New Atlanta Law Requires Security Cameras at Gas Stations

Learn about the new legislation, approved by the Atlanta City Council and requiring gas stations to install and maintain video surveillance systems.

On Aug. 7, 2023, the Atlanta City Council approved new ordinance 23-O-1346, which will require all gas stations in the Atlanta, Georgia, area to install and maintain video surveillance systems. The council hopes this legislation will help reduce crime, specifically car thefts and general violence, at gas stations throughout Atlanta.

“If you look at the last few crimes that we have solved right here in the metropolitan area, outside of the city of Atlanta, it’s been through camera footage,” said Atlanta City Council Member Keisha Waites, who has emphasized that cameras are key to solving the crime issue in Atlanta, as they not only help solve crimes, but also act as an effective deterrent. “We see this as a tool that protects not only the public at large – it’s a tool for law enforcement to capture bad actors and people who have ill intentions.”

The new law states that all gas stations are required to have high-quality, continuous video recordings of all the pumps and requires that stations immediately turn over any footage of crimes to the police. Cameras must produce retrievable images and high-resolution videos that can be enlarged. Any new business must comply as a condition of their license to operate.

As of Aug. 16, the date on which this legislation will take effect has not yet been announced. The ordinance requires Atlanta’s chief financial officer to review the legislation for 120 days and present a plan to the Atlanta City Council’s Financial Executive Committee on how to specifically implement the new requirements. Lawmakers are also looking into expanding the ordinance to include other types of businesses.

 This action taken by the city council follows similar measures recently implemented in Douglas County  and DeKalb County in the region surrounding Atlanta, as well as in Gluckstadt, Mississippi (a suburb of Jackson), requiring certain businesses to implement high-quality security camera systems. Last year the city of Houston, Texas, implemented a similar law not only for gas stations, but also for bars and nightclubs, convenience stores, sexually oriented businesses and game rooms. Not only are these businesses required to have cameras, but recordings must be made available for the police within 72 hours if requested regarding an investigation or crime. The town of Madison, Mississippi, was an early leader in efforts to address crime through camera requirements. Since 2017, the town has required that all businesses with 25 or more parking spaces or buildings that are 2,000 square feet or larger must install high-quality security cameras.