Update- Traffic Court Red Light and Speeding Camera Tickets!!

Traffic Cameras Locations in NOLA

Traffic Cameras Locations in NOLA

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.

Red Light Camera Revenue in New Orleans

Red Light Camera Revenue

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!!

Traffic Camera

Traffic Camera

Two cameras are getting a huge amount of the fines. Jackson Avenue at Chestnut Street and Henry Clay at Coliseum Street.

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.”

After calls to several city officials for comment, they transferred me to an automated message service that claimed drivers who are unable to pay their red light ticket will have “an arrest warrant issued” and their “license will be suspended.” This can result in an inability to renew your license and/or vehicle registration until the fine has been paid.

~ by neworleansmusicman on January 16, 2012.

11 Responses to “Update- Traffic Court Red Light and Speeding Camera Tickets!!”

  1. […] Other Traffic Court stories can be found here. […]

  2. […] area of major concern is New Orleans Judge reform, since really outrageous abuses occur in Traffic Court, for example. I’ve written about this extensively, and it’s […]

  3. It is just another way for the city officials to make sure the citizens and visitors will dislike being in New Orleans!

  4. […] written again and again about the unbelievable crap that has been going on at Traffic Court. It blows my mind that a the […]

  5. I got a red light speeding ticket ( never saw a sigh saying there was a camera, btw) while visiting NOLA and driving a rental car. No pic of me- just the license plate, and NO SPEED that I was supposed to be driving posted on the ticket. I figured there was no way this could be legal. $ months down the line though, my credit card was charged $30 without my knowledge by the rental car company. How can any of this be legal????

    • Really sorry about your bad experience, but it’s legal in Louisiana at this time. In other states, the fact that the car got the ticket, not a person is an unconstitutional point. The $30 was the rental car fee to obtain your records from the license plate. There probably was a small sign stating the camera was up ahead, but it’s not easy to see. What street were you on when you got your ticket? Good luck!

      • It was in City Park – headed up towards Harrison.

        How can something be unconstitutional in one state and not another? The Constitution applies to the Union, not individual states. The right to face your accuser is a constitutional issue. In this case, there was no speed listed on the ticket that I was traveling at, it seems that is a whole other issue to contend with. Also, since I am in another state, makes it hard to fight.

      • Jefferson Parish has banned camera tickets because of unconstitutional issues, while in Orleans they haven’t been banned. I can’t figure it out, but it’s true. I guess it’s local judges who are overturning the cameras. Therefore, one local judge upholds them while in the neighboring parish, the cameras are overturned.

      • Here in CA lawyers have made this into class action suits. If it’s unconstitutional in one parish, state, etc., it is in others as well, as, obviously, the Constitution applies to all of the states, etc. All it will take to enforce that is an attorney who will take the issue on.

      • Sorry again. It puts a bad taste in your mouth when you come down here and are mistreated by the system. That’s why I have this blog, it puts a voice to the negative and unfair situations. I checked out your cool blog at painperdublog.com. Pain Perdu is almost lost food, glad you are using it in your blog name.

      • Thanks for checking out my blog. I appreciate it.

        And yes, for sure it does put a bad taste in your mouth.

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