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Old 08-29-2007, 12:10 AM   #1
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20 new red light cams will catch you coming and going

Houston police quietly have moved to install new red-light cameras at 20 intersections already monitored by the system, allowing citations for motorists traveling in the opposite direction, officials confirmed Tuesday.

The 20 new cameras are expected to start working Friday. Motorists caught by the new cameras would be issued warnings during a month-long grace period ending in October, police said.

The move to add more cameras, which had not been publicly disclosed, appears to conflict with the terms of a contract the City Council approved in 2006 with American Traffic Solutions Inc., the private company that installs and monitors the cameras.

That agreement includes payment arrangements with the company for a total of 50 intersection "approaches," or cameras monitoring specific directions at a location.

But department officials said Tuesday that they long had planned to increase the number of cameras at some locations, and they denied the contract limited that total to 50 intersections.

"These are different approaches at those same intersections," said Executive Assistant Chief Martha Montalvo, who supervises the program.

Montalvo said the decision to add the new cameras had nothing to do with a new state law, which takes effect Saturday, that could require some cities to do engineering studies at new locations.

She also dismissed a common complaint that the new cameras were intended to generate more revenue, even as the new law requires that a portion of the fines go to a regional trauma center fund.

"This is not about revenue," she said. "This is about changing the behavior and public safety."

Earlier Tuesday, a spokesman for Mayor Bill White said the department wanted more coverage at the current locations, which include the southbound feeder road along the Southwest Freeway at Beechnut.

"You've got a lot of accidents there, so why would you limit yourself to only one angle and one camera?" White spokesman Frank Michel said. "The technology is helping us replace the officers. Would you station an officer at an intersection like that and say, 'Only ticket people who are in this one lane'?"

One location that will get an extra camera is the intersection of FM 1960 and Tomball Parkway, where the department has cited nearly 4,000 motorists from last November to July.

The department has said for more than a year that its initial plan was to install cameras at 50 intersections.

Montalvo said late Tuesday that she was not aware of any briefings to council members about the new cameras. But she said Police Chief Harold Hurtt had planned to make an announcement later this week.

Randall Kallinen, a lawyer who complained about the cameras before the council Tuesday, said he doubts safety motivated the department to increase the number of cameras at the intersections.

"The idea for the red-light cameras is to pick the problem areas," he said. "Is it a problem in one direction, or both directions?"

Montalvo has in the past said expanding to more sites was possible, but only after the department hired someone to study the effectiveness of the current cameras at reducing crashes.

Montalvo said Tuesday she had not arranged for such a study, but that one was still planned.

Councilman Adrian Garcia, a former police officer who heads the council's public safety committee, said the department needs to notify the public about the locations.

"But this has been such a well-discussed piece of policy that we've implemented that you've got to really not be from Houston to be aware of it," he said.

He added that motorists always should be mindful of traffic signals, cameras or not.

"Bottom line is: If you're driving on any street in America, you should know what a red light is."

HPD's acknowledgment of the new cameras comes as the council is expected Wednesday to consider state-mandated changes to the camera ordinance.

A newly worded ordinance would defer much of the administrative procedures for managing the camera system to a new state law. The law requires the city to issue citations to motorists who turn illegally at monitored intersections.

Only motorists who do not fully stop and yield to traffic and pedestrians before turning on red would be cited, police have said.

The new law also gives cited motorists more appeal powers, and requires the city to send half of its net profits to the regional trauma center fund.






might be a repost but just thought i would imform the people who didnt know...
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:16 AM   #2
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I DIDN;T READ THE ARTICLE BUT I WATCHED IT IN THE NEWS. THIS IS IN WOODLANDS I THINK, AND I'M OK WITH IT. PERHAPS THIS WILL MAKE PEOPLE THINK TWICE BEFORE RUNNING A LIGHT. I GET TERRIFIED EVERY TIME I STOP TOTHINK ABOUT GETTING HIT A DRIVER RUNNING A RED LIGHT AT 45MPH.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:20 AM   #3
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I'm not ok with this , too much of big brother watching and all that . I like the idea that its all legal till you get caught by a cop...
if you really wanted to you could put gps and in every car and automatically give em tickets for speeding and stuff... this just takes things another step towards that being a reality. Look at great britian they are under such a cluster **** of license plate readers, speed cameras, and redlight cameras that you can barely drive without getting some kind of ticket, and their rates of accidents and deaths haven't declined at all.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:43 AM   #4
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i got an effing ticket @ bay area and el camino for hitting a yellow light and it turned red when i was in the middle of the intersection the pos still took a pic and mailed it to me =\ 75 bucks 1 month ago
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:50 AM   #5
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I GOT ONE TICKET IN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES. I SWEAR IT WAS A YELLOW.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:32 AM   #6
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I've been caught by one of those cameras on 59 and hilcroft i think it was. It is not considered a moving violation so it does not go to your insurance company. You can pay online, veiw the pictures online, and watch a video of it online. So if you aren't sure if you ran it, you'll find out just as soon as you get the ticket in the mail and watch the video on the computer. I think it was $70 if i remember right. I got busted and i was in the wrong but i think they are a good investment for the city. Even if "big brother" is watching. I will think twice now before I punch the gas on a yellow light.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:36 AM   #7
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I hope they stop putting them up soon. Thats one more way for them to control us and watch us all the time. THIS IS SUPPOST TO BE THE LAND OF THE FREE!!! PPl shouldn't be running red lights, or yellow for that matter, but still..... we need to take the power back from the man not give him more! I HATE OUR GOVERNMENT!!!!
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:47 AM   #8
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Just cuz they put a camera up doesn't mean they control you. You are a grown man. You can run that red light if you want. You just get a ticket from the camera. It doesn't have power over you or your vehicle.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:46 AM   #9
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Don't know how true it is, but I've heard that the red light cameras really have not decreased accidents, since rear end collosions have increased. :/:

Whether the cameras reduce accidents or not, it's at least partially about revenue. Otherise, the tickets would be more $ and it would be a moving violation. As is, they've made it where it's not worth your time or money to fight it.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmitty View Post
Just cuz they put a camera up doesn't mean they control you. You are a grown man. You can run that red light if you want. You just get a ticket from the camera. It doesn't have power over you or your vehicle.
so true, but still FIGHT THE SYSTEM! down with giving them an inch so they can take a mile. All they want is more and more of our money, but what do we get? empty walets and a feeling of being raped, with no lube or reach around. Its everyother day they are putting up new or new laws to restrict us but what about to actually do something for us for a change. Ok getting off topic a bit here, i'll quit now.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I GET TERRIFIED EVERY TIME I STOP TOTHINK ABOUT GETTING HIT A DRIVER RUNNING A RED LIGHT AT 45MPH.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPHINX View Post
I GOT ONE TICKET IN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES. I SWEAR IT WAS A YELLOW.

irony at its finest.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyrice411 View Post
so true, but still FIGHT THE SYSTEM! down with giving them an inch so they can take a mile. All they want is more and more of our money, but what do we get? empty walets and a feeling of being raped, with no lube or reach around. Its everyother day they are putting up new or new laws to restrict us but what about to actually do something for us for a change. Ok getting off topic a bit here, i'll quit now.
Right, it has nothing to do with people running the lights, particularly during rush hour.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyrice411 View Post
I hope they stop putting them up soon. Thats one more way for them to control us and watch us all the time. THIS IS SUPPOST TO BE THE LAND OF THE FREE!!! PPl shouldn't be running red lights, or yellow for that matter, but still..... we need to take the power back from the man not give him more! I HATE OUR GOVERNMENT!!!!
I'm really hoping that one of these 4,000 "free" people don't run over you or any of your families while exercising their "freedom".

"the intersection of FM 1960 and Tomball Parkway, where the department has cited nearly 4,000 motorists from last November to July"
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:10 AM   #14
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User is banned

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Old 08-29-2007, 07:19 AM   #15
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This is going to keep going until bikes are illegal, everybody uses mass tansit, and you have a big brother web cam in your house to prevent domestic violance.

WTF ever happened to personal responsibility?!
I guess that was unfashionable with the Constitution.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:36 AM   #16
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Thi

WTF ever happened to personal responsibility?!
I guess that was unfashionable with the Constitution.
personnal responsability would mean stopping for the light, it also means accepting the ticket "cuz ya did it", and paying for it.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyrice411 View Post
I hope they stop putting them up soon. Thats one more way for them to control us and watch us all the time. THIS IS SUPPOST TO BE THE LAND OF THE FREE!!! PPl shouldn't be running red lights, or yellow for that matter, but still..... we need to take the power back from the man not give him more! I HATE OUR GOVERNMENT!!!!
then leave if you hate it so much. it is the land of the free, you are free to leave... and if you don't want to leave then quit about it
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:00 AM   #18
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My coworker got slammed by a red light runner. He was hurt pretty bad, but his two girls came out okay. If people didn't run red lights, there wouldn't be a need for the cameras.

It boils down to personal responsibilities and being a good citizen.

It's amazing how conservative I've become once my daughter was born...
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
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i got an effing ticket @ bay area and el camino for hitting a yellow light and it turned red when i was in the middle of the intersection the pos still took a pic and mailed it to me =\ 75 bucks 1 month ago
If you were already in 'the box' when the light turned red then technically you didn't run the stoplight. If any part of your tire was touching the line (the line that you're supposed to stop at) then you've ran the light. Fight it.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:57 AM   #20
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1. Eastbound Bissonnet at West Sam Houston Parkway southwest feeder road

2. Northbound Southwest Freeway east feeder road at Bellaire

3. Southbound Tomball Parkway west feeder road at F.M. 1960 West

4. Northbound Chimney Rock at Southwest Freeway east feeder road

5. Westbound Westheimer at West Loop South east feeder road

6. Southbound West Loop South west feeder road at Westheimer

7. Westbound West Road at North Freeway east feeder road

8. Southbound Hollister at Northwest Freeway east feeder road

9. Northbound North Wayside at East Freeway south feeder road

10. Eastbound East Freeway south feeder road at Market

11. Eastbound Beechnut at West Sam Houston Parkway South west feeder road

12. Eastbound Beechnut at South Gessner

13. Northbound Wilcrest at Southwest Freeway east feeder road

14. Eastbound Bissonnet at Southwest Freeway west feeder road

15. Northbound Hillcroft at Southwest Freeway east feeder road

16. Southbound West Loop South west feeder road at San Felipe

17. Westbound Richmond at Dunvale

18. Southbound Woodridge at Gulf Freeway east feeder road

19. Southbound Southwest Freeway west feeder road at Fondren

20. Southbound West Sam Houston Parkway South west feeder road at Westpark
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