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April 20, 2011

Cities with red light cameras won't be forced to get voter permission

Redcam6 A bill that would require Texas cities to get permission from voters to put up red light cameras won’t be pursued because of a lack of support, and because the final weeks of the session likely will be spent on other matters, the author said.

“I still think it’s a great idea, but I talked to several other members and I don’t think we have enough time,” said state Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson. “It got late in the session, and we still have the budget and redistricting.”

Orr had invited constituents to travel to Austin and testify for the bill during a committee meeting Wednesday, but after learning they couldn’t make the trip pulled the bill off the agenda. “That’s disappointing. Everybody I know hates those cameras,” said Randy James, who owns a Burleson flooring company, James became an outspoken critic of the cameras after getting a ticket in 2008 – a violation he later had thrown out on a technicality – but he said he couldn’t make the trip on short notice.

Late last year, red-light cameras were shut off at 50 Houston intersections after residents voted to cancel the city's program, even though four years remained on a service contract. Some motorists say the cameras are nothing more than a money generator for cities. Others, including Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter, say the cameras help improve safety at intersections.

-- Gordon Dickson, gdickson@star-telegram.com

Twitter: @gdickson


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what would happen if residents would place grain sacks over these cameras?



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