Texas Bans Red Light Cameras

Spectre

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https://www.fox4news.com/news/red-light-cameras-now-banned-in-texas

Red light cameras now banned in Texas

Governor Greg Abbott has officially signed legislation banning red light cameras across Texas.

House Bill 1631 prohibits the use of "photographic traffic signal enforcement systems." It was proposed by North Texas Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford).

Gov. Abbott signed the bill on Saturday after it passed through the House and Senate this legislative session.


Even though red light cameras are now banned in the Lone Star State, you may continue to see them in some place for the next few years because the bill allows cities that could be penalized by suddenly breaking a vendor's contract to honor the contract until it expires.
Good riddance.
 

Misrabelle

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So jealous! We have combined red light/speed cameras. Punch it to get through the amber light, and they'll get you for speeding instead.
 

Spectre

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Come on front plates.....
That bill hasn't made it out of committee in any of the last five sessions, sadly. It didn't do any better this year, either, and realistically it's run out of time again. At least last session we got rid of the stupid requirement to fit new plates every ~8 years and now can keep the plates as long as we own the car.

So jealous! We have combined red light/speed cameras. Punch it to get through the amber light, and they'll get you for speeding instead.
Speed cameras were previously banned in Texas. :D
 

Vipergts662

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That bill hasn't made it out of committee in any of the last five sessions, sadly. It didn't do any better this year, either, and realistically it's run out of time again. At least last session we got rid of the stupid requirement to fit new plates every ~8 years and now can keep the plates as long as we own the car.



Speed cameras were previously banned in Texas. :D
It is unfortunate the front plate bill has been hanging around for so long but on the bright side the department for certifying plumbers was disbanded........ bunch of dumbasses
 

Spectre

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IMHO, the second guy is screwed in terms of beating the ticket unless he wants to dump a lot of money into challenging the law in court. In Texas, it's not legal to pass a school bus on a public roadway with the red flashers on under any circumstance unless an actual law enforcement officer directs you, period - but you can only be ticketed under that statute by a real live police officer. That said, Austin probably has an additional civil offense on the books that just like the red light camera "lets them" get away with issuing a citation without an officer being present.

It can be done - that legislation that just passed banning RLCs through the entire state was based on a lot of work by others, from lobbying and pressuring politicians at the local level to ban them (in one case our own Der Stig was instrumental in getting them banned in one Texas city) to angry lawyers that got caught by these cameras who had nothing better to do to challenge the tickets in court. The last major case that finally kicked this measure over the edge were a couple of lawyers who took on the Dallas suburb of Richardson and found out that they had skirted many requirements of the law the state set up to dictate conditions in which a camera was legal. They have since found out that most cities putting up cameras did the same - the legislature was not amused and that's why the state has now banned them.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/richardson/2018/07/22/texas-lawyer-spent-years-fighting-75-red-light-camera-ticket

For those with adblockers: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:L8XyhJ2Dbi8J:https://www.dallasnews.com/news/richardson/2018/07/22/texas-lawyer-spent-years-fighting-75-red-light-camera-ticket+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b-1-d


Anyway, the fun thing about civil tickets like these is that they can be ignored. They can't go on your driving or criminal record and all they can do is send them out for collections.
 

bone

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they're banned on what ground?

"we really do want people to only obey the lights when an officer is in sight, we prefer them to run the red light and kill everyone around when he's not"
 

Spectre

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they're banned on what ground?

"we really do want people to only obey the lights when an officer is in sight, we prefer them to run the red light and kill everyone around when he's not"
Among other things, cities were caught illegally shortening the yellow light period in order to increase revenue and putting cameras at intersections without proper traffic studies or in contradiction to traffic studies. Multiple cities have been found to be rubber stamping what the cameras churned out without actually having a police officer properly review each incident so recorded as the law requires. There were issues with bribes where the companies installing and operating them for the city were found to be paying off politicians. Further the units were inaccurate as hell, taking pictures when the vehicle in the intersection was there legally. Ask thomas - on one of his first visits to Dallas, we took him to a nearby intersection where he watched the red light camera system happily taking pictures of an empty intersection repeatedly, then taking pictures of traffic proceeding through the intersection legally, on the green light. Not kidding, he witnessed this with us (we already knew these systems were garbage, but wanted an independent witness.)

There was also a disturbing uptick of crashes at intersections that had red light cameras installed; instead of increasing safety, cameras made it worse. People would be going at a rate that would take them into the intersection on a yellow and normally they could clear safely - the light turns yellow, they suddenly realize that the camera was there and they'd panic brake super hard for fear of a ticket and they'll get rear ended; in one case I learned about, the car driver dropped anchors in front of a dump truck - it didn't end well. Alternately, they would see the light go yellow and flatten the gas pedal to make it across the line into the intersection while it was still yellow because then they will get through and not have to stop or get tagged by the camera. Then they T-bone someone or plow into stopped or slower traffic on the other side of the intersection because they couldn't stop in time; when you consider that the most popular vehicle in Texas is a large pickup truck, you can see that this could be rather... messy.

Studies have shown that simply extending the yellow light by a few seconds is actually more effective at preventing red light accidents than a red light camera in the US. It's basically free, but the installation of red light cameras often means the yellow lights get shortened when the target revenue didn't meet expectations. All of these have been proven by studies or in court and I've referenced them on posts on FG before.

Keep in mind that the red light cameras we have (soon to be 'had') here do not photograph the vehicle operator and any fines are sent to the registered vehicle owner regardless of who was driving. No points can or will be assessed, it's just pure revenue generation, a huge source of corruption and people got really sick of it.

Edit: clarified legality of yellow light shortening - it's not legal to shorten lights below a minimum in this state along with others. Cities were caught shortening them - some below a half second total light time, well below the average minimum of three seconds.
 
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Blind_Io

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As much as I hate red light cameras, Utah drivers ignore red lights all too often. I will sometimes be sitting at a green light watching cross traffic continue to blow the stale red for 10-15 seconds - that's after up to a 5 second overlap of all-red-all-directions.

Here are a couple of red-light runners causing serious crashes - and these are just from my two family members.


I was lucky that I check for cross traffic, that's me on the bike being followed by my brother in the camera car.


People running lights this stale is a daily occurrence - and I only go through one light on my way to work.
 

Spectre

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As much as I hate red light cameras, Utah drivers ignore red lights all too often. I will sometimes be sitting at a green light watching cross traffic continue to blow the stale red for 10-15 seconds - that's after up to a 5 second overlap of all-red-all-directions.

Here are a couple of red-light runners causing serious crashes - and these are just from my two family members.


I was lucky that I check for cross traffic, that's me on the bike being followed by my brother in the camera car.


People running lights this stale is a daily occurrence - and I only go through one light on my way to work.
Then park cops at that intersection, because the American-style red light cameras don't actually cut down on intersection crashes. Case Western University has proven what I and others have long said: https://phys.org/news/2018-07-red-light-cameras-dont-traffic-accidents.html

Want red light running to drop? Park a cop (or non-sworn traffic enforcement officer) there and start writing meaningful tickets that go on people's driving records with meaningful fines, then advertise that this is going on on the local news. Watch the red light runners vanish.

But that won't happen because the traffic officers are all too busy with revenue generation.
 

Blind_Io

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It's not just that intersection, it's every intersection. There simply aren't enough cops to put one at every light, I know that American style red light cameras don't reduce crashes - but at this point, I would love to see these assholes start getting some financial consequences. Utah is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to drivers (adjusted for population and according to insurance collision claims data).
 

Spectre

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It's not just that intersection, it's every intersection. There simply aren't enough cops to put one at every light, I know that American style red light cameras don't reduce crashes - but at this point, I would love to see these assholes start getting some financial consequences. Utah is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to drivers (adjusted for population and according to insurance collision claims data).
Start with the top five intersections for red light running and park a cop or traffic enforcement officer there. Start writing tickets. Make the penalties big and nasty. Per a quick Google search, this is the pretty lame penalties for red light running in Utah: https://www.drivinglaws.org/resources/traffic-tickets/moving-violations/running-red-lights-and-stop-41

Stop sign and red light violations are infractions in Utah. Generally, the fine for a conviction is about $120.

Generally, a stop sign or light conviction will add 50 demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. A driver who accumulates 200 or more points within a three-year period faces license suspension. However, eligible drivers can remove 50 points from their driving record by completing a defensive driving course.
In Texas, running a red light in most major cities will get you a $230-$275 fine and two points on your license if you are caught by an officer. Get six points on your license and you will have to pay a minimum of $100 per year to keep your license for the next three years. Your insurance will also go up due to assessed surcharge and if you get eight points on your license in twelve months, your license will be suspended. If you run a light and a crash results, you get three points... It's a small but important step up in punishment from what Utah does, but blatant straight through red light running of the type you posted above is quite rare (to the point where a few years ago Dallas turned off their red light camera system for a while because people weren't running the red lights (they weren't running them before the cameras either) - the cameras were costing far more to operate than they brought in.

Usually the typical red light offense here is people turning without stopping fully or not being fully in the intersection when the light changes and turning left.
 
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Nabster

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Usually the typical red light offense here is people turning without stopping fully or not being fully in the intersection when the light changes and turning left.
Or my favorite rage inducer of them entering an intersection they can't clear due to stopped traffic ahead and then they get stuck in the middle of it when their light turns red and cross traffic gets the green but can't cross with a car in the way.
 
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