Speed Traps All Around New Orleans

Speed TrapsOne of the more annoying things about the City of New Orleans are all of the speed traps and missing signs all over the City. They have cameras hidden in trees and on poles without any indication they are there for individuals who may be visiting the city or residents to be “caught” speeding. Drive the speed limit you say and there will be no problem, not so easy.

First in a lot of rental cars the clock is not set correctly or can lose time. Some of these cameras are set in school zones with specific times noted that you must reduce your speed. If the clock in the car you are driving is inaccurate and you are not aware of it you may think it is one time when it is another. Click you have a ticket.

Secondly, there is an area on St. Charles where there is a 35 mile speed limit sign and then shortly after that a 20 mile speed limit sign. There is no way to reduce your speed from 35 to 20 without braking and possibly causing an accident. Thirdly there is no end of the reduced speed limit sign all the way up St. Charles to S. Carrolton from Jena. So during the reduced speed times are you expected to drive all the way up St. Charles at 20 miles / hour or is that an oversight? If you think you have travelled far enough and are no longer near a school you are wrong. Click you have a ticket.

Thirdly, they have weigh scales in certain streets that when you drive over them they take two pictures one when you land on the scale and the other when you drive off the scale. Be careful out there.

If you have rented a car you will not receive the ticket until quite some time after you have returned home because the ticket goes to the rental company and they then forward it to you. So much time has passed it is impossible to know what the circumstances of the ticket were and you basically have no rights in this process. If you are leasing your car ditto, the ticket goes to the leasing company. In my case a ticket went to the leasing company that was the leasing company when I got the car but is no longer the leasing company. I never get the tickets sent to me because the City is mailing them to the wrong place.

But the worst part of this process is the approach and condescending attitude of the employees in the Administrative Hearing Office on Poydras street. If you challenge a ticket you are entitled to a “hearing”. These hearings are a total joke and waste of time and personally a waste of a salary line. It is not a hearing at all, it is an opportunity for an employee of the city to smirk, shake their head and barely listen to you. Even though it is provable that a ticket was mailed to a wrong address you will not be believed.

If you give your correct address to the Administrator at this Office it is likely he will not do anything with it. Having done just that seeveral months later in a phone conversation he asked me for my address, which I had already given him. You can ask for a hearing, believe you had the hearing, receive the same ticket in the mail again and then be told you never had a hearing. You can pay your tickets and several weeks later still receive the same ticket again even though you thought you had paid it.

It is not pleasant. It is a way to bring income in to the City but at what expense. Treating tourists and residents in such a manner may cause more bad feelings and damage than it is worth. Certainly the process needs to change.


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