MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — About 5,000 Georgia Military College students use this crosswalk daily. Leah Frazier uses it more than once. "Sometimes, I cross it 6-8 times a day just to get back from the facilities on this side of the street back to my actual classes,” she said.
The school zone speed limit along this road is 30 miles per hour, but Frazier says it feels like drivers are going 60 or over when she’s waiting to cross the street. “There’s many times that we’ve looked at each other, me and my friends, and we’ve been like, 'Oh, my gosh, we almost died because that person’s being irresponsible,'” Frazier said.
The Milledgeville Police Department partnered with a company called Red Speed and tracked drivers’ speeds on this street. GMC President William Caldwell was shocked at what they found. “On the average day, 11,000 vehicles will cross between right in the middle of our school, and of that, they report that at least 165 are exceeding the posted speed limits of 10 miles per hour or more,” Caldwell said.
With students as young as in the 4th grade crossing that street, Caldwell is completely behind the police department’s proposal to set up radar cameras to catch speeders. “If you travel 10 miles or more over the speed limit, it’s going to snap your picture with a date-time group, capture your license, and then, the owner of the vehicle, as the chief explained to me, will have to pay the fine,” Caldwell said.
Police Chief Dray Swicord said Red Speed is paying for the radar equipment. Georgia Military College Freshman Owusu Mensah thinks it’ll keep the area safer. “There’s definitely been accidents over here since speeding is a thing, so, yes, it will help minimize accident,” Mensah said.
35% of the money made from the tickets will go to Red Speed to maintain the cameras. The other 65% will go to the police department and will be used only for equipment and vehicles.
Chief Dray Swicord is also pushing to have radar poles set up on Highway 49 in front of Baldwin County High and along Blandy Road’s schools zones. He’ll go before council on Tuesday’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. If approved, Swicord plans to have the radar poles up before fall.