Dial Dalfred: Ville Platte ordinance fines pedestrians $200 for not wearing reflective clothing

In the city of Ville Platte, if you’re caught after dark walking city streets, either to the store, home from work or even walking your dog, if you don’t have reflective gear on you’ll be facing a pretty steep fine.

As listed in the Ville Platte city ordinance (Foot traffic Restriction 3-49), a person walking after dark must wear a reflective garment visible from all angles. If not, don’t be surprised if you get a ticket.

“The cost of this is $200 for the fine and $209 for court costs!” said Rufus Searile who lives in Ville Platte. He says the city places a burden on residents, forcing them to buy reflective gear; instead, he says city officials aren’t doing their jobs. “It should be there responsibility to put sidewalks, to put more lighting.”

Aaron Dunn is a Ville Platte resident, he says he often sees people walking at night without reflective gear, and that can be dangerous. “A lot of times they’re wearing dark clothes. But, it is a two way street, maybe the city should put up more streetlights.”

Searile says the city should use the money collected from those who have paid fines for not wearing reflective gear to buy the gear for those who have no choice but to walk at night.

“Once you’ve given them out now if they don’t have it on and it causes a problem, then you give them a citation.”  A citation that adds up to $409 after court cost. “That sounds pretty outrageous” said Dunn. Searile added, “That’s ridiculous. You got people on fixed incomes trying to pay these fines.”

One city official told us the ordinance is in place for the well being of Ville Platte residents and if you break the law, there are consequences.

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