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BAKER - A new bill could mean that drivers would get a warning before passing through speed traps.

They are the ugly, gray contraptions that sit on the side of the highway. And some Baker residents say they avoid Highway 19 altogether because of them.

"You know to slow down because they've been here too long," said Pat Fernandez, a Baker resident.

For all intents and purposes, it's a robotic cop catching speeders in the act on camera.

"We got a robot in the neighborhood," Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn said. "The robot doesn't forgive.... The robot snaps everybody."

The speed detection devices are common on Highway 19, from Baker to Zachary. They take pictures of the license plates of vehicles that speed and send tickets to the owners in the mail.

"It's a money grab," said Jeffery Martin, a Baker resident.

But lawmakers just passed a bill that would require cities that have speed cameras to post signs warning drivers in advance. The bill in question would call for warning signs 250 feet ahead of any speed camera.

And that's just fine with the police chief in Baker.

"I think that's a good idea. It's going to slow us down, make us safer on the road," Chief Carl Dunn said. "Matter of fact, we can put some warning signs if we don't have enough cameras. We could put warning signs on streets we don't have cameras and slow them down. "

So warnings could soon be spotted on Highway 19, right before speeders get their pictures taken by the robot cops.

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