February 10, 2007
Another bill to stop red light cameras filed

Via The Walker Report, State Rep. Carl Isett is trying again to pass a bill that would outlaw red light cameras.

Isett's bill, which has been refereed to the House Urban Affairs Committee, would bar any 'local authority' from 'operating a photographic traffic signal enforcement system.'

The measure would also ban local governments from collecting any 'civil or administrative penalty' from the owners of vehicles which are photographed driving through red lights.

Isett's bill would overturn a 2003 measure introduced by State Representative Phil King of Weatherford which allowed use of the cameras by city and state governments, but restricted penalties to a basically uncollectible 'civil fee.'

Isett's measure comes on the heels of a bill filed by State Senator John Carona (D-Dallas) which would allow use of the red light cameras, but would require that all revenue collected from motorists be turned over to the state to help support emergency and trauma medical care.

The Walker Report has more here. You can find HB55 here, and the text of the bill here. It's got a relatively low bill number, so that may mean it's got a decent chance of making it to the floor. Expect there to be a fight if it does.

One more thing:

1200 WOAI news reported exclusively last month that there is no enforcement mechanism which requires motorists to actually pay the tickets they receive in the mail from the Arizona based company, and, in fact, the compliance rate in Houston, which installed the cameras last fall, is in may (sic) cases no better than 10%.

That's not what the Chron reported. In fact, it's not even what the considerably lower preliminary numbers were. I have no idea where WOAI got that figure, and I'm not having any luck finding their "exclusive report" from last month, so I can't judge their methodology. Will that figure start getting cited uncritically by camera opponents? It's already out there, so keep an eye on it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 10, 2007 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

Actually, there's six bills by last count yesterday having factors to do with cameras. No less than three of those (including HB55) bar usage on state maintained highways.

I've got more details at my On The Spot Blog.

Posted by: Michael W. Jones on February 10, 2007 5:23 PM