Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale stood along with the heads of several law enforcement associations to announce their support for proposition 3 — the ballot measure that would allow the City of Houston to continue using red light cameras.
“I’m very proud to be here today with these first responders, the firemen and policemen of this city, as we encourage people to vote for proposition 3 to save lives.”
Ray Hunt is head of the Houston Police Officers Union.
“Our statistics show an eleven percent decrease in crashes at camera intersections as opposed to a four percent increase at comparable intersections that don’t have cameras, so we know it saves lives and we hope that you all will vote for prop 3.”
Michael Kubosh and his three brothers have led the fight against proposition 3 and the red light cameras. He says don’t believe the statistic or the politicians.
“It’s important for you to realize that all this is is just a money grab scheme. It’s not about safety. It doesn’t reduce accidents all independent studies show that accidents increase where they put the cameras up.”
“Everywhere that the citizens have had a right to vote on the cameras have voted them out.”
I asked a few random Houstonians if they thought red light cameras are a good idea or bad idea. Here’s a few of their answers:
“I think it is a good idea.”
“I don’t think it is a good idea.”
“It is another money making scheme the city has come up with. Anything to make a dollars these days.
“Anybody can steal your car and run a red light and you are responsible.”
State Representative Carol Alvarado stood alongside the police and firefighters and admitted that the money the cameras raise is needed.
“There is an administrative cost that goes to the vendor, but the remainder of that, half of that goes to the City of Houston and the remainder of that half goes to county hospitals including Ben Taub.”
As for whether red light cameras really do reduce accidents and save lives, there are studies that say yes and no. And while t-bone or broadside accidents may or may not go down, the evidence seems clear that rear end collisions increase wherever the cameras are present.