The champagne corks are a-poppin' at HPD headquarters

Because Texas AG Greg Abbott passed down an opinion that said red light cameras could be placed at TxDOT intersections:

"Now we can truly impact safety, because now we're going to be using the (more dangerous) locations instead of having to work around" them, said Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Martha Montalvo.

Of course, if Montalvo was truly interested in safety, she would have pressed for yellow light times to have been adjusted. But she doesn't see the "logic" in that.

About half of the most dangerous intersections in the city belong to TxDOT, Montalvo said. Those locations can now be monitored by cameras intended to catch drivers who run red lights, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in an opinion issued late Friday.

"(TxDOT) may permit local entities to install camera equipment to monitor compliance with traffic-control signals for the purpose of enforcing traffic laws," Abbott's opinion reads.

HPD is so excited, they are trashing the original list of intersections that was released just a couple of weeks ago:

HPD likely will scrap the list of 10 sites it released earlier this month as the first camera locations and come up with a new one that includes TxDOT intersections, Montalvo said. That new list could be released as soon as this afternoon, she said.

There's revenue to be generated! The camera company, ATS, is being very flexible:

The company contracted to run the system, American Traffic Solutions Inc., already has begun planning the installation of cameras at the 10 intersections announced by HPD earlier this month, said CEO Jim Tuton. But the company was aware the locations could change, and Tuton still expects installation to begin in July as previously planned, he said.

Tuton called the opinion a "milestone in traffic safety in Texas."

"It has a huge impact in terms of the enforcement potential and the safety potential," he said. "It's very hard to implement technology and leverage it effectively unless you can implement it across the entire city."

Not to mention the revenue potential! It's hard to get maximum revenues unless ATS and HPD can implement the program across the entire city.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if MayorWhiteChiefHurtt would just admit it's all about the money?

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 06/26/06 09:19 PM | Print |

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