Atlanta Speed Cameras Improperly Issued up to $500K Worth of Tickets

Sampajano_Anizza /
Sampajano_Anizza /

Thousands of motorists in Atlanta were improperly given speeding tickets when public schools forgot to turn off nearbyspeeding cameras after school hours. The problem has been happening since last November. An estimated 4,500 people were given tickets totaling up to $500,000, even though they weren’t speeding in a school zone.

Atlanta has a system set up in school zones where the speed signs have yellow warning lights on them. If the lights are flashing during school hours, it means the speed limit is reduced to 25 MPH. After school is over and the lights are no longer flashing, the speed limit increases to 35 MPH.

The flashing lights had been switched off every day after school because they were on a timer. The speeding cameras, however, have to be switched off manually by someone at the school. Since the cameras were still on, they were snapping photos of every license plate that drove by and the city was issuing speeding tickets to them, to the tune of $75 apiece.

Ivan DeQuesada received a speeding ticket even though it was a Friday evening at almost 5 p.m., which was well after school was shut down for the week. He asked his neighbors about it and discovered that many of them had also received tickets after school hours and when the lights were not flashing.

The city was issuing illegitimate speeding tickets to people for six months before the problem was discovered. Some fed-up residents are even accusing the city of doing it intentionally as a money grab. Most people find speeding cameras to be obnoxious to begin with, but maybe having multiple cameras around multiple schools issuing illegitimate tickets—which all have to be refunded now—will Atlanta’s city leaders think twice about the faulty technology.