Have you fallen victim to the preying red-light cameras spread across town? Maybe you are one of the poor, unfortunate souls who was wronged by those pesky yellow lights that turned red in a mere matter of seconds. Or maybe you’ve been caught by the cameras that snap a picture on a yellow light as you race across the white line. No matter the reason, you were wronged; before you could blink, the light switched from ‘go’ to ‘slow’ to ‘you’re getting a fat $75 citation via snail mail in a few days’.
Well, then we’ve got some good news for you: these cameras are no more. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1631 on June 3, which prevents cities from renewing contracts with red-light camera vendors. Texas is not the first state to put this law into place; Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia have already eradicated the red-light cameras.
Immediately after this bill became law, the city council of Denton got to work. Councilmembers voted unanimously to terminate the contract in place with Redflex Traffic System. Since then, some cameras and signs have already been taken down across the city.
While the point of the red-light cameras was to protect and save lives, they primarily ended up as a faulty instrument that made people angry. Why should one be charged a hefty fee when they never actually ran a red light?
However, use of these cameras has been proven to reduce the total amount of fatal car crashes that are a consequence of running red lights. With that, I must caution you to simply use your brain! Green means ‘go’, and red means ‘stop’. Don’t put anyone else’s life on the line just because there is no longer a camera to catch your reckless driving.