Speeding through a school zone in Avondale Estates isn’t just illegal and dangerous, it’s VERY expensive.
Depending upon how heavy your foot is, fines range from $192 to $703 for speeding in a school zone in the city, according to the City of Avondale Estates Clerk of Court Hazel Baker.
Avondale Estates recently expanded the hours of reduced speeds in school zones on Covington Highway, putting up new, more colorful signs to notify (or warn) motorists of the change. The new school zone enforcement times are 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Avondale Estates Police Chief Gary Broden wrote in the city newsletter to residents that “three schools located within such a close proximity of one another and each having its own hours of operation, changes had to be made to make it safe for all the students within the area.”
Avondale Elementary, a traditional DeKalb County public school, and two publicly funded charter schools, the Museum School and the International Community School’s lower primary campus, are all located on or near Covington Highway in Avondale Estates.
Sgt. Jason Browen of the Avondale Estates Police Department says city officers enforce the school zone “pretty diligently.” The city does not hire school crossing guards, and many parents walk children to schools within Avondale Estates, Browen said. In his 16 years on the force, Browen said there has not been a traffic fatality in the city.
The expansion of the school zone times was made after the Avondale Estates Police Department consulted with the Georgia Department of Transportation, Broden, the chief said.
“Hopefully, the changes and improvements will assist in slowing down motorists as they travel through the school zone – protecting our children as they proceed to and from school,” wrote Broden in the newsletter, emailed to residents recently.
Although the city officials Patch spoke with couldn’t cite how much money the city brings in from traffic tickets, speeding in a school zone in Avondale Estates is expensive.
If you’re clocked at 10 miles to 14 miles over the 25 m.p.h. speed limit, the fine is $192. For 15-19 miles over the limit, $276; 20-24 m.p.h., $388; 25-29 m.p.h., $444 and 30-99, $703. The city even includes a Ticket Fast Pay link on their web site for citation payments.
Traffic was heavy on a recent midday visit to the school zone in Avondale Estates. None of the cars whizzing by this columnist and her teenage son seemed to be aware of the state law requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
If raising fines helps Georgia drivers slow down in school zones, or anywhere else, perhaps it's a revenue stream worth supporting because such lawbreakers' reckless behavior behind a wheel imperils the lives of those around them.
What do you think?