7/2/2009Louisiana Parish Revolts Against Speed Cameras
Sheriff in Livingston Parish, Louisiana dumps photo radar after church forced to tow illegally parked speed camera van.
Neither the churches nor law enforcement in Livingston Parish, Louisiana want anything to do with photo radar. In a statement yesterday, the parish sheriff's office explained that it has become fed up with Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that uses a Ford Escape SUV to issue automated tickets worth between $100 and $464 each within the parish.
"Due to a recent series of events regarding Redflex and its representatives, the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office is discontinuing its participation in the parish's photo enforcement program commonly referred to as 'the speeder van,'" the statement explained.
The mobile vans operated by Redflex in Louisiana frequently park unattended on private property, including on residents' lawns. This practice became too much for the Carroll Baptist Church in Walker. On Tuesday, the church had the van towed off its property where it had been parked without permission. Redflex was not happy about having to pay the towing fees to recover its vehicle.
"It was brought to the attention of sheriff's officials that improper comments were made to the towing company employees by the Redflex representative regarding the towing of the vehicle," the sheriff's statement explained.
The van has stirred controversy in Livingston Parish ever since officials approved the contract one year ago. In April, the Louisiana State Police pulled the Redflex speed camera van over and gave the driver a $182 ticket for failing to signal on Interstate 12. Another trooper threatened to tow the van off of the Interstate. A Denham Springs police office issued the van a parking ticket for stopping on the interstate. At the end of April, the sheriff's office was forced to refund 2488 tickets because Redflex unfairly set the van in a location where the speed limit suddenly dropped from 70 MPH to 60.
A total of fourteen states now ban photo enforcement.