Ordinance requires working flashers to issue tickets


Aron Boehle

School zone light not operating after hours. These school zone lights will now need to be working in order for speeding tickets to be issued.

Aron Boehle, Worldview Editor

A City Council ordinance may make college students, particularly commuter students, less likely ticketed in school zones during school hours.

An ordinance passed by the New Orleans City Council this month mandates that in order for camera tickets to be issued, flashing yellow school zone lights must be working.

This ordinance that was called a “common sense ordinance” by proposer Councilman Joe Giarrusso, could impact the city’s attention to working light infrastructure.

School zone sign without a light.
Sign signaling school speed limit. The cameras that catch images of speeding require working lights. (Aron Boehle)

The lights are known for how infrequently they work. In 2017, a survey conducted by The Lens showed that 82% of the lights were functioning.

These school zones, in which reduced speeds are enforced two hours each morning and afternoon Monday through Friday, caused issues when the threshold for issuing tickets dropped from 26 miles per hour to 24 in 2019. This change was instituted without informing the general public, according to Fox8.

The Department of Public Works spokesman John Lawson said the flashers are programmed when the school year begins and school zone lights are revisited when there are complaints.