July 6, 2011
Today the controversial red light cameras in Houston, Texas, were turned back on for the first time in nine months. The announcement was made this morning by Mayor Annise Parker following the City Council meeting.
In November 2010, Houston residents voted on a referendum to turn off the cameras, and the amendment became effective on November 15. The Charter amendment had arisen from a citizen-initiated petition, but on June 17 U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled that its placement on the ballot was improper.
This left Houston with two options: Turn the cameras back on or bow out of its contract with American Traffic Solutions. The latter option would cost the city $16 million. On June 20 American Traffic Solutions delivered a letter to the City of Houston giving it until August 1 to decide what to do.
Parker also said today that the city is seeking permission to appeal the ruling in order to cooperate with the wishes of Houston voters.
In the meantime, the red light cameras are now back on. The Mayor’s Office says tickets can be expected after a “short period of equipment testing.”
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