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We all know we shouldn't mess with Texas. And Houston, Texans shouldn't mess around with statistics, because the folks running the show are going to come to any conclusions they want no matter what the statistics say. This is the easy part: a study of red light cameras in the city shows that accidents have actually increased at intersections with the cameras.
These are the parts that are open to interpretation: most intersections only have one camera looking at one (out of four) directions of traffic, but the accident rate went up for traffic in the other three unmonitored directions; and, in the one monitored direction, "accidents remained relatively flat or showed only a slight increase." What do you make of that?

Mayor Bill White and the study authors say the city in general is experiencing a swell in the number of collisions, and claim that collisions at the monitored intersections haven't risen as much as the wider municipal rate. Yet they have no data to back up an increase in citywide collisions, and no year-on-year accident data at intersections (let alone an explanation for the uptick). White said that a 40-percent year-on-year drop in red light citations in the month of October shows the program is working and keeping drivers more safe. Critics say that the program is nothing but a cash register for city government. The study's authors plan to study insurance industry findings to come up with more substantive conclusions.

[Source: Houston Chronicle]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I got one of these tickets for a car I sold quite a while back. I sent them documentation and they say I sent it to late. I considered my response a courtesy since they sent it regular mail they couldn't even prove I got it.

      They have yet to prove me guilty and I can not confront my accuser in court cause it's an inanimate freakin' camera!

      I think they're unconstitutional myself.

      ATM - Automatic Ticket Machine
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who cares as long as the municipality is making more money?

      I mean, if they _really_ cared about preventing accidents vis-a-vis red light runners, they'd take people to jail (even for a minimal amount of time, like an hour).

      Then you'd see profit, err - whoops, red light running dry up real fast.
        • 6 Years Ago


        My first, First!, FTW! (grin)

      • 6 Years Ago
      I know that in Dallas on the intersection of Lovers and North Central Expressway there is only a camera on northbound North Central, but there is a "Warning Photo Enforced" sign on every side of the intersection, regardless of camera location. So, throw that in to the mix.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, that's pretty common throughout the Dallas area (put the "PHOTO ENFORCED" signs up in all four directions). That could account for the uptick in accidents in unmonitored directions.

        Today I encountered an intersection on Rowlett Road in Rowlett, that had cameras up for *both* directions of travel on Rowlett Road. Cha-ching!
      • 6 Years Ago
      But I bet they shortened the yellow in all directions so that the one speed camera could make more money. I'm waiting for someone injured in an accident to sue the city, I imagine there is an excellent case for punitive damages.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i know in california, they put them only at intersections where the yellow is the shortest minimum. its getting to the point that they are a full sec shorter than the average yellow...

        should be illegal
      • 6 Years Ago
      at some point we as citizens have a responsibility to shoot these things
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's an argument to keep guns legalised in the US and A. :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        In England, they dynamite speed cameras : )
        • 6 Years Ago
        "at some point we as citizens have a responsibility to shoot these things"

        I like how you think....LOL
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...thermite...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait, doesn't Texas have a lot of guns? Shoot those effing things. Wear a mask so you don't get caught though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I used to live in Texas, and trust me, I considered it on several occasions.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The one intersection near me has a yellow that allows driver to barely clear the intersection. The yellow where monitored is way turned dn. The city is lying about it.
      Cheapest and not profitable is to park a Black-and-white heap near the suspect intersection. If it is back far enough, the traffic will slow.
      (and maybe cause rear enders,haha, not)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds like the mayor is trying to cook the numbers and citing guesses rather than data as if that shores up his point. In the article a city councleman called BS on the mayor. Seems kind of like a stupid thing for the mayor to go spouting off about until he has some actual data to go with his statistics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Accidents are probably being caused by people looking up to see which way the camera is facing
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's all the statistics, and how they were twisted.
      http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2642.asp
      • 6 Years Ago
      You sir, are not from Houston. All the contractors who set up the camera in Houston were licensed. You're thinking of Dallas.

      And all the red light cameras I see here in Houston have a huge sign that says it has a camera.

      tl;dr: damn kids!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The red light cameras in Houston are there as a source of revenue to help the city. Almost everyone in Houston agrees that Bill White does a tremendous job as Mayor, and this extra bit of funding certainly assists his efforts. Red light cameras in Texas only give civil tickets, and only become criminal and appear on a record if you fail to pail the civil penalty. Consider it from the Mayor's point of view, you break the law, you hand the city $75, and that's the end of it. Your insurance can't even be affected by the ticket.

      And yes, all the cameras are marked by "Photo Enforced" signs:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/publiustx/213299325/
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