SHREVEPORT, LA - Shreveport city officials are trying to find a way to keep the speed zone cameras in school zone while state lawmakers discuss a bill to ban the use of speed cameras. Shreveport Chief Administrative Officer Tom Dark went before the Senate Transportation Committee to urge them to consider a compromise that would let cameras continue to enforce school speed zones.

Erin McCarty
Erin McCarty
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Dark says:

We really are no longer able to enforce speeding in school zones. If you told us we can't do this kind of school zone enforcement, we will do little school zone enforcement because our police department is 150 folks short.

Dark added:

Please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

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Dark says it is going to be a long time before we're less than 100 officers short. He says it is very difficult no matter what you pay and no matter what your benefits are, to recruit police officers.

Shreveport Senator Alan Seabaugh is pushing for the ban on speeding cameras and he also wants to prohibit redlight cameras in the state. But the bill has yet to make it out of committee.

Dark says this enforcement program has "managed to cut the incidents of speeding in school zones down by 90%. The amount of citations are going down every month as they should. People are sort of waking up."

The CAO says this is not a money grab. It's an effort to protect children. He says the amount of revenue that we get from school zone speed camera enforcement is less than 1% of the city's budget.

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How Much Does Shreveport Get from School Zone Fines

Dark says Shreveport has budgeted $2.5 million in revenue from this speed enforcement program this year. He says Shreveport currently has cameras in at least 40 school zones. He says several thousand tickets are mailed out each month and the average fine is about $100 dollars.

What Does Shreveport Use the Money For?

He says 40% of the money from this program goes to public safety in Shreveport and this has been used for several projects including camera mounted towers to put at festivals and security improvements at city hall.

The City of Shreveport gets 65% of the revenue and Blue Line Solutions gets 35%.

 

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Dark also says as part of this deal with Blue Line Solutions, Shreveport got mobile license plate readers which helps in the effort to track criminals.

Dark urged the Senators not to "take this tool away from us."

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He says this system comes with lots of signs and flashing lights and even shows you how fast you are going before you pass the camera. He says you have to be going at least 10mph over the speed limit to get a ticket. He says "so if you get a ticket, you earned it. You missed several warnings urging you to slow down.

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