I guess some arguments are never going to go away.
In the five months after Houston voters forced city officials to turn off a camera surveillance system that fined motorists for running red lights, traffic accidents at those 50 intersections with 70 cameras have decreased 16 percent, according to recently released data.
The drop in accidents surprised Houston police administrators who say a possible explanation is the unusually dry weather during recent months has made driving conditions safer. They also wonder if years of electronic monitoring have made Houstonians better, if not more cautious, drivers.
Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin said he had assumed accidents at those intersections were increasing since HPD is still receiving raw data from the camera vendor indicating motorists were running lights with much greater frequency at many intersections. The HPD records show accidents decreased at 32 intersections, increased at 21 and stayed the same at 17.
“It’s too soon to really tell. I think we’ll get a better idea of what’s going on in another year,” Lumpkin said. “But we also have to remember we’ve had some really great weather, and anybody who rides patrol on a regular basis knows as soon as that rain hits, the wrecks start to happen.”
While HPD officials called the accident data a “valuable snapshot” for traffic enforcement purposes, it did not break down the severity of the accidents or the number of fatalities, if any.
This would be the flip side of this previous story about the violations going up in the same time period. The data about how severe the accidents are would be nice to know, but at this point I mostly don’t care any more. The election is over, the voters have spoken, the cameras are turned off and they aren’t coming back on, and I have no interest in re-litigating any of this. Let’s just move on down the road.