Atlanta speed cameras ILLEGALLY collected up to $500K in fines from unfairly ticketed drivers
06/17/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Speeding cameras in Atlanta have improperly fined drivers in the city, with the total amount of improper citations ranging from $350,000 to $500,000.

One investigation by Fox 5's I-Team revealed that automatic traffic cameras have been improperly ticketing drivers for allegedly speeding in a 25-mile-per-hour school zone during times when the school zone's lights were not flashing. Without the orange lights, drivers assumed the speed limit was 35 miles per hour.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) confirmed the discrepancy and announced that affected drivers would receive refunds. A spokesperson acknowledged that the school system had been aware of the issue since late November but did not explain why the cameras, which photograph license plates and issue tickets, were not adjusted or turned off.

The I-Team analyzed citation data obtained through a Georgia Open Records Act request, finding that over seven months, 4,460 citations were issued during times when the flashers were not operating, potentially confusing drivers. The total amount in fines improperly collected likely ranges from $350,000 to $500,000.

Atlanta's traffic cameras notorious for improperly fining drivers

This is the third instance the I-Team has uncovered of school zone cameras issuing incorrect tickets in metro Atlanta, following similar issues in Jonesboro and Riverdale last school year. The latest investigation began after drivers reported receiving tickets despite not speeding. (Related: Police department in Pennsylvania using drone tech to crack down on theft and other petty crimes.)

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Ivan DeQuesada, a resident of east Atlanta, received a $75 citation for going 39 in a 25-mile-per-hour zone at 4:52 p.m. on a Friday in March.

"I remembered what I was doing and realized the school zone light wasn't on," DeQuesada said. He discovered that several neighbors had received similar unexpected tickets.

James Murphy, another neighbor, received two tickets, and his wife received another. "They shouldn't be making money from cars driving when there's no light blinking," Murphy said. "It feels like a money grab rather than a safety measure."

According to an APS schedule, the school zone lights outside Drew Charter School at the very eastern edge of Atlanta should activate from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:45 to 5 p.m. However, the lights have been turning off around 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., creating two 15-minute windows where drivers were wrongly ticketed.

Murphy challenged his tickets in Atlanta Municipal Court, where other drivers shared similar experiences. "The sign wasn’t flashing," said Takeviuas Kelly of Ellenwood. Chief Judge Christopher T. Portis dismissed their citations.

The accountability for this issue is unclear. A private camera company, Verra Mobility, contracts with APS. The school zone speed safety program is run by APS alongside the Atlanta government, with the flashing lights managed by Atlanta's Department of Transportation (Atlanta DOT) under the purview of the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT).

In response to questions, APS stated that they, along with Atlanta DOT and Verra Mobility, worked to correct the discrepancy. APS began requesting the correction in late November. Atlanta DOT sought authorization to adjust the flasher times from Georgia DOT on November 26, but approval came on April 29, with adjustments made by May 2.

APS and Verra Mobility did not explain why the cameras continued issuing tickets during the five months before the flasher times were corrected. APS stated that the program aims to ensure the safety of students and improve driver behavior in school zones, though no one from APS was available for an on-camera interview.

APS indicated that around 2,000 citations will be refunded, although it is unclear why this number is less than half of the 4,460 tickets issued. Some refunds have already been processed, and the exact number of drivers who successfully contested their tickets in court is unknown.

GOP State Rep. Charles Cannon plans to reintroduce a bill to ban automated school zone speed cameras, citing concerns over whether they prioritize safety or revenue. He asked: "I think that's the underlying question: Are these cameras really for safety or are they for revenue?"

With the I-Team uncovering a third instance of unfair fines, Cannon commented, "I think in this case, it kind of leans more towards … it's about revenue."

Watch this video explaining how speed cameras are a road safety scam promoted by the United Nations.

This video is from the High Hopes channel on

More related stories:

Plans to install 480 new cameras in Oakland along California freeways raise mass surveillance concerns.

Surveillance cameras from BANNED Chinese tech company allegedly installed in 50 Quebec cities and public facilities.

Get ready: American “smart” street lights now being rigged with license plate readers to spy on your every move.

New York City outfitting traffic cameras with sound meters to fine owners of vehicles causing too much noise pollution.

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