4/29/2009Louisiana Lawmakers Push to Ban Photo Enforcement
Legislation introduced in Louisiana would ban the use of speed cameras and red light cameras.
A pair of state lawmakers are looking to put an end to the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in Louisiana. State Representatives Jeff Arnold (D-Algiers) and Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) introduced legislation to outlaw photo ticketing following a referendum earlier this month in which 86 percent of voters in a Louisiana city ordered traffic cameras banned.
"People need to find out if their legislator is on the side of local government or the people," Richmond wrote on Facebook.
To encourage public involvement, Richmond and Arnold created the "No More Traffic Cameras" Facebook group last week. Already, 770 members have registered their interested in following the progress of House Bill 480. Richmond sees the group as central to the legislation's success.
"If we keep this group going and get people excited about this, we will pass the legislation," Richmond wrote.
Louisiana law specifically prohibits police from mailing traffic citations based on photographs (R.S. 32:365). Cities ignored this prohibition and used private, for-profit foreign contractors to operate every aspect of the programs.
Last June, however, lawmakers approved a provision designed to grant legislative recognition to the use of cameras. The measure had been offered in the guise of a limitation on photo ticketing. If Richmond and Arnold succeed in convincing colleagues to pass the ban, the ban would prohibit both localities and any private contractors from issuing such tickets. Louisiana would also join Montana whose legislature sent a photo ticketing ban to the governor earlier this month. Last month, Mississippi outlawed photo ticketing. Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin have also banned automated citations through judicial or legislative action.
A full copy of the legislation is available in a 15k PDF file at the source link below.