Speed Trap sign bill passes House committee, heads to floor

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana legislature moved a bill Monday that puts big flashing signs along the roadway to identify speed traps. It was a controversial topic at the Capitol, but the House committee moved the bill along.

The bill is authored by Representative Steve Pylant.

Representative Terry Landry says "The mere label of a community as a speed trap, I think, is going to have some unintended circumstances for our state."

"We're talking about very very small municipalities. They provide no services to the public other than write tickets and if they want to play town they need to buy a monopoly game. They are trying to support their operations off the backs of tax paying citizens," said Pylant.

Pylant was met with some resistance during the hour and a half debate.

"I wouldn't call it a trap because we have the opportunity to raise up off the gas or either mash down. So no one can trap us, we can trap ourselves by making the decision to go faster or to go slower," said Barbara Norton.

The Louisiana Municipal Association, who lobbies the legislature on behalf of town and cities, was in opposition to the bill. So was the District Attorneys Association.

"The only reason they would speak out against it is because of revenue. That's what it's all about the almighty dollar. Right is right and wrong is wrong. We shouldn't be speeding, but there shouldn't be traps set up throughout our state," Pylant stated.

"A trap is a situation in which people lie in wait to make a surprise attack. That's basically true...it really is but were trying to change the image of Louisiana and the image of Louisiana is changing," exclaimed Valerie Hodges.

The measure now heads to the full house floor for debate. The bill passed out of committee nine to three. If it survives, it instructs the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to build the signs and pass the costs to the municipalities targeted.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.