Red Light Cameras

Houston's first ten red light cameras will begin monitoring intersections on September 1st. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports.

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If a vehicle runs a red light the cameras will take a picture that includes its license plate and send the owner a notice of violation. Jim Tuton is the CEO of ATS, America Traffic Solutions, the company that installed the system in Houston. He says a violation occurs when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has turned red.

"When a vehicle approaches an intersection and the light is red and they cross the stop line, it will take one image before they hit the stop line, and another one when the vehicle is in the middle of the intersection. It shows the signal mast arm, the color of the signal, and the image also includes all the data, the date, the time, the speed, the lane number and the phase of the signal as well."

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt says HPD is not turning over traffic safety to a civilian concern.

"This process will be monitored, as far as quality control by, by members of the Houston police department. All citations will be reviewed by members of our department."

ATS has its system working in other cities and Jim Tuton claims that in every case where red light cameras are used there is a reduction in the number and severity of intersection collisions.

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