10/2/2007Louisiana: Petition Drive Calls for Camera Referendum
A Lafayette, Louisiana radio talk show host starts a petition calling for a public vote to end the use of speed cameras.
A local radio talk show host is using his influence to demand that the public have a say on the use of speed cameras in Lafayette, Louisiana. KVOL 1330AM personality Todd C. Elliot announced this week that he would be gathering signatures to force a referendum on the ticketing program that began operations in the city yesterday.
"It's not about safety, it's about generating dollars for Redflex first and City-Parish Government second," Elliot said, as cited by KATC-TV. "It's going to affect them so certainly the people should vote on it."
Under the city's so-called Safespeed initiative, photo ticketing vendor Redflex will spend a minimum of 240 hours each month photographing vehicle license plates and mailing citations worth between $25 and $200 to the vehicles' registered owners. Based on the number of warning notices issued over about 11 hours on September 19 and 20, the city expects to issue about $3.5 million worth of the tickets, with the profits split with the Australian company.
Lafayette began seeking bids for its automated ticketing machine contract last December. In January, the city approved a deal with Jay Morris Specter, 51, then a top salesman for Redflex. Days after Lafayette inked the deal, a federal jury convicted Specter of fraud. Lafayette proceeded with the deal anyway, finalizing contract details in June.
Elliott needs 20,000 signatures to force a vote, but he will be happy if he achieves a large enough number to send a message to the city government. View petition website.