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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Leesburg gearing up for automated speeding enforcement in school zones

Leesburg officials reviewed a proposed new school zone photo enforcement ordinance during Monday’s commission meeting.

The Leesburg Commission approved a resolution authorizing the approval of a photo enforcement services agreement with Altumint Inc., a traffic safety technology company, to address speeders in school zones during the April commission meeting. The proposed “School zone speed enforcement “ ordnance sets the the law to be applied by the Leesburg Police Department in the use of the new detection units provided by the Altumit Inc. company.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida House Bill 657, which passed in 2023. That law allows municipalities to put cameras in school zones and fine drivers speeding in excess of 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Altumint’s speed enforcement program aligns with this legislation and is 100 percent violator funded with no cost to taxpayers. Eustis was the first city in Florida to implement the camera enforcement program. Eustis police wrote 767 warning tickets the first month the cameras were installed.

The new ordinance authorizes the placement of the cameras in all school zones in the city by the start of the next school year along with signs to inform drivers that the speed cameras are in place. The first 30 days that the system is operational the speeders would receive warning tickets. After the 30 day period the speeders would be fined $100 if the camera records speed of 11 or more miles-per-hour over the school zone limit. The ticket would be issued to the registered owner. Individuals contesting the ticket would have the right to a hearing before a local hearing officer. All funds received as a result of implementing this program must be used to fund the School Crossing Guard Recruitment and Retention Program. This program would be managed by the Leesburg Police Department.

There will be a public hearing on this ordinance during the July 22 commission meeting . 

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