Who Dat Camera Gonna Make me Pay?!
All the time, whether or Facebook, daily conversations, or real life. I get the proverbial questions:
1) Is there a way of beating red light camera tickets?
2) Do I have to pay red light traffic tickets in New Orleans?
3) Do I have to pay speed camera tickets in New Orleans?
4) Are the red light camera locations known by everyone?
I am not giving you an official legal opinion about these things, but there is no clear answer to at least the first three questions listed above. Yes, right now in the State of Louisiana, the red light traffic cameras are legal. Constant legislation promoted by Senator Jeff Arnold and Senator Danny Martiny to ban the cameras has often been killed in legislative committees in the State Capital in Baton Rouge. However, there has been some recent success in making the cameras “more fair” and allowing for a speed buffer anywhere from 6mph to 10 mph depending on the speed. Coming soon in Orleans Parish, anyone who receives an automated red light ticket can appeal any adverse administrative ruling to Orleans Traffic Court. This will allow you to call an attorney to hopefully represent your interests in Traffic Court and plead your case.
I know several people who religiously state that they do not pay red light camera tickets. Those people will clearly run the risk of being “booted” in Orleans Parish if they possess many outstanding tickets on their vehicle. Yet, besides the boot, I do not currently know of anyone being summoned to Court in Orleans Parish over failure to pay tickets. In addition, if the ticket is not paid, under the Fair Debt Collections Act, I seriously doubt that the automated enforcement companies could put an unpaid ticket on your credit report. They would have to verify the debt which is personal in nature; NOT tied to an automobile.
Personally, I did not like the way Orleans Parish, Gretna, and Jefferson Parish instituted the cameras. It was done without any voting process and was hailed as as safety achievement. Although these tickets may reduce some intersection accidents, the enforcement of them has been suspect. I received a ticket for making a right-on-red turn at an intersection because I only stopped the car for one second. This is predatory in nature and the ticket appeal process, albeit two years ago, was a joke. If it was about safety, there would be cameras only at school zones and major intersections. But, there would not be a speed camera on Henry Clay avenue catching parents speeding to Children’s Hospital to take care of their child. (yes, that happened to me…)
If you have a bunch of red light camera tickets, you probably owe several hundred dollars, maybe over one thousand. Feel free to give me a call to discuss.