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Red light camera money

What to do, what to do…

Red light cameras installed at 50 intersections throughout the city have generated more than $6 million for the city since the program was launched last fall, Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said Thursday.

HPD officials are now deciding how to spend some of the money.

About $25,000 will be spent on an evaluation of the camera program by Rice University and the Texas Transportation Institute.

“They are going to be looking at everything, including where (the cameras) are placed,” said Executive Assistant Chief Martha Montalvo, who supervises the program.

The evaluation will examine accidents at intersections where cameras have been mounted, compared with surrounding areas, officials said.

The results from the review of the first 20 intersections are expected by the end of January, Montalvo said.

As you know, I’m very interested in what that review will say. It’s taking longer than I would have liked, but as long as it’s coming and there’s a delivery date, then I’m okay.

Almost $1 million will go toward equipment upgrades and safety programs aimed at troubled youth, and $635,000 to replace aging video cameras in patrol cars.

Hurtt also wants to buy three vehicles — at $80,000 each — that can be used to test a driver’s blood-alcohol level at the scene.

Another item on the list is $229,000 to send extra officers to patrol school zones and areas where HPD has received complaints about speeders.

Assuming each of the numbers cited in this story represents a separate expense and there’s no overlap, we’re talking about a little more than two of the six million dollars. It would be nice to have a full accounting of how this money does get spent; even better if we know how it’s intended to be spent beforehand.

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One Comment

  1. Charles Hixon says:

    at this rate of revenue, all intersections will have cameras, all school busses, rail crossings, 18 wheelers, dwi’s. Insurance companies will offer discounts for drivers with certain cameras.