The city of South Fulton Police Department has reinstated efforts to control traffic speeds near schools to keep students safe by installing speeding cameras in school zones.
Speed zone cameras are now operative at all schools within the city limits. Flashing lights alert driver reduced speeds, which are effective for an hour before and after school starts and for an hour before and after school ends.
Named in honor of Ren’gia Majors, an 11-year-old killed in a traffic accident at Sandtown Middle School in February 2018, the city started using the cameras in December 2019 following the accident and numerous complaints from parents.
Ren’gia’s father, Lahtrey Majors, says the steps the city has taken took to implement safety measures give his daughter’s life purpose and ensures her legacy.
“I am honored to have this legislation named after my daughter,” he said. “Now, even after I’m gone, there will be something of her remaining. It took my child’s life for people to realize the road was not safe, but her life will save the lives of many others.”
Blue Line Solutions conducted speed studies in 13 school zones throughout the City of South Fulton and captured five days of speed data during school hours. It was revealed that of 157,979 vehicles, 25,992 traveled through school zones speeding more than 11 mph. Feldwood Elementary School had the most violations with 6,232 violations represented by 47 percent of drivers speeding.
During the school year, a $75 fine will be given to first-time offenders while a $125 fine will be given to second and subsequent offenders. Offenders caught traveling 11 mph over the posted speed limit will receive speeding citations. The flashing lights are implemented based on school scheduling and at the direction of the Fulton County School superintendent.
The process is automated and requires minimal time to enforce, so officers are not pulled from other duties.
“We have an obligation as a city to look out for the safety and wellbeing of our children,” Police Chief Keith Meadows said. “This speed cameras initiative is a huge step in the right direction toward accomplishing this goal.”
According to the Transportation Research Board, 25,000 children are injured every year in school zone accidents. Those accidents have decreased in recent years for children under the age of 12, likely due to rigorous enforcement of traffic laws in school zones.