Reprint from  
Published Saturday, January 14, 2017


For some reason for years there have always been terrible traffic accidents in St. John Parish at the end of the year.

This year was no different! Unfortunately, four people were killed in traffic accidents in the past month in St. John Parish. The official causes are still under investigation.

Hopefully, there would be a reason why these accidents happened that we could correct, but I seriously doubt that.

Traffic activity has increased in St. John Parish, along with our workforce.

The SJSO recently placed electronic traffic readers in different parts of the parish. These boxes display the speed of cars to the drivers. But they also record the total number of cars that passed, which provides officers with documented averages of speeds.

This allows officers to conduct traffic enforcement at peak speeding times. It’s kind of like going fishing at the time when the tide is right!

Most accidents in our parish are recorded by SJSO crime cameras. These cameras have been used to solve many crimes in SJP but have also been a silent witness to those crashes, where both drivers felt the other was at fault.

Then we would have to depend on other drivers who decide to stick around as a witness.

Statistics don’t lie! Traffic accidents are down overall, but we continue to average just over 100 accidents a month.

The majority of the accidents are on private property.

All too often, drivers are rushing to get that first parking spot close to the door of the grocery store or drivers are depending more on the dashboard backup camera than their own driving skills.

Please don’t forget that the camera does not actually drive the car …. well not yet.

Does SJSO write tickets? Of course we do!

Just drive down Cambridge Drive on any given Monday morning, there is traffic court and you will see the line wrapped around the building — people just rushing to pay the average cost $204 for speeding tickets. Or, if you drive more than 25 mph over the limit, it may cost about $371.50.

If you are parked illegally in the handicapped parking spot, you would only owe $419. And just for your information, there is a little known law against smoking in a car with a juvenile present.

That will cost you a mere $229.50. I am not sure if we have cited anyone for that yet, but I am sure someone out there is doing that right now!

On Feb. 1, 2017, I will celebrate 29 years as a member of St. John Sheriff’s Office. I have seen thousands of tickets written all these years and I know I will see thousands more before my career is over.

And for some reason, speeding continues to exist in our parish. I will continue this discussion for my next editorial in February. We have a ways to go!