Residents not happy after proposed bill to remove red light cameras fails

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Traffic light cameras have been used in Louisiana for about a decade, and they’ll be sticking around for a while longer after a house bill to remove them was defeated earlier this week.

If you’ve ever run a red light in Lafayette, you may have been busted by one of these traffic cameras.

They target drivers who run red lights or speed.

Drivers who get caught will get a ticket and a picture of their vehicle in the mail.

“Actually every time that I’ve gotten one in the mail I didn’t realize I was speeding. I was just following the traffic and then got one in the mail, so I didn’t know it was coming,” a resident said.

House bill 257 would have prohibited local governments from using traffic cameras to collect fines.

“The first couple times it was 25 dollars for each, but the last time was 50 dollars,” resident Caylene Coco said.

The bill was almost unanimously rejected by the house transportation committee with a 14-1 vote.

So for now, the cameras are here to stay.

“Even if there was a cop there you wouldn’t do it, so why would you do if there wasn’t a cop there? So it’s trying to stop people from doing things when cop aren’t there, so I think it’s a good thing,” resident Holland Griffin said.

Caylene Coco said she has been caught by the cameras several times.

“I was only doing a few miles over the limit each time, so it’s not like I was intentionally doing it. It wasn’t something that made me like oh I need to stop speeding because I wasn’t trying to speed.”

Coco said the ones who do get caught aren’t always guilty.

“The cameras flash all the time for everybody and it could be like five people going through a light and maybe one of them in the end is going to be caught. There could have been 15 people speeding but only a few are going to get caught, so I just don’t think it’s fair or beneficial.”

Griffin said he feels the cameras serve a good purpose, but aren’t forgiving to human error.

“The cameras are good for people who like always run red lights. But I think it’s also bad because someone could accidentally be in a rush to go somewhere and almost, like just hit the red light and they get caught and it’s bad for them.”

The red light bill can be re-addressed at next year’s session, but for now you can expect the cameras for at least another year.

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