Texas Set to Outlaw Red Light Cameras
If you haven't ever received a ticket in the mail for running a red light, not only are you a better driver than me - you're pretty lucky. Sure, it's easy to say "I stop for every red light," but I would bet that more than 90% of drivers have hit a yellow light or two. It's so easy to push it through a yellow light, and get caught crossing the intersection when the stop light activates. That's something that a human could understand, but the cold lens of a red-light camera can't.
The contention in Texas is a machine that can't take into account any of the number of justifiable factors that could lead you to be in the cross-hairs of the camera when the lights change. A bill awaiting the Governor's signature could change all of this by making Texas the 11th state to outlaw the automated ticket machines. House Bill 1631 sponsor Sen. Bob Hall claims that the current system violates the right to due process and presumes that the registered owner is the person driving the car.
Critics of the bill claim that this would make intersections more dangerous across the state, but that's not the only downside. The financial gain cities that use the robot snitches receive can't be overstated. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Big D raked in $5.8 million last year in robo-tickets alone.
The bill is expected to receive Governor Abbott's signature and become a law very soon.