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Shreveport Lawmaker Goes After St. Landry Parish Speed Trap [Update]

Speed Trap
Roy Chaplin/Evening Standard/Getty Images

[Update] The bill to designate a portion of Interstate 49 near the town of Washington as a Speed Trap passed out of committee on to the full house yesterday.  The bill proposed by Shreveport area Representative Alan Seabaugh was given the go ahead by a vote of 11-5.

The measure proposed by Seabaugh will make it unlawful for a community to write speeding tickets on an interstate highway if less than half of mile of that roadway is in the city. Many motorist from Louisiana and around the country have complained that the Town of Washington is abusing that ability to simply raise money to fund the cost of city government.

(Original Story)

For a lot of us the Town of Washington Louisiana is known for their Catfish Festival, their great antique shopping and their heartless interpretation of the speed limit laws.

The notoriety of the strict enforcement of the speed limit has reached well beyond the St. Landry Parish jurisdiction of local law enforcement.

Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh has proposed to the House Transportation Committee a bill that would designate a portion of Interstate 49 in St. Landry Parish as a “Slow Down Speed Trap” area.

You might ask why a State Representative from North Louisiana would be concerned with a portion of a roadway that is well out of his district. Mr. Seabaugh explained his thoughts to the Louisiana Radio Network.

“It affects people from my district, people from all over north Louisiana have called me since we filed the bill telling me stories of friends and relatives and co-workers who got tickets for going one, two, three, four miles over the speed limit.”

What the proposed legislation would do if passed would require that signage be posted along I-49 near Washington. Seabaugh believes the Town of Washington is not using the speed limit laws as they were intended.

“What we have is a community who is legitimately attempting to raise the money, using the speed limit to pay for their city government on the backs of people who are not from their area who are just driving through.” 

The House Transportation Committee is scheduled to hear discussion on the proposal today. What do you think? Does the Town of Washington go too far in their enforcement of the speed limit? Do you think this legislator is just trying for a little revenge?

 

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