Bossier City hears presentation about school zone speed enforcement cameras

Blue Line Solutions CEO addresses some concerns raised about Shreveport’s program
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 10:19 PM CST
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — Speed enforcement cameras might be coming to school zones in Bossier City.

Bossier City Council members heard a presentation Tuesday, Jan. 17 by Blue Line Solutions.

The Chattanooga, Tenn., company is the same firm that operates such cameras in Shreveport, where in a few short weeks the program has been met with lots of complaints.

The school zone traffic cameras automatically issue tickets to those who are exceeding the speed limit in school zones. In Shreveport, for example, there have been complaints that tickets have been issued when school zone lights are not flashing and otherwise outside of normal school zone times, including on school holidays.

And then there is the issue of having to pay $50 to dispute or appeal a ticket.

“One of the things that concerned me was having to pay up front,” Bossier City Councilman-at-large Chris Smith said. “Fight your ticket or dispute your ticket and so what was relayed today is that if you win your dispute, you’re given that $50 back; or if you lose your dispute, it’s applied to your ticket.”

During a City Council workshop Tuesday, the CEO of Blue Line Solutions provided data before the actual phase from implemented in Shreveport.

“Since the program was conducted during the public education phase before any citations were issued, we saw a 22% reduction in all the school zones without writing the first ticket,” Blue Line Solutions CEO Chris Hutchinson said.

“This program is not about writing citations. It’s about slowing people down and making the community safer.”

KSLA News 12 gave a social media shoutout when complaints started arising about implementation of school zone speed enforcement cameras in Shreveport:

Have you gotten a speeding ticket from one of the new cams in school zones? We want to talk to you!

Posted by KSLA News 12 on Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Hutchinson said Blue Line Solutions does not run the appeal process, but rather they follow the ordinance set by where their cameras are operated.

“If somebody wants to contest their citation, they send in their form to sign up for a court hearing or administrative hearing and they send in the $50 in that case,” he explained. “We just basically put it in a safe; we don’t cash the check. If they’re found unliable, the check gets sent back to them. If they’re found liable, that $50 is applied to the cost.”

Hutchinson continued: “If the council doesn’t like that process, I’d say don’t follow that process and set up a free hearing as a lot do. If you don’t like the administrative hearing process, it being a civil action, you can let it go to a court, whether they call it the municipal court or whatever they call it in the city.”

Smith said he “... thought it was appropriate to allow Blue Line the opportunity to address some of the allegations made not just here locally but across the country to get a better understanding of their program and what they do.”

Smith also said that safety is a top concern.

“At the end of the day, it’s about keeping kids safe. I just want to be sure that if the city of Bossier enters a relationship with somebody, that it’s about public safety not about profits.”

Hutchinson also said that the tickets do not affect one’s insurance or credit.

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