Partial Red Light Camera Ban Nears Passage
Just a few years ago, cities all across the United States were quick to adopt red light cameras as a means of traffic enforcement. Now, according to a story reported by the CBS local station in Dallas, a ban of cameras that has passed both the Texas House and Senate may soon become law.
Currently, there are more than 200 red light cameras in Texas with most being serviced by private, for-profit companies which are located out of state. The Texas Senate voted 23 to 8 while the House voted 109 to 34 in favor of a partial ban of red light cameras in most Texas cities. Because the vote is considered a supermajority all that is required to make the bill a state law is the signature of Governor Greg Abbott.
The bill was introduced by Republican State Representative Jonathan Strickland. “This has kind of hit a crescendo from the grassroots, left and right,” Representative Strickland said in an earlier interview with CBS.
Even if the bill does become law, that doesn’t mean that the cameras will disappear entirely. Whiskey Tango Texas website reports that some Texas cities extended their contracts to as many as 20 years or more in anticipation of the law. Arlington is one of the cities which made such a move by unanimously approving its contract with American Traffic Solutions from 5 to 20 years.
Motorists can still be cited, however, the bill, if signed into law, would make it more difficult for cities to collect red light ticket fines. Once the bill is signed by the Governor, the law would prohibit the DMV from blocking vehicle registrations and the renewal of driver’s licenses for unpaid tickets generated from red light cameras.