By on July 23, 2009

Speed camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) next month will use its automated ticketing expertise to run a litter camera program for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Under first-of-its-kind initiative, city workers will drive around photographing neighborhoods with special cameras hooked into a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite tracking device. The workers will be looking to capture homes that might have litter, weeds or trash on their lawn so that a hefty fine can be imposed.


“The mayor’s office has put together a new enforcement program with a tough new ordinance and the high-tech services of American Traffic Solutions, the company under contract to operate the city-parish’s red-light monitoring system,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “ATS already uses video from cameras posted at key intersections to generate violation notices for the owners of vehicles that illegally run red lights.”

Fifteen “code enforcement specialists” this week began training on the program in which they will drive around looking to issue tickets to homeowners. The code specialists are paid at least $12.49 an hour and must have a valid driver’s license, a GED and some experience working in construction to be hired. ATS will download the images that these specialists generate and then use an automated computer system to generate warning letters, tickets and hearing notices similar to those used in the traffic camera program.

When “construction materials, litter, refuse, rubbish, appliances, junk vehicles, limbs, trees or other discarded materials or debris” are photographed at a home, a letter will be sent to the last address of record for the property owner. The situation must be remedied within fifteen days to escape the ticket. The penalty imposed by the program is the same as a red light camera citation — $117 plus “court costs” of $50. If the owner is on vacation or the address on file is incorrect, Baton Rouge will hold a “litter court” administrative hearing where a municipal employee will find that it is “more probable than not” that the missing property owner is guilty. Residents will also be ticketed for putting out garbage cans before 4pm or failing to retrieve them before 6am.

The ticket vans start rolling on August 1 and the litter court hearings open September 17.

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16 Comments on “Louisiana: Speed Camera Company Looks for Litter Louts...”


  • avatar

    I think this is a superb idea!

    There are far to many people who disgard rubbish and litter for other people to clean up.

    It attracts rats and vermin and is unsightly. I hope the initiative takes off everywhere.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    When times get tough gummint looks for revenue any place it can. This is where nice high fences, trees, and privacy pay off,

    Buy 40 acres and live in the middle.

    So Jessica Beal buys Borax, huh?

  • avatar

    If you have limbs in your yard the littering fine is the least of your problems.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Junk vehicles? I guess GM’s going to have a hard time selling Aveos in Baton Rouge.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Having spent a little time down that part of the country I think they are going to have their hands full. After most of the residents get nailed there will be a little welcome party waiting for them when they come to work. Or visits in the night.

    The excuse for this is cleaning up the neighborhood and raising property values. They are going to need a lot more than clean front yards to make living there attractive.

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    Baton Rouge will be milking blood from the stone. Just about evey yard has a Trans-Am or Nova on blocks with the engine hinging from the oak tree. Not to mention the old referigerator or washing machine “cleverly” turned into a flower pot/empty beer can holder…

    …I kid, I kid…

    Really, the mayor of Baton Rouge can blow me. I no longer recongnise his authority over the citizens of LA. If we don’t pay him and his cronies a salary, we won’t need these stupid taxes.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Photo enforcement should compliment this kind of enforcement. For civic peace, it’d be best to wait for actual complaints from others in a neighborhood.

  • avatar

    Unleashing a bunch of robo-Dennis Raders on your citizens isn’t going to make anyone but the politicians happy. Hopefully they’ll only be happy ’til they’re voted out.

    Is it time yet?

  • avatar
    fincar1

    A few years ago the city of Lakewood, Washington (the one south of Tacoma), hired airplanes so their code inspectors could see what was in people’s yards behind their fences. In the meantime a dead body turned up in the dumpster next to a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant.

  • avatar
    grog

    Just about evey yard has a Trans-Am or Nova on blocks with the engine hinging from the oak tree. Not to mention the old referigerator or washing machine “cleverly” turned into a flower pot/empty beer can holder…

    Um, just next door:

    http://www.drbukk.com/gmhom/park.html

  • avatar
    Ralph SS

    This is a great idea. I mean, what is a government for other than to tell people how to live and punish them when they don’t. The plan makes good use of newer technology. And, come to think about it, jail would probably represent improved living conditions (certainly more discipline).

    I say lets go for it – nation-wide. Now….who gets to set the standard…..

  • avatar
    alecea

    So what kind of cut does American Traffic Solutions get?

  • avatar
    capdeblu

    Why doesnt some governor ban red light cameras and the like. He or she would be a hero.

  • avatar
    JonnyZX

    Ralph SS:
    “This is a great idea. I mean, what is a government for other than to tell people how to live and punish them when they don’t. The plan makes good use of newer technology. And, come to think about it, jail would probably represent improved living conditions (certainly more discipline).”

    I can certainly see how this technology could be labeled “green” as well. See, the stimuli’ are working! I have found the elusive 6 thousand million jobs Obama has so obviously created!
    See how that works, we destroy thousands of good paying private sector jobs with cap and crap, healthcare “reform”, etc and replace them with 12 buck an hour gubmint jobs nannying and bothering good citizens, that’s how you fix an economy, right?

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    I actually grew up in Baton Rouge. One reason I’ll never move back is because there were so many asinine rules and laws to force people to do what they should do…things that people in the Midwest and Plains states take for granted. I’ve always thought it had something to do with the codified legal system, which is unique to that state.

    One example occured about a year ago when I visiting my family; I used a pedestrian crosswalk in a mall parking lot. A car was about 100 feet from the crosswalk when I started to cross, causing driver speed through and then screamed at me from her open window for getting in the way. A mall cop was nearby and admonished the driver for failing to yield, which caused the driver to scream that she didn’t need to yield because there was no sign telling her to do so at the crossing. So don’t assume that “yield to pedestrians” is a universally known rule of the road.

    Members of my family who still live there (including my mother) tell me that the city continues to deal with growing pains, due to the large number of people who moved there from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. So I’d expect that many of the “nanny state” laws that are common to Louisiana will multiply in the coming years.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Residential bylaws were created to promote harmony among citizens, not to tell people how to live. To have a camera-toting Big Brother conducting random invasions of privacy, in the absence of any complaints by neighbours, is a horrendous abuse of power.

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