Some complain about Albany’s photo-enforced school zones, city officials disagree

City officials say Albany still has a "bad speeding problem."
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 8:05 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The city of Albany has received $1.9 million since the school zone speed cameras started fining speeders in 2021, according to Albany Police. City officials say Albany still has a “bad speeding problem,” and the camera enforcement is protecting the safety of not only school students, but everyone, in the initiative to make drivers slow down.

WALB has received complaints about one of the speed camera zones on one of Albany’s busiest streets: North Slappey Boulevard. Drivers say the speed camera notification sign is blocked by another sign.

City officials disagree.

WALB received complaints that the sign warning of the photo-enforced school zone going south at 2200 North Slappey Boulevard is partially obscured by a no-parking sign. 

The Albany police chief and the mayor were made aware of the complaints, and they disagreed.

“But the signage, we don’t want to put a bunch of signage out there. But there is adequate signage for people to know that you are coming into a school zone,” Albany Police Chief Michael Persley said.

“This has been a school zone for decades. And those school zones have been there for quite some time. It’s not some nefarious plot to put this no parking sign,” Albany Mayor Bo Dorough said

The “No Parking” sign is 18 feet in front of the school speed photo-enforced sign. That sign is 29 inches by 22 inches in size.

Residents who voiced complaints to us said they don’t feel that is an adequate warning. Police report that since the camera enforcement activation began this school year, there have been 4,040 violations and warnings issued at that school zone.

“Which tells you what? We’ve got a problem with speeding on Slappey Drive,” Dorough said.

City officials say flashing warning lights are coming, but they are waiting on state approval to install them.

“Because that is a state route. We have to get approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation so that we can place flashers on that location,” Persley said.

But until those warning lights are installed, city officials say simply drive the speed limit, because protecting school students and pedestrians from speeding drivers is the issue.

“At the end of the day, we got a school zone and the number of citations that have been issued is a testament to the magnitude of the problem,” Dorough said.

“The whole intent from the beginning was to change the driving behavior. And from the first school zones, these cameras were implemented, you can tell that the driving behavior has changed to where people recognize where they are at. They are slowing,” Persley said.

Since the start of the school year in August, the speed zone cameras have issued 12, 832 citations.