Red-Light Camera Takedown Gets Green Light

RED-LIGHT CAMERA TAKEDOWN GETS GREEN LIGHT A city council vote this morning means that Houston’s on-again-off-again red-light cameras will likely all be coming down in 60 days. The city agreed to a settlement with the camera vendor that would give American Traffic Solutions $4.8 million, plus a share of funds collected from red-light runners. [abc13; previously on Swamplot] Photo: West U Examiner

23 Comment

  • Oh boy! Thanks Mayor Parker for putting this iniative on the ballot. And, thanks to the traffic ticket lawyers who started this whole thing on a lark to generate name recognition as a marketing gimmick. And finally, thanks to the wise citizens of Houston, Texas who voted to put Houston in breach of its contract, exposing our cash-strapped city to $4MM plus in potential liability. Kudos! Hey, I konw who should pay the settlement…

  • Thanks to former Mayor Slick Willy White for putting our city in a catch 22…

    …it’s only money, right?

  • The lost money is bad, but the citizens rising up is good. Let’s go after the HPD/Homeland Security helicopter patrols next (who we have Harold Hurtt to thank-and who was rewarded by the Feds with a cushy ICE job.)

  • Mel- You should be thanking whoever signed the contract without a clause that states what happens in case of a public referendum. They screwed up and now they must pay for their little $$ generating cameras that were pushed on us under the guise of safety. Good riddance.

    Let this be a lesson to other municipalities that are thinking of pushing this on their residents. ATS is not your friend.

  • Hilarious. Yes, big brother

  • I loved the cameras; I think a voluntary tax on sociopaths is a great thing. Oh well.

  • Not making a full, complete stop when turning right at a red light (a big part of the total “tickets” issued) makes someone a sociopath to you? Uhh, OK…

  • No, but it does make you a lawbreaker, so don’t do it.

    Look, every morning and every evening I watch people “not stop” at 10-15 mph on those turns (and usually “not look” either), I watch people blow through lights because they don’t feel like stopping, etc. I’m sorry, but if you think a yield is as good as a stop when turning right on red, lobby to get the law changed. Don’t bitch about it being enforced.

  • John-
    I’d say I agree with you, don’t break the law. But I have been at the lights and seen people turn right, after appearing to me to stop, and the camera goes off. That is why I feel like only a police officer should be able to give out tickets, not a camera system. How do you protest that ticket, when you say you stopped and the camera says you didn’t?

  • @Pffft: someone not making a full stop before turning right nearly killed my wife when they were looking left to turn right and did not see my wife crossing the street from their right. I am not a big fan of red light cameras, but spending the day at the ER in Ben Taub makes the cries of the Kubosh brothers a bit less resonant with me.
    Also, this is what happens when municipalities give away tax dollars to developers and succumb to the “don’t tax me, tax that guy behind the tree” crowd. Municpalities jump on any chance to raise cash by falling for too good to be true schemes like the red light cameras to make up for budget shortfalls. If people would just grow up and pay their fair share of taxes, municipalities would not be inclined to go for these public/private enforcement schemes.

  • John, you’re argument boils down to the old saw, “Only the guilty aren’t willing to give up their rights.” Man, I hear that argument everyday, anymore. It is so tired.

  • Crud, I pulled a your/you’re error in my last post. Apologies.

  • @Sihaya – that’s a nonsense statement. Driving is a highly regulated activity (as it should be) and there is no expectation of privacy while driving your car. In fact, the expectation is that you may be stopped at any time by the law.

  • As a West U resident who does not have to pay for this settlement, a big “THANK YOU” to all of you paying to protect my right to roll through red lights penalty free.

    Live long and prosper, Paul Kubosh!!!!

  • I think cameras should be EVERYWHERE!!! I mean, after all, if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.

  • I SECOND Lucy’s statement and agree with John(Yet Another): If you’re not breaking the law of the land you shouldn’t fear the camera.
    Now on the other hand, the City needs to make a profit on the whole deal: It’s like a Lotto which rakes in profits on the backs of the unfortunate (or the unlawful, in this case.)

  • Camera’s everywhere. Man, has everyone already forgotten the McCarthy era? Or never seen TMZ? Photos and video can easily be skewed, even in the most innocent of situations.

    No thanks.

  • John, you’re right. It is highly regulated. And if a policeman sees me running a red light, he shoud pull me over. And then *I* should have the option of actually facing him in a court of law. All dangerous activities are highly regulated. And in the process of the regulation, we have legal rights.

  • Should CCTV video of someone breaking into a store be admissible as evidence, or enough to arrest someone and drag him into court?

    This just isn’t as clear-cut as you suggest.

  • Should the police put CCTV onto every street corner in order to ensure that we capture all crimes, non crimes, petty moments, & etc? Are you so very afraid for your safety that you demand we lose our rights in order to feel safe? You’re right, it’s not that clear cut.

  • And When a CCTV is used as avidence in any crime today, it is presented to a judge by the police and accusers. Either the judge or a jury makes the final decision, and the accuser and defendent get to argue before him. The traffic camera “it’s only a civil violation” trick subverted that policy by turning the accuser into the judge and bailiff. It completely subverted justice.

  • @Sihaya, the red light cameras were effectively civil fines against the car, which is the way it should work. The owner of the car is responsible for paying the fine, but there’s no blemish on the record of the car owner.

    You aren’t willing to pay the price for enough police to fully enforce the traffic laws. Besides, the camera is much better evidence than the word of a police officer, many of whom are utterly unreliable witnesses with their own agendas.

    I had an overseas colleague get a camera ticket a while back for not stopping on red before a right turn. The camera evidence showed the logo on his shirt, the fact he had not shaved, and fully showed the fact his wheels never stopped turning. That’s pretty conclusive.

    The way cameras were implemented here was pretty abhorrent. The cameras need to belong to the City, with the vendor not getting a percentage of the take. That creates undesirable motivations for the City and the vendor.

  • John, I don’t break the law. I stop at red lights as well as make a complete stop before turning right on red. Don’t confuse my opposition to red light cameras as being pro law breaking.

    Regardless, the people have spoken and the Houston’s money machines are gone. Good riddance!