New traffic cameras in Bloomingdale school zone catch 300 violators in first week

Traffic

BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. (WSAV) – The Bloomingdale Police Department is using a brand new tool to keep kids safe on their way to school.

LiDAR traffic cameras, with laser focus, have been installed along Cherry Street, leading to Bloomingdale Elementary School.

Officers say it’s a surefire way to catch speeders; going 11 miles over the speed limit will trigger them.

“When you get your speed checked by LiDAR, that’s’ your vehicle,” explained Bloomingdale Police Chief Blair Jeffcoat. “It shoots a laser, a little red dot, on the vehicle — that’s you.”

Jeffcoat said the cameras also provide a photo of the laser-hit vehicle and its tag.

In one instance, the vehicle in question was a school bus going 40 mph in the 25 mph zone.

“Those are the drivers that should be the ones you trust to take care of your kids,” Jeffcoat said.

“I think this week we have had close to 300 violations just at the 25 mph speed limit,” he said, adding, “A lot more than I thought. We thought people would see the signs and slow down.”

The goal is to use LiDAR in school zones so Jeffcoat can place officers in other areas for other crimes instead.

Right now, there’s a grace period for those caught by the cameras; 30 days where you get a warning and not a citation.

But starting March 1, the tickets will start getting sent in the mail. Drivers won’t get points on their license but will have to pay $100 for just a few miles over.

To avoid a fine, Jeffcoat says it’s simple: “Slow down and pay attention. Especially in the school zones.”

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