Thursday, March 10, 2005
“Under Texas law, running a red light is a Class C misdemeanor that can be regulated only by the state, even though local governments are in charge of enforcement. In 2003, the House overwhelmingly voted not to allow cities to use cameras to issue criminal citations to red-light violators.
Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, inserted an amendment in the 2003 transportation bill giving cities authority to regulate transportation civilly or criminally.”, from a Kristen Mack article written February 16, 2005 posted in the Houston Chronicle. Now all the big city mayors around Texas want a piece of the Civil Action to raise money for already strapped budgets. Thank you Rep. Linda Harper-Brown for “selling us all down the river.”
This is Texas politics at the level most of have come to expect; under the table and out of view. It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. What part of “overwhelmingly voted not to allow cities to use cameras” did Rep. Linda Harper-Brown not understand? I suppose that “Rep.” in front of her name could stand for “reprehensible”, “reprobate” or any number of things other than “representative”; that distinction should be made.
Kristen Mack wrote another article, “Red-light camera ban hits bump”( link via title bar), explaining that the Texas Senate has stalled a measure that would repair the damage done by Rep. Linda Harper-Brown’s sneaky amendment passage. “Tradition in the Senate allows as few as 11 of the 31 members to keep bills from the floor, and senators are under pressure from powerful camera proponents — including the city of Houston and businesses that covet the city contract to provide the cameras.” Does this surprise anyone?
So, who will win the race for the “Red Light Camera Cash Cow”? I put my money on the “Cash Cow” because; with Texas elected officials, as with most other states elected officials, greed eventually takes the place of reason. Greed will win out over the long haul and I expect that the “Save the Children” line will be used as a trump card by one of them when it gets down to it.
Posted by T. F. Stern at 11:23 AM