Red-light cameras tracking speeders; join the conversation
More than 1,300 notices given this month
More than 1,300 speeding notices have been identified at four Lafayette intersections since Dec. 7.
The intersections are the first four to be equipped with SafeLight Lafayette cameras, which also are used to catch drivers who run red lights. The cameras are at the intersections of Pinhook Road and Simcoe Street, Gloria Switch Road and the Interstate 49 northeast frontage road, South College Road and Johnston Street, and Moss Street and Mudd Avenue.
Tony Tramel, director of traffic and transportation for Lafayette Consolidated Government, said the cameras have always been intended to be used for speed enforcement, as well as red-light enforcement.
"We've been telling people that from day one," Tramel said. "Whether the light is green, yellow or red, the camera is monitoring speed."
Tramel said vehicle speed is recorded by loops placed in the pavement. Notices are issued when a driver exceeds both the speed limit and certain tolerance speeds as established by city-parish ordinance, Tramel said.
"In this case, two images are captured, as well as a video clip," Tramel said. "In essence, it's got all the same characteristics as when someone is captured running a red light."
City-Parish President Joey Durel said the number of speeding notices at the camera locations shows there is a need for such programs.
"If we didn't have a problem, we wouldn't be looking at these programs," Durel said.
Stephanie Ware, a vocal opponent of the two SafeSpeed Lafayette vans that are used to monitor traffic and catch speeders, said she doesn't think many people are aware that the intersection cameras also are being used for speed enforcement.
"There's been multiple ordinances, and nobody knows what the rules are," Ware said. "I don't think people know anything about the speeding. It's just not something the common person is going to know."
Tramel emphasized that the goal of both the speed van and red light camera programs is to create a safer driving environment.
"We just want to let people again be aware that we're trying to change driver behavior," Tramel said.