Follow the law and it won’t be a problem

This week, an area television station featured a report on the Welsh Police Department’s (WPD) upcoming use of camera-equipped radar guns to clock and ticket speeders. The move is part of the Traffic Enforcement Detail (TED) program the WPD conducts on Interstate 10 within town limits.

When the report was posted online, hundreds of locals and non-locals posted their comments on the subject, with the majority decrying the plan.

Most of the opinions looked something like this: “It’s illegal for them to use cameras. It’s a violation of the Constitution.”

“Why should we pay the town’s bills? It’s not fair to do this to people passing through. I won’t be spending my money in Welsh while this is happening.”

“Shouldn’t the police worry about the town and not interstate?”

Well, first, while the use of speed cameras at traffic lights and intersections has been disputed in court, the use of camera-equipped radar has not. That’s because those particular cameras are manned by an officer who observes the speeder, just as he would with radar that does not incorporate images. WPD Chief Marcus Crochet looked into the matter before bringing it before the Board of Aldermen.

As for paying the town’s bills, it is true that the WPD splits TED proceeds with Welsh’s general fund. Proceeds from camera-captured speeders (who will receive their tickets in the mail) will be split with Blue Line Solutions, the company that owns the cameras. However, Blue Line will also be paying the $25 per hour pay rate TED officers receive. Of course, if you really do not want to pay Welsh or WPD bills, you could follow the speed limit and driving laws. Law enforcement typically doesn’t issue citations for such behavior.

And the WPD is still policing the town; the chief said the town will always be a priority over TED. TED keeps drivers on their toes when passing through Welsh, though; why would anyone complain about enforcing safety and laws on interstate?

The only people who take issue with this matter are those who lack driving skills and those who believe the ticket issue is yet another government conspiracy. Thankfully, we always have Louisiana State Police keeping a watchful eye on interstate. But in Jeff Davis Parish in the past two years, the Jeff Davis Sheriff’s Office, Jennings Police Department and WPD have increased their presence on interstate as well. Several drug dealers and inebriated drivers were arrested because of this. Interstate crashes in the parish have definitely dropped from  previous years and it is likely because people now know law enforcement is all over our roads. Why complain that work like this will continue?

The bottom line is, if you don’t want a ticket or don’t think using cameras is fair, do what you should be doing anyway: follow the law. After all, if you get a ticket, you can’t blame law enforcement, only your bad driving.

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Posted by on Jan 17 2014. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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