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Columbus PD begins mobile photo speed enforcement
(Posted Jan. 6, 2011)
Joined by Columbus City Councilmember Andrew J. Ginther, and officials from the Columbus Division of Police and Columbus City Schools, Mayor Michael B. Coleman announced the start of mobile photo speed enforcement in schools zones, parks, playgrounds and pools on Dec. 17.
This new initiative is aimed at protecting children and reducing the risk of injuries and fatalities from speeding vehicles that are not obeying the posted speed limit.
“When our kids are walking to and home from school, we need to know that they are safe,” Mayor Coleman said. “The goal of mobile photo speed enforcement is to slow vehicles down in areas where children gather and change driver behavior.”
The Columbus Division of Police Motorcycle Unit has been enforcing speeds in school zones for the past five years. During this time, they have written more than 32,000 speed citations during restricted hours. Majority of those receiving citations were traveling 15 to 20 MPH over the posted 20 MPH speed limit. In rare cases, officers have issued citation for drivers traveling 55 to 60 MPH over the posted 20 MPH limit.
“This system gives our officers the flexibility and freedom to move around the city to protect our children wherever and whenever needed,” said Ginther, chair of the Safety Committee. “This is a smart use of resources to maximize the effectiveness of our safety forces.”
Photo speed enforcement will aid officers in working more efficiently and have a greater impact on driver behavior. Typically it takes an officer seven to 10 minutes to write a speed citation while other vehicles continue to speed by. With the new technology, officers will be able to track speeds on vehicles traveling through the school zone and collect video of those blatantly speeding. Once the video has been reviewed multiple times, the owner of the vehicle will receive a $95 citation in the mail. Those traveling over 40 MPH in a school zone will receive a citation for $146.
“Vehicles traveling at a slower speed have a significantly shorter stopping distance,” Commander Tom Quinlan said. “Maintaining a safe speed allows the driver to have more control over the vehicle and time to avoid a crash or striking a pedestrian.”
Warning letters will be issued to violators until Jan. 13 and then monetary citations will begin.
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