Louisiana Moves Forward with Legislation Requiring Driver Photos in Traffic Camera Images

Louisiana Moves Forward with Legislation Requiring Driver Photos in Traffic Camera Images

On Tuesday, April 2, a bill requiring Louisiana’s traffic camera systems to record more photos of cars suspected of speeding made progress out of a state House committee.

By a vote of 10 to 2, HB 652 was approved by the Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives.

Statewide traffic camera systems must record a picture of the violating driver in addition to the speeding car. If not, beginning in 2025, the parishes or municipalities that make use of the system would not be permitted to issue or collect traffic citations.

The bill’s proponent, Rep. Daryl Deshotel (R-Marksville), stated that its goal is to hold speeding drivers accountable rather than the owners of the vehicles.

“A lot times, you have families that may share vehicles,” he stated. “You have neighbors that borrow vehicles. You have all sorts of situations where people are in vehicles that they do not own.”

The license plates of allegedly speeding cars are captured by cameras used in the New Orleans traffic cam system. This enables the city to issue tickets to the registered owners of the cars without needing to see a picture of the driver.

According to the New Orleans 2024 budget, car penalties and other forfeitures, such as tickets from traffic cameras, will bring in $23.1 million for the city.

The administration will hold off on making comments until after the legislative session concludes, a representative for Mayor LaToya Cantrell told.

According to Mike Knaps, a spokesperson of the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, obtaining pictures of drivers isn’t always a good idea.

“A driver decides that they’re going to put their visor down, you’re not going to get their picture,” he stated. “A lot of people still wear the (KN-95) mask, we still have some issues. You’re not going to get their picture. For us to say you can identify someone from a photo is a very difficult thing to do.”

Before reaching the desk of Governor Jeff Landry, the bill must still be approved by the entire House of Representatives and the Senate.