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May 7, 2014 7:28 PM by Kari Beal

Bills to target speed traps in Washington voted down and delayed

It looks like so-called speed traps on a few Louisiana highways will remain in place ---- at least for now.

House Bill 565 failed in the house with a 50 to 42 vote last week. The bill would have required select towns to turn over revenue generated from speeding tickets less than ten miles over the speed limit. Some lawmakers say the bills target the St. Landry Parish town of Washington.

State reports show, in 2010, Washington police issued over $200,000 in speeding tickets that were less than 10 miles an hour over the limit. Another bill that targets Washington speed traps was delayed --- but could still come up later this session.

Less than half a mile of 1-49 travels through the town of Washington and this small area is the target for House Bill 1233. This bill would ban municipalities from issuing speeding tickets if less than half a mile of the interstate is within city limits. State Representative Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, is against this bill.

"My position was that you can't target one municipality over others in the state of Louisiana when there are many other municipalities that have a big part of their revenue generated from citations," Thierry said.

KATC decided to look into how many tickets are issued to drivers along other areas of I-49. The numbers show, Washington out scores them all with 6,740 traffic citations for the year 2013, most of which are speeding tickets. Grand Coteau followed behind with 4,226 citations in 2013. Sunset had 756.

Thierry claims most of the tickets issued are for speeds 10 miles over the speed limit.

"Many should be thanking them for patrolling the area and enforcing our speed limits. That's why we have speed limits; we want them to follow the law," Thierry said.

Thierry said if HB 1233 comes back for discussion, she would vote it down.


Want to see more stories from Kari Beal? Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @Kari_EBeal.


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