House rejects two traffic camera bills

A pair of bills to put new restrictions on traffic cameras failed Tuesday in the Louisiana House.

Both of the measures were sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans, who has made the issue a priority for the past seven years.

One of the plans, House Bill 801, would require voter approval before local governments could issue civil fines for traffic light violations.

The vote was 49-40, which is four short of the minimum needed.

The other proposal that failed is House Bill 859, which would require that the yellow caution light at traffic camera intersections be one second longer than the federal minimum.

Arnold said yellow lights generally range from three to six seconds, which means the minimum would be four seconds.

He said the change would make the intersections safer.

State Rep. Terry Landry, D-Lafayette, former superintendent of the State Police, said the measure would run counter to committee testimony by traffic engineers.

“When we start taking the decisions out of the hands of the experts then we are on a slippery slope,” Landry said. “This is a bad, bad bill.”

The vote was 48-43, which is five votes shy of the minimum required.