Louisiana Town to Ticket Speeders with No Traffic Stop Required
Louisiana motorists who like to drive with a heavy right foot might soon be getting their "comeuppance" in the form of a speeding violation delivered to their mailbox. Imagine, getting a speeding ticket without getting pulled over. One town in Acadiana is currently training its officers in the use of technology that will allow them to do that.
Opelousas, Louisiana Chief of Police Graig Leblanc says his officers are now receiving training on the proper use of handheld speeding cameras. The Chief told KLFY Television that the use of the devices would help the department better serve the community in other ways than just reducing instances of motorists traveling in excess of the posted speed.
As you might imagine motorists when asked about the concept of mobilized speed cameras monitoring their driving habits were not in favor of the idea at all. One motorist we spoke with called the use of handheld speed control devices "unfair" and an affront to his rights as a driver.
Of course, when we asked this same driver if he thought it was "fair" that motorists be allowed to break the law as long as they don't get caught, he didn't have too much more to say on the subject.
Here's why Police Chief Leblanc feels the handheld speed cameras will be a benefit to his department. The use of the devices allows officers to monitor traffic and ticket violators without having to make a physical traffic stop. This certainly would be a time saver for the officer and the motorist.
The use of the cameras would also minimize several safety issues associated with physical traffic stops. The officer nor the motorist would no longer be in harm's way on the side of a busy roadway as the citation is being written. The officer would also not be exposed to potential violence that sometimes erupts during routine traffic patrols.
The system works this way. An officer notices a vehicle that appears to be traveling above the posted speed. They point the camera at the vehicle and it records pertinent information about the vehicle's speed. It also records the license plate on the vehicle. The officer cross-references the plate via a database and the system mails the speeding citation to the address associated with the license plate.
There are no lights, no siren, just a speeding motorist being cited for disobeying the posted speed. Chief Leblanc told KLFY's Zane Hogue in a report published on the TV station website that this form of traffic control will allow his officers to spend more time patrolling neighborhoods and streets for other crimes.
If your question is "How is the handheld device different from a mounted speed camera", here's the answer. The handheld device still has a uniformed officer as a personal witness to the crime of speeding. The mounted devices rely totally on automation. This should allow the citations to hold up in court should a motorist challenge the citation.
Of course, you could just not speed and you won't have to worry about getting a ticket.
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