SPEEDERS BEWARE: Traffic cameras may be comingApr 22nd, 2013 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: news
The controversial traffic cameras despised by many Orleans and Jefferson Parish drivers could soon be coming to Plaquemines.
An ordinance bringing the cameras was introduced on behalf of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office by District 9 Councilwoman Marla Cooper at the April 11 council meeting. It can be voted on as soon as the April 25 meeting.
“I have a lot of respect for Sheriff Greco, and if he thinks they’re needed I will support him 100 percent,” said Cooper.
Sheriff Lonnie Greco says that the intention of establishing a traffic camera enforcement system is to “change traffic behavior in Plaquemines Parish.”
“We get so many calls about speeding and people running red lights and stop signs,” Greco explained. “I don’t have enough guys out there to go out and respond to each one. This could really help us get the traffic situation under control.”
When asked about the potential location of cameras, Greco said that they have not been determined but the Sheriff’s Office would look at high-traffic, high-problem areas that
elicit the most calls.
The ordinance also establishes civil penalties for the various violations:
• Speeding 5 to 10 mph over the established limit calls for a $75 civil penalty or $95 if in an active school zone;
• 11 to 15 is a $120 civil penalty or $140 if in an active school zone;
• 16 to 20 is a $175 civil penalty, or $195 if in an active school zone;
• Greater than 20 mph is a $200 civil penalty; or $220 if in an active school zone.
If the fines are not paid, the Sheriff’s Office can boot vehicles, report them to collection agencies and/or take the case to small claims court. According to the ordinance, the money collected from the traffic camera penalties will be deposited into a Public Safety Fund account established by PPSO. Money from the fund will first go toward the costs of
the system itself, with the remaining funds available for use at the Sheriff’s discretion.
Councilman Stuart Guey said that although he has not made up his mind on the traffic
cameras, he does like that they can be installed on school buses. When placed on the buses, the cameras can detech if someone is ignoring a school bus’ stop sign, or speeding past a school bus.
Councilchair Byron Marinovich said he is “absolutely against” the imposition of traffic cameras.
“It’s not a public safety measure it’s a revenue stream,” said Marinovich. “This is not Jefferson Parish.”