School zone speeders in three locations will be under the scrutiny of the Cherokee Sheriff's Office via traffic cameras later this year, officials said Tuesday.

According to CSO spokesman Capt. Jay Baker:

School zone speed cameras will be placed on Knox Bridge Highway near Knox Elementary School, on Cumming Highway near Free Home Elementary School and Ga. Highway 108 near R.M. Moore Elementary School.

"We consider the three locations chosen to be on some of the most dangerous highways in Cherokee County and pose the greatest risk to children," Baker said. "Due to the fact our main goal is to seek compliance of the speed limit by motorists, there will be a grace period of 30 days in which only warnings will be issued to motorists exceeding the speed limit. After the grace period, there will be a $75 fine for a first offense and a $125 fine for a second offense."

There will be signs posted on the roads to warn motorists that the cameras are in use. Enforcement will be focused on the periods one hour before and one hour after the school day.

No specific date for when the cameras will be in place has been announced. A company called Optotraffic will install and maintain the system at no cost to taxpayers. The company receives a $25 processing fee per infraction and 10-percent of the fine. The rest of the money will go into the county's general fund,  Baker said.

“This is about safety, not revenue. We are confident this technology will help reduce excessive speeds around our school zones that are on state routes,” Baker said.

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Managing Editor

Gary Tanner is managing editor of The Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Ledger-News and Cherokee Life magazine. He has been working as a journalist since 1985.

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