Stan Furce, Director of the Houston HIDTA, said the feds were prepared to spend nearly $15 million to install license plate readers along Texas highways, but TXDoT has told them the law does not allow it.
Clearly when the Lege authorized a "photographic traffic signal control system" they were approving red light cameras, not any possible photographic technology. Several provisions in the statute clearly preclude the feds using the bill as authority to put up a stateside monitoring system, including this passage:
Before installing a photographic traffic signal enforcement system at an intersection approach, the local authority shall conduct a traffic engineering study of the approach to determine whether, in addition to or as an alternative to the system, a design change to the approach or a change in the signalization of the intersection is likely to reduce the number of red light violations at the intersectionSo a photographic traffic enforcement system must a) be implemented by a local authority, b) requires a traffic engineering study and evaluation of alternatives, and c) must be aimed at reducing red light violations. TXDoT is right to reject this proposed slippery slope; not only was it not the Legislature's intent to allow use of license plate readers, doing so on a statewide basis would clearly violate the statute as it's written right now.