.

Wheels and Heels: Speeding in School Zone Expensive in Avondale Estates

Unless you've got a couple hundred dollars to spare, you'd better slow down when traveling through school zones in Avondale Estates

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 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, and the ’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?

Diane Loupe February 18, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Thanks, Vickie. I was trying to localize the story, and I had information about the cost of school zone tickets for Avondale Estates. Thank you for that additional information. Is it a state law that prohibits Georgia cities from generating more than 40 percent of its municipal budget from tickets? Would you know who in the state collects this information?
Cindy Livingston February 18, 2011 at 09:50 PM
I assume that the high fines are intended to deter drivers from unsafe speeding in school zones, not necessarily as fundraisers for Avondale or any other municipality. Maybe they should post a sign so people would know just how much they could end up forking over. Whatever the fines are, I'm happy for them to be there. We need to protect our kids. (From someone who doesn't have any of my own, not an overprotective parent.)
Avon Dale February 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Colorful signs are great if you can read the small print while you're driving, but how about let's put up some flashing lights to make it clear drivers are entering a school zone? If the Avondale Estates Police are serious about safety first and not just in it for the fundraising, they wouold put up flashing lights. Btw, good point @Diane Loupe; how much does the city of Avondale Estates make from tickets as a percentage of the budget? Anyone know?
Toy April 26, 2013 at 10:50 PM
This is pretty much an easy speed trap seeing that the speed limit goes from 45 to 25mph. I got pulled over before the sign notifying the 25mph speed limit change even came up!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something