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Feb 21, 2013 11:42 PM by Erin Steuber

Traffic Camera Bill Targets Who's Eligible to Get Violations at Intersections

A new proposal could affect traffic cameras across Louisiana, including those in Lafayette. The cameras aren't going anywhere, but one state lawmaker wants to make changes with a bill he's filing in the upcoming legislative session. Plain and simple, the bill targets who is eligible to get a violation at intersections with red light cameras.

Pulling up to certain intersections across Lafayette you are greeted by a sign warning you a traffic camera is up ahead. But, State Representative Paul Hollis, a Republican from Covington, says if you're not from Lafayette, or the area you get caught in, you shouldn't have to pay.

"I represent an area in St. Tammany parish, and there are parishes all over the state, the vast majority of folks in the state, don't allow for the usage of these traffic cameras," said Hollis. "So why should we be subject to these camera taxations, fines, penalties or whatever you want to call them."

Should other state lawmakers agree, it could mean less revenue for Lafayette and Redflex. For instance, last year LCG collected $6,778,492 from the Safelight/Safespeed program. But nearly 32% of the tickets were issued to drivers who aren't from Lafayette. And on the streets of Lafayette, mixed opinions about the proposal.

"I think it's pretty unfair to the people that live in Lafayette especially because I think everybody should have that kind of responsibility," said Andre Faulk of Lafayette.

"I think it's fair because people that are from out of town are not used to Lafayette and they don't really know how to get around. So for them to have to pay red light tickets here, it's unfair," said Deranique Horhn of New Orleans.

"I think that's completely unfair partially because the law is the law," said Ashaun Cotton of New Orleans.

The bill will be introduced at session on April 8th. Hollis' hope is that if it passes, it will put pressure on local governments to do away with traffic cameras all together.

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