Thursday, May 14, 2009

Could red light cameras be getting the red light?

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that would ban the use of red light cameras (click here to read previous posts about red light cameras) in the Texas. In order to become law, the bill must pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Perry.

If passed, the changes would go into effect on September 1, 2009.

The legislation, H.B. 2639, would amend Section 543.2035 of the Texas Transportation Code to read:

A local authority may not implement or operate an automated traffic control system with respect to a highway or street under its jurisdiction...
"Automated traffic control system" refers to a system made up of photographic devices capable of recording images of a car's license plates if that car is not in compliance with a traffic control device.

According to the committee report, concerns were raised over whether these camera systems were installed by cities such as Houston to make the streets safer or to increase revenues. The bill's supporters also find it problematic that red light camera violations are treated as civil matters, therefor limiting a motorist's right to appeal.

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