Image of police cruiser with blue lights activated and speed zone camera enforcement sign in foreground

Alpharetta Begins Camera Speed Enforcement In School Zones

Released January 23, 2020 05:23 PM
The City of Alpharetta is rolling out camera-based speed enforcement of public school zones, and a 30-day public education period has begun.  New signage alerting drivers to the new automated enforcement have begun to appear, and during the 30-day period drivers who violate posted speed limits in school zones will be mailed warning notices.

The school zone around Haynes Bridge Middle School is the first in the city to have active camera speed enforcement, and additional zones will be coming online over the coming weeks.

The Alpharetta program will target the most egregious speeders, those traveling at more than ten (10+) miles per hour over the posted speed limit in school zones.  The cameras will operate from one hour before school until one hour after school, only on school days.  A sworn police officer reviews and approves each citation before it is issued.

The cameras will be enforcing the lowered “school zone speed limit” only during the morning and afternoon school zone periods (i.e. – when the lights are flashing / during the times posted on the signs).  Alpharetta police officers will use traditional methods to address speed enforcement outside of those times.

The program was instituted after a nationwide spike in pedestrian fatalities over the past decade in which Georgia became one of the 5 deadliest states for pedestrians, with the seventh highest fatality rate.  Automated Enforcement is endorsed as a safety tool by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Safety Council.  

John Robison, Alpharetta’s Director of Public Safety, hopes the cameras will reverse dangerous safety trends and encourage drivers to slow down.

"We have high hopes that Automated Enforcement will encourage drivers to slow down and obey the law,” Chief Robison said.  “Traffic fatalities are the number one cause of death for children aged 5-14 and for young adults (aged 15-29).  Very minimal reductions in speed make the roads a lot safer, especially for children.”

Numerous publications have documented how slower speeds can save lives.  One definitive study (link) by the AAA Foundation found that children and young adults have less than a 10% risk of serious injury or death in an accident at 15 mph, but that the risks climbed substantially with each 5 mph increment.  At 35 miles per hour the risk of severe injury or death is greater than 50%.

During a study conducted in six Alpharetta school zones 3,557 drivers were found to be traveling in excess of 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit while the school zones were active.  The sample, which was taken during a nine-hour period in April 2019, found that more than 54% of violators were traveling at least 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit with 14.2% exceeding the speed limit by 20 to 24 miles per hour.

The new program will be fully operational and issuing real citations on February 17th.  The Department of Public Safety will be providing updates and answering questions on Social Media (@AlpharettaDPS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and also NextDoor).  Residents with questions are asked to contact the Traffic Unit Commander, Captain Simpson, at 678-297-6330 or