Lafayette, La.’s traffic camera enforcement program will remain in place.
The City-Parish Council voted to extend Lafayette Consolidated Government’s contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, but it drastically changed the extension negotiated by City-Parish President Joey Durel’s administration.
The council not only decided the Lafayette Police Department, rather than LCG’s Traffic and Transportation Department, should oversee the SafeLight and SafeSpeed programs, but also that taking pictures of a driver’s face should be banned.
The Advertiser reports Police Chief Jim Craft said the ordinance authorizing the traffic cameras place liability for a citation on the vehicle’s owner unless that owner nominates another person who may have been driving the car.
After the May 15 council meeting, Craft said drivers may more easily ward off paying the fines by simply claiming to not know who was behind the wheel when the traffic cameras caught a speeder or red-light runner.
“I would have felt better to keep those pictures in,” Craft said.
Only Councilmen Jared Bellard, Andy Naquin and William Theriot voted against the traffic camera programs.
The council first rejected, with a 6-3 vote, an ordinance sponsored by those three councilmen to remove the cameras from Lafayette’s street. With a second 6-3 vote along the same lines, the council then voted to extend LCG’s contract with Redflex.
The council, however, made several other changes to the extension proposed by Durel’s administration, and Redflex officials will now have to accept the new terms of the contract.
Under the contract the council approved, Redflex will be able to add only four new traffic cameras rather than the possible 17 that would have been allowed under the proposed extension.
Additionally, the council called for Redflex to have only four mobile units, which are speed vans parked on roadsides, rather than the “minimum of three” that Durel’s team originally negotiated.