Mar 4, 2013 11:39 PM by Erin Steuber
Some changes could be in store for Lafayette's Safelight/Safespeed program and it has to do with unpaid violations.
According to the Lafayette Department of Traffic and Transportation, there are 16,926 unpaid Safelight/Safespeed violations totaling $1,337,000 and that's not even including late fees. If you have unpaid citations, LCG is prepared to offer an olive branch, of sorts.
The City-Parish Council will consider an ordinance that would create an amnesty period, essentially wiping out any late fees associated with violations drivers get from Safelight/Safespeed cameras. The hope is the ordinance, if passed, will act as an incentive for the city to get the money they're owed. James Goodrum of Lafayette admits to having several unpaid violations, but says not matter what the council tries to do, he's not paying.
"I'm probably still not gonna pay, most definitely not. I got 2 kids I care about more than anything in this world; a wife I'm putting through college; I got a niece I just adopted. I'm more worried about buying them their next toy than a $25 ticket or a $50 if i don't pay that one, and it goes up to $75. What do I need to pay the ticket for?" said Goodrum.
The proposed amnesty period would only affect late fees, not the original fine. For the 16,926 outstanding violations, LCG is owed nearly $698,000 in late fees.
"I think it's very generous of them but that's probably one of the reasons our country's in debt, we sweep everything under the rug. So just pay your bill," said Rachel Banasky.
"It would, I guess, give me more incentive to pay it," said Kerri Rains.
Other than directly calling the Safelight/Safespeed office, there is no way to know if you have unpaid violations. If approved at Tuesday's meeting, the ordinance will be up for final adoption on March 19th. The amnesty period, would be for the month of May.
The ordinance would also create an amnesty period for parking violations. According to LCG, there are 11.843 unpaid parking violations, that adds up to more than $661,000 in fines, and $331,000 in late fees, which LCG could waive if the ordinance is passed.