May 11, 2017 07:54 AM

SB154 by Sen. Troy Carter of New Orleans would require drivers be warned of presence of mobile speed camera units

The Senate unanimously approved SB154 by Sen. Troy Carter on Wednesday which would require the use of signs warning drivers of the presence of mobile speed cam units as they approach them.

"If you're concerned about safety, you should love this bill," Carter says, "because it gets drivers to slow down. If your concern is about a revenue stream for governments, then you won't like this bill."

The bill, which now heads to the House, would require local governments using mobile speed camera units to place signs to warn drivers that they are approaching the units. The bill states that the signs no less than 250 feet and no more than 500 feet before the units. It requires that the signs "must be easily viewable by drivers approaching the speed camera."

The bill would require that the signs would comply with existing DOTD requirements for signs warning of fixed speed camera locations at intersections.

The fiscal note prepared by the Office of the Legislative Auditor on SB154 states that there are less than 10 communities in the state that have speed camera programs.

Lafayette is one of them. LCG already has the fixed location signs in place. The fiscal note says LCG officials believe that the cost of posting signs for mobile units "would be minimal."

New Orleans will have to spend about $11,000, according to the fiscal note, to install warning signs at all 111 speed camera locations in the city. The note estimates that Gretna would have to spend about $2,000 for warning signs near its speed camera locations.

If the communities using the systems do not place the signs, the bill would prohibit "the use of any photographic or video images collected by the speed camera to impose or collect any civil or criminal fine, fee or penalty by or on behalf of the municipal or parish authority."

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