Stop at that Intersection

The city of Houston is changing its read light camera policy to comply with new state laws. The city ordinance was tagged at the council meeting, but will come up for a vote again next week, and as Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, the new law will be stricter than it was before.

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When Houston City Council passes a new ordinance, which is expected to happen next week, drivers could get ticketed for making a right on red. Basically it all comes down to the rolling stop. It's illegal. City Assistant Attorney Kuruvilla Oommen says the technology is already in place to catch violators.

"As HPD has looked at the technology that is in existance, they noticed they had enough video feed to be able to see whether the individual came to a complete stop."

The crackdown on illegal turns could could bring in hundreds of thousands of revenue dollars. And the fees will also change. State law now requires the city to charge a flat fee of $75 with a $25 fee for late payment. Previously, the city used an escalating fee schedule. Some detractors of red light cameras suggest the penalties are nothing more than a revenue generator, a suggestion that Councilman Michael Berry refutes.

"The city wouldn't raise any revenues from running red lights, or illegal turns, or speeding or anything else if people would just follow the law."

The changes to state law also require the city to send 50 percent of their profits from the red light citations to a state-governed regional trauma center fund. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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