in Houston, Texas
Motorists group issues $10,000 challenge to show engineering solutions superior to red light cameras
Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011, 01:33PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
red light sign

The National Motorists Association is betting communities around the country $10,000 they can make intersections safer than red light cameras.

The Waunakee, Wis.-based grassroots group, founded in 1982 to fight the national 55 mile-an-hour speed limit, wants a crack at intersections generating a lot of red light traffic tickets.

The group is prepared to pay a bounty to any community where it cannot reduce the number of tickets at an intersection by at least 50 percent, according to a release issued Monday.

If a community loses the challenge, it is obliged to remove its red light cameras.

Traffic safety, including making traffic signals more visible, marking lanes better, setting yellow-light durations properly and brief all-red-light delays is preferable to a moneymaking scheme, Gary Biller, the group’s executive director, says.

"A true traffic safety program will result in decreased accident rates over time. But red-light cameras are a for-profit proposition for the cities and camera companies, one that depends on an ongoing, steady stream of photo citations,” Biller says. “If city officials are truly interested in the safety of their citizens, they should look at solutions that work rather than just collect money from traffic tickets."

While red light cameras have been embraced by local officials - more than five dozen Texas cities including Austin, Fort Worth and Arlington employ them - voters in Houston and elsewhere have rejected them.
 
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Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of red light camera sign by flickr user fringehog, used via a Creative Commons license.
Comments
I got one of those violation tickets in the mail that showed
Monday, 12/12/2011 - 04:43AM

I was made believe that my car had stopped at the red light, which prompted me to travel to Corpus Christi and make the necessary allegation over the violation summons received. It was then that a short clip was shown me of my car not stopping. That glitch cost me an additional $50.00 that I could ill afford. I felt that the system wanted to cheat me out of those fifty dollars. Every time that I visit that city that memory makes me ashamed of that judge that ignored my complaint.

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