Controversy surrounds speed enforcement cameras in South Fulton

Two years after 11-year old Ren'gia Majors was killed by a speeding motorist, the City of South Fulton installed speed enforcement cameras in each of its 16 school districts to get drivers to slow down in school zones. The first camera was installed at Seaborn Lee Elementary School on Scarborough Road late last year, before the project was temporarily put on hold during the pandemic.

Motorist Amber Thompson was stunned when she received several citations in the mail earlier this month for speeding.

"I actually received over $1000 of citations," Thompson told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes. "I only paid $750. I received the last two late, and I'm only trying to dispute them just because it's outside of the hours."

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Thompson is disputing the times and dates of the alleged infractions, and she's not alone. Numerous residents have taken to social media, some contacting city officials. While most only received warnings, many complain the devices are ticketing them in error.

City of South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows said the city recorded 22,000 speeding citations just last week, over 900 of those speeding violations recorded were committed in the Seaborn Elementary School speed zone.

He reminds motorists the speed limit is 25 miles per hour in a school zone when the lights are activated and that the posted speed limit is enforced during the remainder of the day. Motorists going 10 miles or more over the speed limit will be ticketed.

The chief said no one should have received a fine before September 8, the date Fulton County schools resumed classes, and that he launched the speed enforcement camera initiative after hearing from concerned residents.

"We are constantly getting complaints about speeding through our school districts and through our communities as well, so we are trying to leverage this technology in a meaningful way to try to help curb some of that activity."

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The chief has heard from motorists who don't think they should've been ticketed, and encourages anyone who wants to dispute their citation, to take up the issue in municipal court.

"We certainly don't want to charge anybody erroneously. We want to make sure our citizens are having a fair opportunity as it relates to citations."