Lafayette’s red light cameras to go dark at midnight

But expect increased police presence

A Redflex camera is seen in Lafayette. The Redflex contract with Lafayette expires at midnight June 4, 2017. (Photo: Advertiser file photo)

(The Daily Advertiser) – Lafayette’s traffic cameras may be unplugged at midnight Sunday when the city’s contract with Reflex expires.

But Mayor-President Joel Robideaux cautioned motorists to expect an increased police presence.

The city’s contract with traffic camera provider Redflex expires at midnight June 4 and a new contract hasn’t been signed, Robideaux told The Daily Advertiser Saturday.

“That means they’re turning them off,” he said.

Although motorists may see that as a reprieve, Robideaux said he’s working with Lafayette Police to increase police presence at those intersections until a new traffic camera system is in place.

That could take months, he said.

The contract between Lafayette Consolidated Government and Redflex, in effect for 10 years, was set to expire in 2016. But Robideaux had been in office only a few months, so the City-Parish Council extended the contract by a year to allow the new administration to consider its options.

Three companies responded to a request for proposals, Robideaux said. Redflex did not submit the best proposal, he said.

Representatives of his administration, including finance and legal, Robideaux said, are negotiating details of a new contract with American Traffic Solutions.

Lafayette’s Chief Administrative Officer Lowell Duhon, who was on the selection team, told Robideaux that ATS’ financial health is more solid than that of Redflex.

ATS offers equal or better fine collections, better technology and better video quality, the mayor-president said. The company also may provide special devices in school zones and hand-held devices that police can use, he added.

Some of those devices may be implemented in Lafayette before the permanent cameras are installed.

The contract, once it meets Robideaux’s approval, will be presented to the council for adoption.

A year ago, officials reported $12 million in fines had not been collected by Redflex, which splits the fines with LCG.

The current Redflex system generates more than $1 million a year for LCG, which uses the money to pay police department salaries and transportation expenses.

Opponents of red light traffic cameras say the citations are not enforceable because they are civil citations, not criminal citations issued by law enforcement officers.

Former Redflex CEO Karen Finley was sentenced in November to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million for her role in a bribery scheme to win contracts in Illinois. She pled guilty in 2014 in connection with smaller bribery schemes in Ohio.

The company agreed to pay the city of Chicago $20 million to compensate it for potentially losing revenue because of the bribery scheme.

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