Houston Matters

Red Light Cameras in Houston: The History, Controversy and Legacy

We all witness it from time to time (heck, some of us might willingly admit doing it ourselves): running a red light. Unfortunately, what may seem to some as a fleeting and relatively innocuous offense can have terrible consequences, as evidenced last month by the deaths of four people in southwest Harris County. A suspected […]

We all witness it from time to time (heck, some of us might willingly admit doing it ourselves): running a red light. Unfortunately, what may seem to some as a fleeting and relatively innocuous offense can have terrible consequences, as evidenced last month by the deaths of four people in southwest Harris County. A suspected drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into a car. The driver who ran the light survived; everyone in the other car died.

The City of Houston installed red light cameras at a number of downtown Houston intersections in 2006, in part to try to limit such incidents. But voters said no to the cameras in 2010, and they were disconnected. City officials, having heard the will of the people loud and clear, have no plans to bring them back. But should we consider it?

We explore the history, controversy, and legacy of red light cameras in Houston.

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