Red Light Camera Ban Moving Through TX Legislature

By: Mike George Email
By: Mike George Email

As College Station hurries to install it's latest series of red light cameras around town, the Texas House of Representatives has voted to install legislation that would bring an end to the use of them in the state.

State Representatives Gary Elkins (R-Houston) and Solomon Ortiz, Jr. (D-Corpus Christi) led the bipartisan effort to forbid cities from entering into any new red light camera contract after June 1 or from extending or renewing any existing contract. As a result, photo enforcement would eventually come to an end in the Lone Star state as contracts generally last no more than two to five years.

Of course this was legislation approved in the House. The Senate still has to look at the issues. The authors of the bill apparently have a back up plan if the Senate doesn't see Red like the House did.
Ortiz and Elkins have added this line to their amendment: "[TxDOT] by rule shall require that the change interval in a light equipped with a photographic traffic signal enforcement system must be at least one second longer than the minimum change interval established in accordance with the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
Devices."

Ohio and Georgia have enacted longer yellow requirements to great effect. In Georgia, seven cities known to have lengthened yellows since January have seen violations decrease by 70 to 80 percent. A Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) study documented a 40 percent decrease in collisions after testing the benefits of increasing the yellow warning given to motorists before an intersection signal changes from green to red.


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