Apr 24, 2012 10:35 PM by Shawn Kline
City-Parish Council heard the other side of the "safe-light and safe-speed" controversy Tuesday night.
Last week, council heard from those in favor of keeping these cameras in town. Now, those looking to do away with Redflex had their chance to speak and pitch some alternatives. It's all leading up to that big decision next month: to keep the cameras or not to keep the cameras?
"It basically is not much more than a money making scam," Richard Brown said of Safe-Light Safe-Speed.
For the last six years, Brown has studied the red light cameras across the state and says in each case, cameras like the ones used in Lafayette aren't accomplishing what they're set out to do.
"It's all about the money," Brown said. "If the object was to reduce accidents, there are far more effective and cheaper ways to do it."
According to a Consolidated Government status report, Lafayette rakes in about $5.7-million through Redflex every year and the cameras' provider brings in an another $5-million.
Supporters of the system say it's saving lives; reducing accidents by over 60% but are the numbers accurate?
Bill Triay says no.
"In 2008, there was $4/gallon gas prices," Triay said. "The whole state of Louisiana experienced a reduction in traffic volume."
Parish President Joey Durel called that statement is bogus. Telling KATC traffic congestion in Lafayette has dramatically increased since the cameras went up in 2008.
On the other hand, Triay and Brown have their own suggestions to make the roads safe without private companies like Redflex profiting from traffic violations.
"What we're suggesting is that the yellow light times give you time to stop," Triay said. "Right now, the yellow light times do not give you time to stop."
Yellow light times in the city do meet state requirements but opposition to the cameras say increasing those times by just a second or two will make these roads safer and travelers will see less tickets (and pictures of themselves driving) in the mail.