Posted: Sep 30, 2013 10:13 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: Oct 1, 2013 6:56 AM
ZACHARY - A controversial speed camera along Hwy. 19 in Zachary is on it's way out.
The city and Redflex, the company who owns the traffic camera, will end the contract November 22.
Those who drive through Zachary, are weary of the cameras.
"As soon as you pass the so-called camera, you're going to speed," said Lori Gregory. "We all know where they are now."
"A lot of people know they don't have to pay them," said Zachary Mitchell.
The camera has been placed at different posts around Zachary for the past five years. Since it has been active, the camera has sent thousands of tickets in the mail to speeders. About 20,000 of those tickets have gone unpaid.
City leaders say the tickets are unenforceable because they are not classified as criminal penalties and drive people away from town. Mayor David Amrhein says 75 percent of the city's general fund comes from sales tax and the camera can prevent people from shopping.
"I don't believe they change the people's driving habits," said Amrhein. "I think people learn to slow down and then speed up right after it. It's a revenue generator and it's not the way we want the city to be projected."
Police Chief David McDavid says the cameras act as an extra enforcer, but his officers will continue traffic enforcement without it.
The council has the option of seeking a new speed camera contract, but Amrhein says he will veto the measure.