NEW ORLEANS -- Drivers in New Orleans might have noticed new signs that let them know there’s a chance they’re being watched.
The city recently began to install signs in all school zones and areas where the new mobile traffic cameras will likely be used to give drivers a heads-up about cameras possibly being used to track their speeds and snap of photo of them if they’re going too fast.
One of the new signs hangs on a pole in the school zone in front of Eli Simmons' home in Treme.
While there’s no fixed camera on the block, Simmons said the sign is a needed deterrent.
"Some drivers do drive a little too fast in the school zone and that sign will slow them down," Simmons said.
But State Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, a critic of the traffic camera program, has questions about the new signage.
Carter claims blanketing the city with these types of signs is not in compliance with the state law he authored, requiring proper signage within 500 of a working traffic safety camera.
He plans to file a bill during the upcoming legislative session to amend the law.
"The new law will ensure that public safety is on point and not just an attempt to simply trick motorists with ‘gotcha’ moments, which may cause more accidents as many traffic studies show," Carter said.
There are 42 fixed traffic cameras across New Orleans today. City leaders plan to add another 45 in the coming months. And the five mobile cameras will soon double to 10.
The city is installing nearly 600 "Photo Enforced" signs in all school zones and in other areas. Right now, about half of the signs are up. The rest are expected to be posted by the end of the school year.
Last year, traffic cameras caught about 3,500 citations a week. Seventy percent of those tickets were issued for speeding.
James Rosenbloom lives in Lakeview and noticed another new reminder on a speed limit sign on West End Boulevard that an electronic eye is watching drivers.
"They just appeared one day," Rosenbloom said. "So, from a fairness or equity standpoint, it kind of makes me wonder why and second, should we have a little bit more information."
Back in Treme, Simmons said he has mixed emotions about the signs.
"I think that that they should just be put up in the school zones around the schools, but not to fool drivers in other areas of the city," Simmons said.
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