The City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday night an ordinance that offers an amnesty period for late fees attached to unpaid SafeLight/SafeSpeed and parking violations. Officials hope the amnesty period will encourage those with outstanding fines to pay up, because after the amnesty period, Ordinance 044 clears the way for the city-parish attorney to take scofflaws to court.
According to the ordinance, there are 11,800 unpaid parking tickets, 6,400 unpaid red light-running citations and 11,800 speeding citations for a total of $3.1 million in unpaid fines to Lafayette Consolidated Government. The ordinance waives the late fees associated with those violations through April 30.
According to a memorandum sent to LCG Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley by city-parish attorney Mike Hebert:
By establishing this amnesty, it is hoped such action will act as an incentive in paying the violations which are due LCG, which could also save substantial time and expense of the Legal Department [as it] begins filing suits to collect these delinquent violations. By eliminating the penalty for each violation, the violator would realize a 33 % reduction/savings if the violation is paid during the 30 day amnesty period.
But the ordinance also specifies that following the amnesty, citations valued at $125 or more that are 120 days late will be subject to legal action by consolidated government: “[T]he Lafayette City-Parish Attorney shall enforce collection of all unpaid fines, fees, penalties, late payment penalties and administrative adjudication fees in a court of competent jurisdiction for vehicles registered with the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles.”
If the ordinance clears introduction it will be voted on as a final ordinance on March 19.
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