HAMILTON, Ga. (WRBL) – The City of Hamilton has handed out over $35,000 worth of speeding tickets but has only seen slightly over $1,000 of that revenue.
The city has issued 707 tickets since the installation of the cameras on Jan. 6. Citizens have been questioning the legality of this setup and whether the cameras were installed only to increase revenue for the city.
Buddy Walker, an assistant to Hamilton Mayor Julie Brown, says according to Georgia Law 40-14-18 these cameras are completely legal and so is the revenue as long as it’s used for public outreach, public initiative, public safety, or the police department.
Walker went on to emphasize that the cameras are used to ensure the safety of all citizens, especially in school zones.
“There’s no one in America that doesn’t know that you shouldn’t speed in a school zone,” said Walker. “So I think the mayor and council and I personally would agree that even if we did not get the revenue, we would still like to have the cameras there and slow people down.”
He also added that if these speeders were being caught by police officers there would be greater repercussions, including larger fees and points on the person’s license.
“If we had enough officers to patrol the school zones while they were in session, the tickets would begin at 250 dollars and go up,” said Walker. “Not only that, your insurance would go up and you would have points on your driver’s license to the state,” according to Walker.
Walker said according to Georgia Law the cameras can be active from one hour before school starts to one hour after school finishes, which the city will enforce sometime soon.
This means the cameras will be in operation for the entirety of the school day—or 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Walker assures that the cameras will adjust tickets based on when the school zone speed limit is active and when it’s not.