Skip to comments.Houston's Red Light Cameras get Green Light
Posted on 05/31/2006 8:12:43 PM PDT by anymouse
A deeply divided Houston City Council today voted to approve a five year contract for the city's proposed red light camera program.
American Traffic Solutions Inc. will now begin setting up cameras at ten intersections around town judged to be the most accident-prone. The cameras are set up to take pictures of red light runner's license plates. Violators caught by the cameras will be mailed a $75 ticket. Those who have three violations within one year would have to pay $150 for each ticket after the first two.
Debate over the use of the cameras has raged ever since Mayor Bill White first proposed the plan in 2004. Efforts to kill the city's program at the Texas Legislature last year failed. Recent concerns focused on the city's selected contractor, American Traffic Solutions. Competitors claimed ATS has never installed such an above-ground camera system successfully in the U.S. ATS may eventually install its cameras at as many as 50 intersections around Houston.
Still in question is whether the city can use the cameras on roads which the State of Texas owns. CIty lawyers say they're waiting for an opinion from the Attorney General's office on that issue.
Those who voted in favor of the ATS contract were: Mayor Bill White, and Council Members Jarvis Johnson, Anne Clutterbuck, M.J. Khan, Adrian Garcia, Carol Alvarado, Sue Lovell, and Ronald Green. Those voting against it were: Council Members Toni Lawrence, Ada Edwards, Addie Wiseman, Pam Holm, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, and Michael Berry. Council Member Peter Brown was absent.
The red light camera program in Virginia was allowed to expire last July. The presence of the cameras reportedly increased the incidence of accidents.
They will make a million the first week at Westheimer and Voss.
Revenue generator under the guise of 'Public Safety'.
Here's an analysis of the use of surveillance by law enforcement for general monitoring and misdemeanors:
Paging Benjamin Dover ...
The government should not be allowed any new crime fighting tools unless or until it demonstrates a willingness to either focus its existing tools on fighting actual crime or relinquish those tools it is unwilling to use for that purpose.
You need this
they installed these cameras in my city a few years back. Turns out they couldn't afford to keep them running so they turned them off. So for about 3 years we have these eyesores all around town.
Not to mention once these contractors arrive to "manage" red light violation projects, profitability becomes Job# 1 to them. You can bet the value of your home that the first thing they'll do is drastically reduce the duration of the yellow light to essentially create more violaters where fewer existed before.
~ Blue Jays ~
If it's any consolation for the city residents facing lots of increased fines, It's For The ChildrenTM you know.
~ Blue Jays ~
Well, they got me before it expired. While visiting Virginia, I was astonished at how short the yellow lights were...and sure enough, one of those blasted cameras got me. The damned rental car companted ratted on me, too.
I also witnessed one of the camera-induced crashed on another trip.
These things are nothing more than a tax on visitors.
Captured plenty of residents, too.
Semper fi, Marine. I served with HMH-466 once upon a time.
Yep, they probably will. It's been done before.
If you live and/or walk downtown, you would be thankful each time you successfully crossed a street. Houston drivers do not give pedestrians ANY rights. Red light violators own the streets unabashedly.