Just a friendly reminder that we have some Forum related work to do in Houston on Nov 2nd:
Houston Proposition 3 reads:
An Amendment to the City Charter Relating to the Use of Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Systems (Red Light Cameras).
Shall the City of Houston continue to use red light cameras to enforce state or local laws relating to traffic safety?
HTPS recommends a vote AGAINST Proposition 3.
Reason #1 – The Lawsuit – Proponents of Proposition 3, the team known as Keep Houston Safe, have spent much of the summer filing a lawsuit to keep Prop 3 off the ballot. What group thinks it’s a smart move to tell voters they should not be allowed to vote on an issue such as this? Apparently “Keep Houston SILENT”, as they’ve become known. And be aware, Matress Mac supports this anti-safety, cash-grabbing group. We’re just sayin’.
Reason #2 – The Lawsuit Part 2 – It bears repeating, and some further explanation. The company behind the Red Light Cameras, American Traffic Solutions, used this argument against allowing citizens to vote on the cameras in West Palm Beach:
“The city has created a scenario whereby voters who oppose the safety cameras program – a group that historically tends to vote in a conservative manner – will vote in greater numbers than would otherwise have turned out for a November 2, 2010 election.”
So if the city lets voters get their say on red light cameras, it’s racist. We would wager that the exact same language has been filed in Houston and Baytown as well.
(Side Note: In Baytown, the proposition is reversed. A vote to limit red light cameras in BAYTOWN is a vote FOR Prop 1 on that ballot.)
Reason #3 – Safety - You can find studies that say anything you want them to say. However, Citizens Against Red Light Cameras has long list of resources for you to peruse, including studies on safety. Included in the allegations of bogus safety claims are shortening yellow light times and increases in rear-end collisions.
Reason #4 – Safety Part 2 – Claims made by Keep Houston Safe are showing up on television screens, stating that law enforcement and emergency personnel support the red light cameras in vast numbers. However, the current policy does not allow insurance companies access to the data, eliminating one potential means of stopping red light runners by raising their insurance rates. In addition, one can not lose one’s license or suffer criminal penalties for habitual citations. If red light cameras are about safety, they sure have a funny way of showing it.
Reason #5 – Follow the Money – Keep Houston Silent has stressed safety as an overarching reason to keep the cameras. But red light cameras are a huge business in the US and elsewhere. American Traffic Solutions and their “partners in crime” had spent almost a quarter of a million dollars fighting Houston area attempts to overturn the cameras. The reason is simple: traffic camera schemes make lot of money for installers who maintain them, but not so much for cities.