A Republican state representative from St. Tammany Parish has pre-filed a bill that would make only motorists with vehicles registered within a jurisdiction that operates red-light cameras and speed vans liable for the citations issued as a result of that means of traffic enforcement.
Apparently oblivious to solid, empirical evidence that such programs do in fact reduce collisions — if Lafayette Transportation Director Tony Tramel is to be believed, and he’s a reputable fellow — Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington, characterizes programs like the Hub City’s SafeLight/Safe Speed program as a tax: “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 says in a press release announcing the legislation. “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’ home parish does not employ such a traffic enforcement program, but he says he believes his constituents should, more or less, be allowed to speed in municipalities that do: “In St. Tammany Parish, automated traffic enforcement devices are not in use. 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.”
In that line of reasoning we encourage Rep. Hollis to file a bill making sales taxes applicable only to residents who live within the jurisdiction levying the tax.
Although it probably isn’t irony by the dictionary definition, it's worth noting nonetheless that Rep. Hollis’ page at the Legislature’s website lists his occupation as “numismatist,” AKA, coin collector.