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Rincon City Council OKs automated speed enforcement technology
school zone sign

 RINCON — The Rincon City Council merged slowly into a lane behind other local government entities during its regularly scheduled Feb. 14 meeting.

The council approved a contract with Blue Lines Solutions to install automated speed enforcement technology (ASET) in the city’s two school zones. ASET has been used in Springfield, Guyton and at selected schools in the county for a few months.

In March 2021, Blue Line Solutions extended an offer to the City of Rincon. The proposal was “reworked” by City Attorney Raymond Dickey, who was tasked with researching potential legal problems with ASET use. 

“We are ready to move forward if you guys are,” Police Chief Jonathan Murrell said.

ASET identifies vehicles and captures their speed through the use of a laser beam. Blue Line Solutions touts their speed calculating ability as 100 percent accurate.

The devices are also equipped with cameras that take pictures of license plates, allowing Blue Solutions to determine the owner of violating vehicles so that tickets can be mailed to them. The license plate readers can also alert the police when registered sex offenders are near schools or assist in Amber alerts. 

During a recent week-long speed study, 2,524 of 43,000 vehicles that passed Rincon’s Crossroads Academy on Ga. Hwy 21 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. exceeded the limit by at least 11 mph.

Violations were much worse after school. From 2 p.m.-3 p.m. when the limit is 25 mph instead of 35, 5,426 of 8.255 vehicles topped the limit by at least 11 mph.

ASET citations are typically issued for infractions of at least 11 mph (the state-mandated minimum). The council has the flexibility to change that number upward and the hours of ASET use.

 “The way the state law is written, (ASET) will issue a citation from an hour before school starts until an hour after school ends, and all throughout the (school) day,” Murrell said. 

After considerable discussion, the contract was approved 5-1 vote. Reese Browher was the lone dissenter.

Rincon’s ASET program will likely start at the beginning of the next school year in August. Violators will receive a warning for several weeks — 45 days was discussed — before citations are issued.

Citation revenue will be split between the City of Rincon (65 percent) and Blue Line Solutions (35 percent).