Council approves ordinance targeting traffic camera violators

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Traffic camera violators in Lafayette beware, you could be heading to court if you don't pay soon.

Tuesday, the Lafayette Consolidated Council unanimously approved a change in their contract with Red Flex that allows them to legally seek out those fines. This past Sunday wrapped up an amnesty period allowing delinquent fines to be paid without their late fees. Now parish government is coming after those who didn't.

The Lafayette Consolidated Council did something about the over one million dollars still waiting to be collected in overdue fines from ticketing cameras laced throughout the city. They unanimously approved allowing parish government to take violators to court, who still owe over $125 from citations issued starting three years ago.

“We hope that it's very likely that LCG's costs of these collections out of pocket will be nothing that's certainly our intent,” explains City-Parish attorney Michael Hebert.

Last month the council gave the opportunity for those delinquent fines to be paid minus their late fees. 5,000 were, but 5,800 are left, and now qualify for potential legal action. However councilman William Theriot is concerned about who LCG might not be going after.

“We are not going to be pursuing outside of Louisiana there are other parameters that prohibit us from doing that,” says Theriot.

Notices threatening legal action were sent out by Red Flex to all violators during the amnesty period. Something Hebert apologized for as he approved the language on the letters, that were distributed by Red Flex.

“The part of that letter that was correct as to everyone was that they were all entitled to amnesty. The part of the letter that was incorrect to some was stating that they would be sued,” says Hebert.

Theriot who's been one of the biggest opponents of the Safe Speed cameras feels that the parish's argument for having them seems to be fading.

“The program was being sold as safety, safety, safety. But yet as of the past six, eight months all we've been talking about is money,” says Theriot.

Red Flex is compiling the numbers from last month's amnesty period to find out how many delinquent violators they will file suit against.

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