Shreveport leaders are starting the process of implementing a photo speed enforcement program in the city. The City Council unanimously passed a measure to get the ball rolling.

Police Chief Ben Raymond asked for this ordinance to be passed. He says:

"This authorizes the city to begin a photo speed enforcement program, but it does not specify who it is. This ordinance just allows us to have the ability to implement a photo speed enforcement within our city."

The background presented to the council shows data collected by the Shreveport Police Department indicates a "high incidence of drivers disregarding speeding laws on the streets and in the school zones of the City of Shreveport."

The way this program works is through cameras that take photos of your car as you travel on city streets. This electronic system can determine how fast you are traveling. Photos are taken of your license plate and if it is determined you are speeding, you will get a speeding ticket in the mail.

This is included in the legislation passed by the council:

The speed measurement component of the system shall be properly calibrated on a regular basis as determined by the Chief and the records of such calibration shall be maintained with the Shreveport Police Department.

Here are the fines as outlined in the ordinance:

9 MPH to 10 MPH $ 100.00

11 MPH to 20 MPH $ 110.00

21 MPH to 30 MPH $130.00

31 MPH to 100+ MPH $150.00

Here are the fines for school zone violations:

9 MPH to 10 MPH $ 110.00

11 MPH to 15 MPH $125.00

15 MPH to 20 MPH $135.00

Over 21 MPH $150.00

Do These Cameras Work?

Do these cameras work? It depends on who you talk to. Paradise Valley, Arizona was the first municipality to implement a system. That was done in 1987. Now nearly 100 other communities have put a similar program in place. But there have been problems.

WWL reports the New Orleans traffic camera program broke state laws and the city ordinance for more than a decade. The report was harsh saying "The traffic camera program in New Orleans had been contentious, with citizens caught in a debate about the extent to which the program prioritized public safety as opposed to revenue generation."

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell began making changes in 2019. She started the process of eliminating the majority of non-school zone cameras. And, the school zone cameras are only operational during school zone hours.

According to the CDC, the State of Maryland and Cincinnati, Ohio, have repealed or considered repealing or restricting their speed-camera laws, following legal challenges.

Most of the communities who have set up such a system have hired a private firm to manage it. That is what the City of Shreveport is considering right now. They are in discussions with a private company to run the system.

The U.S. is a late bloomer in this arena. Many other countries have set up speed cameras. Australia, Britain, Norway and many others have these photo speed enforcement systems in place.

What Do the Numbers Show?

Research released by the CDC does show injury crash reduction numbers down by 20 to 25% in areas covered by known speed camera enforcement. The data also shows covert, mobile enforcement programs also show a decline in accident numbers.

The CDC report also outlines what the law is in each state and this is the only notation for Louisiana:

"State law provides that convictions resulting from camera enforcement shall not be reported for inclusion in driver record."

If Shreveport moves forward with the program, here's how it would work. If the camera system catches your car speeding, you will get a notice in the mail of the fine. You would get images of your car and information about the speed your car was traveling at the specific time. You would then have 30 days to pay the fine or face late fees.

 

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