This article is over 11 years old


Houston Puts The Red Light On Red Light Cameras

Houston's red light cameras are off for good. In a thirteen to one decision — Houston Council Members voted to do away with the program and break the contract with American Traffic Solutions. The lawsuit will continue — but the cameras are off.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Nine months after Houston residents voted down the red light cameras, the program is officially dead.

Michael Kubosh spearheaded the campaign against the cameras and was there when the final vote took place.

“Thank God they finally did it today. It looked like they were going to waffle. It looked like they were going to kick the can down the road some more. But I guess they just got tired of it. They’ve been doing polling and they know that the citizens have spoken, and even the people who voted for the cameras are for honoring the vote of the people.”

Just one councilmember, Sue Lovell, voted against repealing the program. She contends the city should accept a settlement offer from ATS and thus avoid the possibility of having to pay millions of dollars in damages for breaking their contract.

“We’re not going to walk away with this with zero damages. We’re going to have some debt. And no matter what the debt is, it’s going to put us in a situation of making tough situations.”

Lovell’s argument held no sway with her colleagues, who all voted against her proposal to accept the settlement offer.
Mayor Annise Parker says it is now illegal for the city to operate the cameras and adds that’s not the only thing that’s against the law.

“For those who may be celebrating the fact that the red light cameras are now turned off, it is illegal to run a red light.”

The city’s legal department sent a letter to ATS instructing them to turn the cameras off.

ATS officials say they’ll continue to pursue litigation against the city and seek $25 million in damages.

Parker calls that amount completely ludicrous.

“We have stated over and over again that we don’t believe that we owe anything near that. And that ATS can continue to put out inflated numbers, but the issue is resolved. The cameras are off. We have repealed the ordinance. So we need to get down to negotiating what the proper settlement will be.”

Parker says although the cameras are permanently off, the city will continue to pursue payment from people who got citations when the cameras were active. She says the city intends to use that money to pay any agreed upon damages to ATS.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

More Information