Hollis files Bill to restrict traffic camera citations

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

State Rep. Paul Hollis (R-104) has pre-filed a bill to restrict the use of automated traffic enforcement equipment.

The bill would allow the issuance of tickets from red light or speed-enforcement cameras only to drivers whose vehicles are registered in areas that also employ the automated systems.

"The proliferation of these revenue-generating devices has done nothing to enhance public safety but has only allowed local governments and third-party administrators to profit," Hollis said. "Governments are not in existence to make money, but to provide essential services. Automated traffic enforcement is not a service; it's a tax."

Hollis said citizens who live in areas where cameras have been approved have voted for the officials who authorize them, giving tacit approval for the deployment of the devices. But drivers who are unaware of the cameras' placement and who did not indirectly support their use should not be subject to penalties as a result.

"In St. Tammany Parish, automated traffic enforcement devices are not in use," Hollis said. "If one of our citizens drives in another parish where these devices are located, they should not be subject to the penalties imposed by them. I don't want to infringe on the will of local governments or the voters who support them, but I don't want the rest of us to have to bow to their will, either."

Hollis said the bill will not hurt Louisiana businesses, as the third-party collectors who manage these revenues are out-of-state and even out-of-country contractors.

"Traffic cameras, red light cameras or speed-control cameras – whatever you call them, they're nothing more than an invasion of privacy and a revenue-generating tool," Hollis said. "They don't make us safer; they make us poorer. I'm confident the drivers of Louisiana will support these bills, and I'm optimistic my colleagues in the Legislature will, as well."