Catching Red Light Runners


The Texas Department of Transportation is asking for the attorney general's opinion on whether the agency can put up red light cameras along state roads.

"We don't know whether or not we have the legal authority to place those same type of cameras, red light cameras, onto our state system," Nancy Walden with TxDOT said. "Mr. Behrens has gone to the attorney general seeking his opinion so we can find out whether we have the legal authority to help the local entities out."

Some Texas cities like Garland have already put up the cameras, catching folks running red lights, but TxDOT lawyers are unsure about the legality.

In a December 20th letter to Greg Abbot, TxDot executive director Michael Behrens asks how to respond to cities wanting the cameras.

In the letter Behrens points out during the past three legislative sessions the issue was discussed, but no legislation was passed.

The attorney general's office says it could take up to 180 days for an opinion to be issued. TxDot remains hopeful.

Locally TxDot says if they find that it is legal they'll support it.

"Traffic studies have shown that it can help prevent side impact crashes," Walden said. "So in that instance we would support it because of that."

Bryan police and the city of College Station have both looked into the issue.

Bryan police say this could become a topic of interest in the near future.

"We're researching the option," Bryan Assistant Police Chief Freddie Komar said.

"We envision at some point in the future of getting it placed on a council workshop agenda and making a presentation to the council. Ultimately if will be the council's decision."

Legal Council with the city of College Station says this topic has been researched, but no word on what their future plans may be.

All parties say safety comes first, and Freddie Komar says all research he's seen on the cameras has been positive.


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