Bill would limit cities' use of traffic cameras

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Dec. 27, 2016 at 11:21 p.m.
Updated Dec. 28, 2016 at 6 a.m.

The Texas Legislature will consider a bill that limits the use of electronic cameras to monitor not only red-light violators, but speeders.

HB 113 would amend the transportation code to place limits on municipalities with automated traffic control systems.

If the bill passes, cities will not be able to use cameras to record speed, license plates and drivers.

Lt. Jason Sager, of the Victoria Police Department's patrol division, said Victoria does not use cameras at intersections.

He said they are usually found at intersections throughout bigger cities where millions drive by them daily.

Sager was not aware of HB 113 pertaining to traffic control systems but said he would recommend a traffic study before any are installed.

According to photoenforced.com, Port Lavaca is the closest city to Victoria that has a red light camera program.

Port Lavaca Police Chief Colin Rangnow said the program has been in the city since 2008.

He said it was used to help promote public safety at intersections, and it has helped decrease accident rates since it started.

When a violator is captured by the camera, a picture of the license plate is sent to the company and then the citation is issued.

Carl Baugh, a Port Lavaca resident, said only that he believes the city did not do the engineering study required by state law and are falsely ticketing and profiting illegally.

He is a member of a group called Port Lavaca Citizens Against Red Light Cameras. He has been fighting to have the red light cameras removed since he received a citation for skidding into an intersection in November 2009.

*This story was updated throughout on Dec. 29 to correct reporting.


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