A foe of the city’s red-light camera operation has sued the city of Houston, contending the city failed to provide information sought through an open records request.
The suit filed Monday by Paul Kubosh, who is part of No Cameras Houston, alleges that on Oct. 5 he asked for monthly reports on accident rates from September 2008 to September 2010.
Kubosh sought the monthly reports to bolster his contention that red-light cameras do not affect driving behavior, as the city and its camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), claim.
Kubosh said the city complied with the spirit of the request by providing mass data regarding the number of times the camera was triggered over the two-year period. But it failed to break out the data by month, as he requested.
“What I am trying to show is that the cameras are triggered as much now as they were two years ago, and that the cameras have had no effect on behavior,” Kubosh said. “In Baytown, where ATS operated the cameras, it provides a monthly report, and I am sure they do that in Houston. Those are the reports I want.”
The data he received could be analyzed by month, but Kubosh said feared doing it himself could prompt calls from his critics that his calculations were incorrect. With the reports, he said, the data would speak for itself.
City Attorney David Feldman, who in August advised city council members that it was their "mandatory ministerial duty" to put the red-light camera issue to a vote, could not immediately be reached by Texas Watchdog. Feldman told the Associated Press that the city had responded in good faith to Kubosh's information request.
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Photo of a red-light camera by flickr user ASurroca, used via a Creative Commons license.