Third time isn't a charm to kill red light cameras

Rick Casey spotted something in the Texas House tax reform bill:

The tax bill has tucked in it, and noticed by virtually no one, a measure that would kill Mayor Bill White's proposal to install cameras to catch red-light scofflaws at the city's most dangerous intersections.

How would a revenue bill kill the city's red-light camera initiative? Through starvation.

Inserted by Rep. Gary Elkins, R-Houston, the amendment would assign all the revenue from red-light camera citations to the state's general fund, except for $1 per citation for the cities.


"It kills it," said one city official flatly. The city's official stance is that the program is to save lives, not make money. But in today's tight budgetary times, they don't want to take funds from other programs to pay for it.

Elkins admits his amendment is intended to kill the program and makes no apology.

"If it's such a good, effective program for public safety, they should be willing to spend the money," he said.


City officials don't expect this attempt to succeed, either. And even Elkins doesn't sound optimistic.


Of course Rep. Elkins is correct -- if it was truly about safety, the city should be willing to pay for any costs. But then again, if it was truly about safety, Mayor White would have looked at yellow light times first, like he promised city council.

But, as we all know, red light cameras have nothing to do with safety.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 07/10/05 10:14 AM | Print |

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