The Louisiana House panel approved a bill on Monday requiring municipalities that collect more than 50 percent of their income from speeding citations to label themselves as a “speed trap.”

These “speed trap” towns would be forced to display a blinking highway sign flashing a warning to motorists that they are entering a speed trap area. This legislation is fueled by angry motorists who have been caught in communities such as Washington, just north of Opelousas, traveling as little as two or three miles over the speed limit who were then mailed pre-printed forms and charged $165 in court fees.

There are arguments both for and against these required speed trap signs. Louisiana State Rep. Terry Landry, D-Lafayette, former commander of the Louisiana State Police, voiced concerns that these signs would impose a stigma upon the community while Louisiana State Rep. Steven E. Pylant, R-Delhi says House Bill 961 requiring these signs will do just what it was intended to do—slow people down.

If towns who receive more than 50 percent of their revenue from these speeding tickets do not post the signs, the revenue from these speeding tickets will be re-directed to the state treasury.

I do not believe Louisiana citizens should be driving recklessly and speeding excessively on our highways, but I also think these speed traps should be done away with and the communities forced to find other means of revenue.

The Advocate: Capital City Press Baton Rouge, LA Louisiana House panel puts brakes on speed traps

Image: Happyme22 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.