Update- Traffic Court Red Light and Speeding Camera Tickets!!
Another Traffic Court story can be found here.
The crap has hit the fan all over the place. Almost 5,000 people owe at least $1,000 apiece for tickets generated by New Orleans’ controversial web of traffic cameras, and to date, there’s not much reason to pay the piper.
Guess what? Some of the biggest offenders, those with unpaid tickets galore, are city employees. Cops owe plenty, of those that owe $500, five of the 20 biggest violators are NOPD.
Since these tickets aren’t considered traffic violations (!?!), I guess that’s why due process doesn’t apply and these tickets cannot be shaken by attorneys, an act of G-d, arguing the tickets yourself, etc.
There are even bigger scofflaws, there is one person with 98 unpaid tickets who owes a tidy $17,045!! Wow, that’s very impressive.
There a lot of other important details. There’s the recent New Orleans family who moved down here and got a passel of Jackson Ave. at Camp Street speeding tickets. Before they received their very first notification, they got a $1,000 worth of tickets. When they went to their hearing, they were ordered to pay the every dime. In other cities, when the same thing occurs, very often they are ordered to pay only the first ticket and the rest are thrown out. That sounds REASONABLE to me!
New Orleans’ Red Light Traffic Camera Program is being administered by the Department of Public Works and not NOPD.
One look at this chart and you immediately realize the revenue is growing like a weed. 419% since 2008. That’s why there is no help here, the money is crazy!!
The Times-Picayune observed that another intersection with an abnormally high number of citations is Jackson Avenue at Chestnut Street, which has a 25 mph speed limit even though the speed limit on most large divided streets is 35 mph.
None of this should come as a surprise to anybody who has actually been paying attention to the debate over automated traffic enforcement. There is every indication that the cameras are designed for the sole purpose of generating revenue. Any consideration for safety is a secondary concern.
Attorney Joseph McMahon III claims that municipalities have designed civil statutes associated with camera allegations to favor themselves. “We feel the entire process is unfair and heavily favors the city. People don’t have a way to realistically defend themselves, since the ordinances subvert the laws of Louisiana. So generally, you cant win.”
McMahon states that since red light camera violations do not fall under the Uniform Motor Vehicle Law of Louisiana, making it an administrative violation, certain constitutional rights are forfeited. “What the municipalities have done is created civil statutes that take away all of those rights so they can change the playing field in favor of the city.”