A mobile photo enforcement unit in New Orleans. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -
Proposed legislation at the State Capitol would ensure you always know when a traffic enforcement camera is near.
State Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, is proposing legislation that would force cities to post clearly visible signs within 500 feet of a traffic enforcement camera. Carter said the current signs the city uses near its mobile enforcement cars aren’t good enough.
“They’re on a sandwich board kind of, what you might expect to see at a commercial entity where they have ‘be careful wet floors.’ A fold-over sign that is not at eye level, it's below eye level, which is a challenge for the motorist to see,” Carter said.
Carter said he hopes the city’s intention is to make streets safer and thinks better signage can help accomplish that goal.
“If your intent is to trick people or to have ‘gotcha’ moments to enhance city revenues, then you won't like it. I'd like to believe and I believe that the city is supportive of creating safe streets. This legislation that I have in fact does that,” Carter said.
Adam Manguno, who lives on Nashville between Fontainebleau and Claiborne, has written the city for years, desperate to find answers to stop speeders down his street.
“From Fontainebleau to Claiborne it's 6/10ths of a mile, no impediment, and drivers get overzealous and decide to open up a little bit,” Manguno said.
Wednesday morning two units showed up equipped with the “sandwich board” style signs, just in front of Manguno’s home.
“I thanked the police officer that was setting it up right away and he told me, 'You don't have to thank me,' but that's how I felt, you know? Not just myself but I know a handful of people that have been writing about the speeding and what can be done,” Manguno said.
Manguno knows the mobile units may only be popular with his neighbors on Nashville because across town it's hard to find any compliments for the cameras.
“It's a way for the city to make money. They know we're not going to contest it, they know we're not gonna go to court for it, we're just gonna pay it, so they double up on the money,” King Winbush, who has received an automated ticket, said.
Now Carter hopes the city is willing to take the steps it needs to show the program isn’t a money grab and said that is easily done by installing visible signage.
“You should have signs letting them know that just beware that we do in fact have these mobile units that will catch you and not have the sandwich board kind of off to the side location that can be discreet and more difficult for motorists to see,” Carter said.
The city said it is installing 600 permanent signs in school zones across New Orleans and areas where mobile units are present and said it the program will be compliant with Carter’s proposal.