Last October a negligent driver killed a 4-year-old girl in DeKalb County as her mother walked her to school. Just a few weeks later, a car struck and killed a school crossing guard in Cobb County. Both fatalities happened in school zones and are the reason why Georgia lawmakers are working to change laws that govern speeding in school zones. Specifically, they are implementing new speeding ticket laws.
While school zones are typically locations with lower speed limits, video cameras will soon help enforce those limits. While some people think it is a terrible idea to allow a speeding ticket to issue without the input of an actual on-scene law enforcement officer, other people think it is a step in the right direction.
House Bill 978
Georgia already allows cameras to give violations to motorists if they run a red light, although some cities have recently dismantled the red light systems. Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 978 Tuesday allowing automatic traffic devices, or cameras, to be used in school zones. These cameras will catch people speeding in school zones and can issue tickets that carry civil penalties. School buses already use the cameras to enforce laws that prohibit passing a stopped school bus. Law enforcement agencies will install the cameras, which will require a permit from the Georgia Department of Transportation to operate.
Speed and red light cameras are becoming more and more common and many states have enacted laws and legislation that allow these types of devices to be used in certain situations. 12 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, allow speed cameras to operate in at least one type of location. If you receive a citation from a speed camera, be sure that you were the one driving at the time. If you loaned your car to someone, the driver is responsible for the ticket and not the owner.
Consequences of a Speeding Ticket Citation
While the citation will not go into effect until this summer, you should consider the consequences ahead of time. Because the citations are civil penalties and not criminal violations, the violation will not go against your driver’s license and points will not be assessed against the violator’s license. Courts will continue to enforce traditional speeding tickets the same way as before. Insurance companies cannot use these violations against the person receiving the ticket. The fines for first time violators will be $75, with the second and subsequent offenses increasing to $125.
Defenses Against a Speeding Ticket Citation
There may be defenses against your camera speeding ticket citation if you receive this new type of school zone violation. You may be able to prove that you were not the person driving the car. Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances that led you speed, such as avoiding an accident. Because new laws can be extremely complex, it is best to consult with an attorney experienced in traffic violations. The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law have the knowledge and experience to represent you and get the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact them for a consultation today.