Red Light Green Light

RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT The city’s red-light cameras are going back on — effective immediately — Mayor Parker announced today. And after “a short period of equipment testing,” tickets will be issued again. In the meantime, the city will appeal the recent court ruling that invalidated last fall’s vote to turn off the cameras. The mayor said the city would owe millions of dollars “we simply don’t have” if it violated the court decision and the city’s contract with the vendor that operates the cameras. [Office of the Mayor; previously on Swamplot]

20 Comment

  • At the very least, the city needs to state it will not be renewing the contract with the vendor after the current one expires and it is looking for other ways to meet voter intent. Law enforcement is either needed or it isn’t. It is NOT a revenue generation scheme!

  • It’s as if the entire city government is collectively punching itself while exclaiming “STOP HITTING YOURSELF, STOP HITTING YOURSELF!” to only reply “I CAN’T THIS SHEET OF PAPER SAYS I HAVE TO.”

    Anyone know if the 30-day deadline is just for holding a referendum or is it for overturning any ordinance? Does this explain why cities have 100 year old “ordinances” that prohibit wearing orange socks and such?

  • My favorite Red Light Camera is the one on San Felipe & 610 S Feeder. It is so awesome! I’ve tried them all, and that one is definitely the best.

    Everyone should have a favorite Red Light Camera. What’s yours?

  • jb3: The issue in the court case was a referendum versus a charter amendment. A referendum is the only way citizens can overturn an ordinance by a direct up or down vote. A petition for a referendum has a 30 day deadline.
    The anti-red light camera people missed the deadline by 4 years. So, they got a petition together for a charter amendment. There is no deadline on amending the city charter. The charter amendment simply said that the City will not have red light cameras.
    The court said b.s. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, the court noted that if the City passed a law calling a dog’s leg a tail, a dog would still have four legs. The court struck down the charter amendment on the grounds that it was plainly a referendum seeking to strike down an ordinance.
    What is unbelievable is that the City was dumb enough to put this on the ballot and face a lawsuit from the red light camera company for millions rather than telling the anti-red light people to go jump in the lake. Had they done the latter, they would only face a lawsuit from the anti-red light people seeking to get their “charter amendment” on the ballot instead of a breach of contract claim seeking millions.

  • The people in charge of this city are F’n idiots…

  • Granted the city was dumb to allow the amendment to go on the ballot in such a manner, but since they did, they should take responsibility and change the ordinance themselves. And citizens should duly vote against any councilman that doesn’t do exactly that. BTW, a 30 day limit for a referendum is an absurdly short period of time to have to gather forces against a bad ordinance. That should also be changed, atleast to provide time for collecting signatures, approaching council for redress and finally time to get it on a ballot. At minimum, this is a 6 month process.

  • Their making of money will ALWAYS take precedence over your vote. This is only ONE EXAMPLE.

  • The referendum required the city to break a contract. Guess what? You can’t do that without penalties. Voters approved it anyway.

    I don’t think the cameras are a revenue scheme, but if they were, so what? I’d rather see city services funded by miscreants who endanger other drivers than by my tax dollars. I think it’s an ideal asshole tax.

  • I have to admit I voted to get rid of the red light cameras. But a few days after and seeing all the nutjob drivers running those redlights and nearly causing accidents,I honestly kinda regretted my vote. And quite honestly I’d rather have the poliecmen doing other things than writing up a red light ticket.

  • No John, it is an ignorance tax. You do not have to pay the fine and you can still renew your vehicle registration. Only those ignorant of the red light camera ordinance pay. It is a civil fine not a criminal offense. I know, I am a “City Scofflaw – Houston RLC”. I noticed the designation on my vehicle registration renewal notice when I obtained my new sticker in June.

  • That’s a loophole that needs closing.

  • Trust me, no one likes red light runners and if they were the only ones impacted by the red light cameras, the vote wouldn’t have gone the way that it had. But, if you turn right on red, the cameras will catch you. If you follow someone through a yellow, chances are you’ll rear end them as they lock it up trying to stop. If revenues drop because people stop running the lights, odds are the ATS and COH will review their yellow light duration to see if they can shorten it to drive revenues back up (want to talk perverse incentives). Stopping red light runners is only the excuse to put them in place.

    Oh, and you should always check cross traffic before proceeding. The redlight runners that are getting caught now are only really the ones that are following the crowd. What you really have to be wary of is the drunk drivers that plow through an intersection regardless of how long its be red, yellow, green or closed. Unfortunately, red light cameras will never stop those people.

  • “Odds are” is so convincing.

    When I see a yellow light I stop if I can because, well, that’s the law, and good driving, and it’s really rare anyone’s come close to hitting me.

    People “just following the crowd” are breaking the law and impeding traffic flow by shortening the effective green time. No sympathy, sorry.

  • Ow ow ow.. That was me getting screwed by the city… Again.

  • @John, There is no loophole in the ordinance; it is built in to the design. If it were a criminal offense then the COH would have to allow the person cited the right to contest the charge. The city would have to incur the expense of court cost, police/city personnel at the trial and potentially overwhelming the already busy municipal courts. That expense would negate the revenue stream.

    The reason you can renew your registration is because the counties are not willing to take on the expense of making sure ATS and the COH get their revenue from the red light cameras. Of course ATS and the COH could pay that administrative expense to all 254 counties in Texas to enforce the ordinance. After all it is all about safety, right? They do not pay the counties because once again it would negate the revenue stream. Notice the recurring theme? Rrevenue, Revenue, Revenue….

  • If you rear end someone as they brake for a yellow it means you were driving too close behind them …. probably because you closed the gap and sped up to try and beat the light. Absolutely no sympathy at all. Trying to blame someone else for your own poor driving habits is just lazy.

  • Yellow lights are intended to warn drivers to stop if it is safe to do so, not to speed up to miss the red light. This mentality is why people get rear-ended at yellow and/or red lights.

  • Yellow lights are intended to warn drivers to stop if it is safe to do so, not to speed up to miss the red light. This mentality is why people get rear-ended at yellow and/or red lights.

    Call it what you want, just watch your ass when you slam on the brakes to avoid running the red.

  • Everyone should just pay attention, watch the yellows, maintain a safe distance, quit thinking you are the only person driving and quit whining about the cameras!

  • The pot calling the kettle black – read here ; this is still a current practice by the city!!

    (City’s defense for not paying up sounds familiar

    Read more: