Thursday, November 30, 2006

Will cities pursue red light cameras if they're not a cash cow?

Austin, Houston and many other Texas towns are quickly moving to begin giving tickets to red lights runners using camera systems. Universally proponents say their goal is safety, not generating revenue, so they shouldn't object to state Sen. John Carona's SB 125 that would take half the money from tickets using cameras and give it to their regional trauma care center.

My guess: Cities would be a lot less interested in installing these things if they didn't view them as a cash cow. (Companies operating the camera systems also take a percentage cut.) Rep. Isett in the House of Representatives wants red light cameras banned altogether. If it's true, as I suspect, that the motive for installing the cameras is money, not safety (they actually increase the number of injury accidents), Sen. Carona's bill might amount to the same thing.

For more information see the recent House Research Organization report and prior Grits coverage on the topic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post is included in Austinist's best of the blogs this week.