Friday, November 5, 2010

The voters have spoken, but will the city listen?

Y'all just thought that voting against red light cameras in Houston would get rid of them, didn't you? Nevermind that 53% of the voters on Tuesday gave a thumbs-down to the city's latest user tax. Now city officials are doing whatever they can to keep the cameras up despite the vote.

Citing the cost of breaking the contract, Houston City Attorney Dave Feldman said the city first has to canvass the vote and then give notice to ATS, the Arizona company who runs the program. Mr. Feldman also said that the city must honor the 120-day termination notice in the contract before taking the cameras down in order to avoid termination fees and possible litigation.

Um, excuse me, arrogant city officials, the voters have spoken and the message was loud and clear: the cameras need to come down. As Houston ticket attorney Paul Kubosh noted, if the city can't afford the termination fee, then the people who signed the contract should be fired. Former city attorney Benjamin Hall said the city had no business keeping the cameras up since the voters made their preference known.

The red light cameras were a boondoggle from the beginning and will continue to be until city officials do what they've been told to do. Mr. Feldman and everyone else down at City Hall need to realize that they aren't the bosses -- they are the employees who serve at the will of the populace.

Mayor Parker, your bosses have spoken. Take the cameras down.


Mark W. Altman M.I.S. said...

Alexander Hamilton and I agree on one thing, "The masses are asses." The only question to be asked is, "Do the cameras cause people to slow down and not run red lights?" And maybe one should ask can they be used as evidence in drunk driving and other criminal cases?

Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy, said...

Thanks for the comment. The cameras cannot be used for evidence in ANY criminal case. The most obvious reason is the camera does not take a photograph of the driver -- only the car and the license plate. Secondly, without bringing in multiple parties from both the city and the Arizona company that runs the cameras, the images cannot be authenticated.