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Hattiesburg to Launch Pilot Program Enforcing School Zone Speed Limits with Radar Camera Assistance


Hattiesburg, Mississippi – With unanimous approval of the Hattiesburg City Council, the City of Hattiesburg will formally launch a pilot program on Monday, April 22, 2024, that will provide the Hattiesburg Police Department with radar camera-assisted support for the enforcement of school zone speed limits.

The first two areas for the program’s launch include Hardy Street near 21st Avenue for Woodley Elementary School and West 7th Street near Grace Christian School. While the radar cameras will not replace the officer, they will allow officers to catch more speeders with radar camera technology.

“We have fielded enough complaints and I have seen enough close calls with people not caring or not paying attention as they drive in active school zones. The goal of this technology effort is to help change behavior,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “Additionally, the pilot program will allow us to work out any logistical issues and provide the police department with data that can provide for expansion of the program in other areas if successful.”

The program’s launch is intended for the last four to five weeks of the school year. After reviewing data and how the program is rolled out, the Hattiesburg Police Department will work with the Mayor’s Office to see how it can be expanded to other school zones beginning in August.

“We are proud to join other departments across the country in the use of technology to assist officers in their roles of protecting and serving our residents – especially our youngest and most vulnerable,” said Police Chief Hardy Sims. “Too often, motorists ignore the warnings, crossing guards and multiple signs and lights as they drive through school zones. It’s not okay. This technology will not only help us crack down on those speeding violations but will help us drive home the importance of driving safely in and around school zones.”

The Council’s approval of the program came after five town hall meetings were held in each ward to discuss several technology advancements for first responders. At each town hall meeting, Hattiesburg residents expressed support for a program that would improve traffic safety around the City’s public schools.

Barker added, “With any potential initiative, we give the public ample opportunity to weigh in. We did that with the Technology for First Responders conversation, and we appreciate everyone who offered input. That feedback helped shape this first phase we are launching.”

The program is implemented through technology provided by a third-party contract with Intellisafe. This contract was approved at the March 19, 2024 meeting with the Hattiesburg City Council.

Within the agreement, a diversion program will be offered to offenders who receive citations for speeding in school zones. If an offender chooses the diversion program, they will be eligible to pay a reduced fine. Part of that fine will pay for the service agreement with Intellisafe, and part will provide revenue to the City of Hattiesburg and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

For additional details about this program, residents can call the Mayor’s Office at 601-545-4501.


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