Council to decide fate of red light cameras Tuesday
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption at Tuesday’s meeting that seeks to end the SafeLight/SafeSpeed traffic enforcement program on city of Lafayette streets. Co-sponsored by tea party-backed Councilmen Jared Bellard, Andy Naquin and William Theriot, the ordinance would let Lafayette Consolidated Government’s contract with Redflex expire in June, effectively shuttering the cameras at select intersections along with the two radar- and camera-equipeed “speed vans” that park alongside city streets.
Since its inception about five years ago the SafeLight/SafeSpeed program has generated millions of dollars in revenue for LCG through the issuance of citations for speeding and red-light running. The program has not been without detractors who accuse LCG of using the cameras more as revenue-generator than a public-safety enhancement tool, although data provided by LCG’s Traffic and Transportation Department show sharp reductions in collisions at camera-equipped intersections.
Two weeks ago the council advanced the ordinance by a 5-4 vote when it was introduced. If the vote stands on Tuesday City-Parish President Joey Durel will veto the ordinance, setting up a showdown with the council, which would need six votes to override Durel’s veto. Sources tell The Ind, however, that the ordinance will fail, possibly by a 6-3 vote with Councilmen Kenneth Boudreaux and Brandon Shelvin, who were part of the five-vote majority that advanced the ordinance on May 1, voting against it on Tuesday.
The council has already given Durel the green light to renegotiate LCG’s contract with Redflex. Preliminary terms of that new contract include expanding the number of intersections equipped with cameras as well as increasing the number of speed vans.
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