City Council rejects speed camera ticket moratorium, passes free appeal for school zone tickets

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 7:34 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport’s school zone speed cameras have been a hot topic of discussion since they were implemented at the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year.

Since they’ve gone online, many have reported getting falsely ticketed and even receiving them during school breaks. Others say that navigating the school zones and knowing what times they operate have been tricky for them.

With the many complaints, Mayor Tom Arceneaux proposed giving people the option to appeal their tickets for free instead of having to shell out $50.

On Tuesday, March 14 council members passed an ordinance to do away with the costs to appeal a ticket. However, the council voted down a moratorium that would pause citations from the speed enforcement cameras.

“To me, that was the most important thing, letting everybody know we want to be transparent, letting everybody’s voice be heard,” District E Councilman Alan Jackson said. “They shouldn’t have to pay in order to have an appeal be processed.”

Caddo parish resident Clarke McCollister voiced his concerns with the cameras at the city council meeting: “I came here today to address the fact that the system is flawed and to recommend what I think should be done to correct the system. And that’s why I volunteered to take the gentleman from Blue Line to all the school zones so that he can see it.”

Before the meeting, one councilmember said that he agrees with Arceneaux and that he had prepared some questions for the gathering.

“I am gonna ask some questions to the mayor and the administration and Blue Line,” Councilman Grayson Boucher said. “Where are we at since the citation issue was postponed? Where are we at? What have we done? What’s the progress that has been made and how many tickets have we issued?”

He said the city has earned $800,000 from the ticketing system so far.

While he has proposed this already, Boucher said he feels now is a good time to put the program to a halt until everything is figured out. The City Council disagreed, rejecting a plan to pause citations enforced by the school zone cameras.

“We want to make sure that Blue Line is not the enemy,” District C Councilman Jim Taliaffero said. “As I said, I’m all for the technology. We just want to tighten the rules for technology.”

A spokesperson for Blue Line Solutions addressed concerns during the meeting.

“When this program is rolled out completely and all of the kinks are worked out, because once it is in place and once people are familiar with it, it becomes habitual for them to drive the speed limit,” said Mark Frazer, field operations director for Blue Line Solutions.

“We see a decreased number of speeders in this school zone. That is the primary objective of this program, to create safe spaces around your schools.”

As Mayor Arceneaux mentioned, there will be several changes to school zone speed cameras, including new enforcement times, starting Monday, March 20.

“I think personally this system is a great system once it is fully up and operational and the times are set correctly,” McCollister said.