Redflex unit will begin issuing civil tickets after grace period, police chief says
Getting through Golden Meadow without a speeding ticket was always a good way to start off a fishing trip as you rolled down HIghway 1.
But don’t let your guard down now if you’re heading to Grand Isle: Effective this week, a white Redflex Jeep equipped with radar and cameras is on the island to monitor — and enforce — posted speed limits.
The good news is if it flashes as you zip by, you won’t get a ticket in the mail — at least for a few more weeks.
“Right now it’s in testing mode,” said Grand Isle Police Chief Laine Landry. “Once we finish testing, we’ll have a 30-day warning period, and then after that it will go into enforcement mode.”
Landry said a vote by the city council last summer paved the way for the Redflex unit to monitor vehicle speeds across the island. Violators’ license plates will be photographed, and they will receive a civil ticket in the mail, he said. Appeals will be heard through Jefferson Parish court.
The amount of individual fines will depend on how fast the driver was going, he said.
In testing mode on Wednesday, Landry said the unit got a workout.
“Because of my limited amount of manpower, we’re still getting numerous complaints from residents about speeding. For instance, in a 24-hour period yesterday, I had 171 violations. That means they were going 12 miles-or-greater over the limit,” he said. “So even right now in the spring, we had 171 speeding violations. What’s bad is I only have one patrolman.
“So we’re getting a lot of feedback from residents to try to slow the traffic down, so this is another tool we’re putting in our toolbox to help deter speeding.”
Redflex will receive a portion of the fines collected once the unit goes into enforcement mode, the chief said.
“It’s a $270,000 vehicle parked out there with all the equipment in it,” Landry said. “That’s how they justify it — they get a portion of the ticket.”
Roadside signs are currently being erected to warn motorists about the speed camera, he said.
“We’re in the process now of putting up all the badging and signage throughout the town to where when you enter, you’re going to know video enforcement is possible,” Landry said. “There’ll be like 20 signs total that will be put up.”
Landry reminded golf cart drivers to stay off the roads, and noted they should not be on the shoulders of roads after sundown. He said an ordinance relating to golf cart usage is currently in the process of being tweaked by the city council, which will be voting on some potential changes next month.
“We have more issues with golf carts than we do anything,” Landry said. “So hopefully this will be an extra tool to slow people down and try to prevent a fatality or serious accident.”
About three months ago, Landry said several surveillance cameras also were installed in various locations on the island to deter crime. And he noted that additional stationary speed camera units could be placed in strategic locations in the future.
His advice to motorists heading to Grand Isle: “Just like always, pay extra attention and be mindful of your speed, and also be aware of golf carts on the side of the road.”
Consider yourself warned.