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Harlem to resume issuing speeding tickets

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 1:04 PM
Last updated 7:08 PM
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Less than a month after the city of Harlem lost its license to use radar equipment to catch speeders, the Georgia Department of Public Safety has given the city the green light to continue issuing citations.

“We will begin to issue citations off speed detection devices on probably Wednesday of this week,” said Harlem Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Jones.

In a statement issued last month, Jones announced that the agency’s radar calibration certification with the Georgia Department of Public Safety had expired Feb. 7. Jones was working to set up the department’s annual radar calibration certification renewal when he discovered the mistake.

According to the statement, police departments are required by law to submit an annual radar calibration report to the Georgia Department of Public Safety to retain its license. Units are tested by an outside vendor, which then submits a certificate of accuracy to the state agency.

As a result, the city’s license to use radar equipment was suspended until it was reinstated last week. Jones said he required his officers to take remedial courses before the department began using the equipment.

“I wanted to make sure my officers went through an online refresher course just as something I have mandated, and they have all been completed with the exception of one officer,” Jones said.

During the 10-month period that the equipment was not certified, the department issued about 85 speeding tickets, according to the statement.

Jones met with Harlem Mayor Bobby Culpepper and City Manager Jason Rizner after learning about the oversight, and the trio agreed to offer full refunds to motorists who received tickets from February to November of last year.

“We’re working diligently to work with those parties who were issued citations,” Jones said Monday. “As a matter of fact, the letters went out today and we are waiting to hear a response from those individuals. We’ll cut the checks from there.”

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Mr. Thackeray
Mr. Thackeray 01/14/14 - 02:05 pm
The Chief is a righteous man,

The Chief is a righteous man, self-reported, did it all the right way. Congrats!

David Parker
David Parker 01/14/14 - 02:33 pm
That said, they are behind,

That said, they are behind, i'd watch the limits driving round those parts. They have to make it up somehow.

whozit 01/14/14 - 03:55 pm
Oh, man

That means the areas biggest speed trap will be back in business.

nocnoc 01/14/14 - 03:55 pm
Watch out people

They have 6+ months worth of Revenue to catchup on.
If I remember correctly OCGA now only allows <25% of a cities budget to come from Traffic citations.

Did the AC ever do a OPEN records request for the $$$$ Amount they had to refund?

JRC2024 01/15/14 - 10:24 am
Will the citation be taken

Will the citation be taken off of Georgia records. That is what hurts the most when insurance renews--not the money for the ticket. It is one time but the citation takes 3 years to get back to a good driving record. I know I got a ticket in Wythville, VA going 80 on I-77 and when my insurance renewed and Travelers raised the rates over $500.00 a year. I looked around and found Safco with a program they call rewind. You plug in a gadget to a plug underneath your dash for 3 months and it reports how you drive. I not only got the insurance for half of Travelers but retained the good driving record. They forgave the ticket.

gutdawg 01/15/14 - 01:39 pm
People amaze me....

Would you have preferred Chief Jones to not ever make this information public? The man done the right thing when it was discovered. People want transparency in government, well here is a start. As far as revenue and speeding tickets being "caught up", I'll bet that not one person that has done the speed limit has EVER been stopped for speeding. If you don't speed, you won't be stopped for speeding. If you speed, expect to be stopped. As far as the insurance is concerned, I'm sure that any reputable company has a mechanism for dealing with things like this. Where you are probably going to have problems is the issue on the individuals driving record.

Mr. Thackeray
Mr. Thackeray 01/15/14 - 02:19 pm
gutdawg, I believe the Chief

gutdawg, I believe the Chief stated the amount on their Facebook page.

jcwconsult 01/16/14 - 01:52 pm
Speeding tickets to safe drivers

Most speed enforcement is done in areas where the posted limits are set lower than the safest levels. Most posted limits to maximize safety should be set at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions. This is often about 10 mph higher than currently posted. With correctly set limits to maximize safety and smooth traffic flow, there are not enough offenders driving significantly above the posted limits to make the use of enforcement profitable.

See our website for more information.

James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

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