Houston's Red Light Camera Plan Delayed

The City of Houston's plan to install red light cameras has come up against a delay. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, today, City Council's committee on public safety recommended the city revisit the awarding of contracts for that project

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The Houston Police Department selected a vendor to install the red light cameras at 50 intersections in the city. But several other vendors lodged complaints with City Council that the contract awarding process was unfair. Houston Mayor Bill White says the contract will be picked by objective considerations.

"We need to make sure that the process was right. We haven't done this before, so we got to make sure that's right. So I'm going to look at the specific -- you know -- issues or criticisms that were made by committee. Obviously there's a lot of lobbying involved by competing firms and any major procurement like this, there's always somebody who cries foul."

The mayor says he hasn't decided whether to require a new selection process, but he will weigh all the comments and the recommendation of council. He says one of his concerns is that a new contract selection could delay the red light plan by weeks or months.

"I'd like to make sure that our citizens are safer as soon as I can. But -- you know -- I also know that we do have public procurement processes, this is the first time that we've done something like this, there's a lot of people that are lobbying hard behind the scenes and we need to make sure that the process is as fair as possible."

The current vendor is scheduled to install the cameras within the next couple months. Four of the seven members of the Public Safety Committee recommended a new contract selection process. Laurie Johnson Houston Public Radio News.

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