Cantrell refuses to apologize for changing school zone speeding policy without notice

Councilman insists announcing change would be more effective

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
April 22, 2019 - 10:38 am

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell appeared before the New Orleans City Council today to defend here decision to lower the threshold for issuing camera speeding tickets in school zones without any public notice.  

"I stand by that decision and will not in any way apologize," she insisted.

The mayor referenced the 2014 death of a child, hit by a car, trying to get to a school bus.

Cantrell also presented data she said showed that one out of five drivers speed through school zones.

Based on that, she says she decided to start issuing tickets at four miles per hour over the limit without any public warning... rather than the previously announced six mile per hour buffer.

Councilman Jared Brossett responded, "Transparency is important to us... the policy change should have been announced... If it would have been announced, drivers could have changed their driving patterns which should have been a goal if it is about improving public safety."

The mayor said that the unannounced change was to protect children.
"That was a policy decision that I absolutely stand by, and one that is absolutely making school zones safer."

Cantrell added, "It is unacceptable to speed in school zones."

The administration reported that in February and March alone, the cameras issues and additional 41,000 speeding tickets for people going 24 or 25 miles per hour in a 20 mile per hour school zone.  Those are tickets that would not have been issued without the change in the rules.

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