Small Town Speed Trap?

One St. Landry Parish town notorious for its enforcement of traffic violations could soon see changes thanks in part to two bills targeting “speed traps.”

Both bills are now pending in the State House of Representatives.

If you’ve ever driven through St. Landry Parish, you’re probably well aware that once you get to Washington, you better be doing the speed limit.

But Washington Police Chief Ronnell “Bruce” Broussard says if you happen to go over a little bit, that’s okay.

“We have never issued a citation to any speeding motorist on that interstate. One mile, two miles, three miles, four miles over the speed limit,” says Broussard.

Seventy percent of Washington’s revenue came from traffic citations last year.  In 2009 legislators tried to cut back on speed traps, but a year later Washington voters adopted a home rule charter, exempting them from that law.

“It’s not about tickets; it’s about state law. And as an enforcer, we are going to continue to enforce the law of the land,” says Broussard.

Chief Broussard feels that because they’re doing their job, and his unit performs very well, legislators are honing in on Washington.

“Yes I feel very much like we’re being targeted,” he says.

But no matter where the money from the tickets ends up going, Broussard says no one’s going to put a stop, on those traffic stops.

“Regardless of how all this turns out. My job as an enforcer is that we have to enforce the law,” says Chief Broussard.

A bill that would have affected Woodworth in Rapides Parish has been withdrawn.

- Story courtesy Alex Labat, KATC, Lafayette, LA

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