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July 01, 2010

Comments

I like the idea! LOL! thanks for the blog, I am the director of www.saferbaytown.com we have already turned in our petition and are waiting on the city to accept it and verify it. Since then the camera company that makes most of the money on the program has set up a fake group in Baytown acting as if they are citizens and making up all kinds of false claims. In college station they even bused in their own employees to pose as local citizens to protest! One point about the money, the city gets to write off expenses for the program and there is no oversight, so they get to charge anything they want to the program computers, postage, overtime, retirement etc. this frees up general funds to do with what they want, they also get to determine what is a "safety program" here they are replacing street lights and other things that they should already pay for from general funds which lets them spend the freed up general funds on whatever they want. We look forward to a vote in Baytown and Houston this November.

That's very enlightening. Thanks Byron.

And good luck with the movement!

George:

I am helping the effort to keep the cameras in Baytown because the stats show the cameras have reduced collisions, reduced injuries, and changed motorist behavior for the better -- making Baytown a safer place to drive. You should research the positive public safety benefits of the various programs at www.baytowncameraswork.com.

Also, cities don't "make" money of red light camera fines -- they must, by Texas state law, split the red-light runner fines between (1) local trauma centers and (2) local traffic safety programs.

The more you learn about the cameras, the more sense they make.

Thanks for hearing us out.

Jim,

There is a great deal of distrust of government these days, and any program that increases revenue to a municipal government at the expense of the residents is going to be met with some skepticism. As Bryan said in his comment, the requirement that the money be spent on certain things merely means that the general funds that would have been used can be spent in other ways. Bottom line -- more money to the government and, of course, to the camera company.

Anyone genuinely concerned with the safety issue as opposed to the revenue shouldn't have a problem with a rebate to the residents of the money collected.

Finally, Jim, in the interest of full disclosure, who is your client in this matter?

Hi, are you sure Midland doesn't have traffic cameras? I see them on all of the traffic lights.

Hi Anna. There are traffic cameras in Midland, but they aren't red light cameras.

The traffic cameras, I've been told, can show the appropriate people in the city government what traffic conditions are like in those intersections and are supposed to be used to help traffic flow and alleviate congestion.

The red light cameras, on the other hand, take photos of vehicles allegedly running red lights. And a ticket is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.

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