the third Redspeed initiative in Milledgeville-Baldwin County, joining the one on South Elbert Street near Georgia Military College, as well as the one on Ga. 49 in front of Baldwin High. The JMA/Log Cabin safety initiative is being overseen by the Sheriff's Office, while the other two were launched by the Milledgeville Police Department. 

During the first 30 days of the "enforcement period" in front of BHS, a total of 1,109 $75 citations were mailed out. Based on the fact that December was an abbreviated school month, and the Redspeed cameras were not active between Dec. 17 and Jan. 4, that averages out to roughly 85 speeding tickets per school day. 

Meanwhile, after the first 30 days of the enforcement period, repeat speeders will begin receiving $125 citations in the mail.

Deason told Baldwin2k that the Sheriff's Office also is working on another new Redspeed safety zone – the section of US 441 South in front of the new Midway school.

We are in the process of getting the permits for that area down at Midway, and once those permits are approved, we will go online there, as well," he said.

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 spend on new police equipment or for school safety programs." This, theoretically, would include school assemblies focusing on driving safety and other brochures and literature.
  • 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.

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