NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - At the beginning of 2017, drivers will see big changes on the streets of New Orleans.
The city's Public Works department will roll out 45 additional traffic cameras starting on Jan. 9.
"We're deterring speeding, reducing the risk of accidents, and to me that's really what the program is about," Public Works Director Col. Mark Jernigan said.
Jernigan said more than 45 residents requested cameras close to schools for safety reasons. Thirty-two of the new cameras will be placed in school zones, citing any driver who travels more than 6 mph above the posted limit.
But with the additional safety, additional revenue also comes into play. The system already in place collects $15 million a year for the city, and the new cameras will net even more.
The net revenue based on the budget forecast is around $5 million for the expansion of the program.
While most of the new traffic cameras will be at fixed locations, next year, unlike years past, there will also be mobile traffic cameras scattered throughout the city, and those units will move depending on traffic issues throughout New Orleans.
"We're working through that with NOPD Traffic Division now. It's going to be ultimately their call based on what they're seeing on the ground and where they feel enforcement is most appropriate," Jernigan said.
The city may collect millions with this program, but it is missing out on even more millions worth of violations that drivers are not paying. More than two-thirds of violators fail to pay their fine, but not paying a fine could lead to even bigger issues in the future.
"When it becomes delinquent, you will become boot eligible and ultimately, you drive around the city the boot units are going to find you and there are consequences for not paying that ticket," Jernigan said.
With these additional cameras, New Orleans will have a total of 102 traffic cameras, not including the roaming ones.