A federal district court panel of judges has ruled in favor of the City of New Orleans' electronic traffic enforcement system, affirming a lower court ruling and delivering yet another legal blow to opponents of such systems, which are also used in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in the class-action lawsuit that the city's interest in reducing collisions and promoting public safety outweighs the interests of private citizens. In justifying its ruling, the court writes: "The city's interest is to reduce the risk of road accidents. Though only a fraction of traffic violations cause an accident, the costs of even a low-speed collision can be severe, particularly if a pedestrian is struck."
This is the latest in a string of legal victories for cities like Lafayette that use cameras at traffic signals to cite motorists who speed through intersections and/or run red lights, beginning with a 2009 ruling by a federal appeals court in Illinois that concluded that "no one has a fundamental right to run a red light or avoid being seen by a camera on a public street."
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