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Friday’s the day for red light cameras

We knew that the red light cameras would be operational and fine-inducing as of September 1. Well, that’s this Friday.

“This is a great opportunity for us to use technology so we won’t have to use officers as much for traffic enforcement, (and) we can put them in communities to prevent crime,” Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said Monday as he showcased a newly installed camera system at Milam and Elgin.

[…]

Revenue generated by the camera program – expected to be more than $6 million a year once 50 intersections are monitored – will help to pay police officers who work overtime because of the department’s manpower shortage, Hurtt said.

That’s about as positive a spin as you can put on these things, at least until and unless we get some evidence that they actually reduce crashes and injuries. I want to see that data as soon as it’s feasible, and I still want to get some strong assurances that the images captured by these cameras are used for the stated purpose of traffic enforcement only, then destroyed once that purpose has been fulfilled. As far as I’m concerned, this discussion is still in the startup phase.

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One Comment

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