Red Light Cameras: Do Houstonians Want Them?

A local political action committee says it now has proof Houstonians are in favor of having red light cameras at intersections. A survey paid for by the group “Keep Houston Safe” shows a majority of Houstonians are in favor of the cameras. Bill Stamps has more.

The survey finds that sixty-five percent of highly likely voters support the use of cameras at Houston intersections. Whether or not that number would be different if it included people who weren’t likely to vote is unknown. Regardless, Mayor Parker remains a strong supporter of the cameras.

“Our Houston Police Department is very much in support of it. We see the red light cameras as a force multiplier that allows us to keep our streets safer and allows us to deploy our police officers into other areas.”

Chris Begala represents Keep Houston Safe, the group that paid for the survey. He says the survey shows there’s widespread support for the cameras.

“Sixty-five percent of whites, sixty-seven percent of Hispanics, sixty-percent of African Americans support these intersection safety cameras — conservatives, liberals, across the board. People want to drive in a safe community and these intersection safety cameras make Houston safer.”

Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen doesn’t buy it. Since the survey was paid for by a pro-red light camera group. He believes they got exactly what they paid for.

“Everyone knows that polling is not an exact science and if a person wants a certain outcome they can generally get that outcome.”

Kallinen and another Houston attorney are working together to get 20-thousand signatures by July to put the matter to a vote of the people. If that survey is correct, the matter would pass. But in many cities,  it’s the police and politicians who’ve supported the cameras, but when public has been allowed to vote…they’ve voted them down, including College Station year. The people with Keep Houston Safe stand by their survey and say they need to get the word out even more.

“It’s time for people to realize just how positive an impact intersection safety cameras have on Houston. And that’s what the Keep Houston Safe PAC is going to do.”

There are currently 70 red light cameras at various Houston intersections. The attorney’s say they have several thousand signatures and plan to hit the streets to reach that goal of 20-thousand.