Louisiana: Speed Camera Company Looks for Litter Louts

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

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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  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Jul 23, 2009

    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.

  • Don1967 Don1967 on Jul 24, 2009

    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.

  • Scott What people want is the Jetson Car sound.This has come up before.
  • Joerg I just bought a Corolla Cross Hybrid SE a few weeks ago, and I regret it. But not for any of the reasons stated so far. It drives well enough for me, gas mileage is great for a car like that, the interior is fine, nothing to complain about for normal daily use. I bought this relatively small SUV thinking it is basically just a smaller version of the RAV4 (the RAV4 felt too big for me, drives like a tank, so I never really considered it). I also considered the AWD Prius, but storage capacity is just too small (my dog would not fit in the small and low cargo space).But there are a few things that I consider critical for me, and that I thought would be a given for any SUV (and therefore did not do my due diligence before the purchase): It can’t use snow chains per the manual, nor any other snow traction devices. Even with AWD, snow chains are sometimes required where I go, or just needed to get out of a stuck situation.The roof rack capacity is only a miniscule 75 lbs, so I can’t really load my roof top box with stuff for bigger trips.Ironically, the European version allows snow chains and roof rack capacity is 165 lbs. Same for the US Prius version. What was Toyota thinking?Lastly, I don’t like that there is no spare tire, but I knew that before the purchase. But it is ridiculous that this space is just filled up with a block of foam. At least it should be made available for additional storage. In hindsight, I should have bought a RAV4. The basic LE Hybrid version would have been just about 1k more.
  • MaintenanceCosts Looks like the best combination of capability, interior comfort, and subtle appearance can be achieved by taking a Laramie (crew cab, short bed, 4x4 of course) and equipping it with the Sport Appearance, Towing Technology, and Level 2 packages as well as a few standalone options. That's my pick.Rebel is too CRUSH THAT CAN BRO and Limited and up are too cowboy Cadillac.
  • Xidex easier to buy a mustang that already sounds like that. love the coyote growl
  • Oberkanone Shaker motor on an EV. No thanks.
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