Skip to comments.Red-light cameras installed downtown (Houston)
Posted on 11/21/2005 10:48:32 AM PST by ol painless
Take notice, Houston motorists: There's a clear picture of the future downtown.
It's where the Police Department this morning began testing camera systems designed to catch red-light runners at four intersections.
The 30-day pilot program is part of an effort to pick the best private vendor to install the systems at up to 50 city intersections over time.
Mayor Bill White and other city officials say the cameras serve two key purposes: reducing serious wrecks at intersections and freeing up an understaffed police force from traffic enforcement.
"This is about increasing safety, making people more alert and using the technology that is out there," said Executive Assistant Police Chief Martha Montalvo, who is helping oversee the vendor-selection process.
Critics say the systems don't work properly or lead to increases in minor accidents, as motorists abruptly stop before intersections out of fear of triggering the camera.
Some also say camera enforcement has as much to do with raising ticket revenue as with public safety.
During the testing period, the cameras, which are supposed to automatically detect vehicles that move through intersections illegally and photograph their license plates, will only lead to warning letters.
Eventually owners of cars photographed running red lights will be mailed $75 civil citations. Red-light tickets issued by police officers will remain Class C misdemeanors, with higher fines.
The intersections with test cameras have warning signs. The systems are installed at Milam at Jefferson; Milam at McGowen; Texas at Travis, and Texas at San Jacinto.
The plan is for the winning contractor to install cameras at 10 intersections, and gradually increase to 50, Montalvo said.
"I'm trying to do my very, very best to make this as fair and as operationally sound as possible," she said.
If they really wanted to stop people from running red lights, then they should force offenders to attend Texans games.
He should not lie and have said "This is at least 90% revenue-collection driven".
The Constitution says you have a right to face your accuser.
But I guess that all depends on how you define the words: Constitution, Right, face, accuser, your, the...
95% easy. It is all about getting more money for the city of Houston.
Hang on for your first speeding ticket where you are caught by a radar installation and a photo of your license plate is taken...
And just wait for the rash of rear end accidents from people slamming on their brakes at a yellow light in fear on getting a ticket.
Bold text is my addition. Sometimes, you need to read between the lines. :-)
We got the Cameras turned off, at least temporarily, here in a couple of towns in NC. Occasionally, the good guys win one.
Not that I would advocate vandalizing the cameras by shooting them with deer slugs or a wrist rocket firing ball bearings or glass marbles or something. That would be a bad thing to do.
We may suck but the games are awsome to go to. Tons of smok'n hot chicks, plenty of beer and the tailgating is 1st class. Plus, all the pressure is off of us cause we know we will lose so we can concentrate on parying.
Instead of this BS, COH (city of houston) should put up Cameras all over Southwest Houston...since 2 to 3 people are killed in that area each week...would do more public good.
But, as many have posted within this forum, it's all about the money.
More revenue-generating activities by local gooberments.
Toyota center is the same why...every game, it's like both the Men's Club and Treasure's A-Team show up. It's a good time.
Get ready for a lot of rear-end fender benders, Houston. It's the only thing to actually come out of these cameras.
where does it say on these tickets you cannot challenge it in court? if it's like any other citation, you have that right and most people choose not to because they'd lose less money by not missing work.
I wish people would get as upset about IRS intrusion into our lives as they do about a lousy ticket.Care to guess how many days of work you'll miss with an audit? ( you're guilty till you prove you're innocent and BTW, they're going to hit you with interest penalties if/when you come out the loser)
just my thoughts...
If this is set up the way it is in other towns, you do not need to be caught rolling across the stop line.
Stopping with your front bumper over the line is sufficient for a "ran the red light" photo ticket.
Sounds like the civil crime is imposed against the car, not the driver- this is a key in civil forfeiture laws, the $5000 taken away from you is "charged" with being involved in a crime.
This might make sense for a jackal revenooer in a one light town in the middle of a major state road. This makes NO long term sense for a city like Houston.
Many downtowns have trouble attracting people. This is one more disincentive to GO downtown. Way to drive people out to suburban strip malls!