Red light cameras still up even after voters ban them

November 10, 2010 8:46:06 PM PST
Four years ago the city council gave red light cameras the green light. Eight days ago, voters turned it red. So why are the cameras still going? The city can't or won't tell you when they're coming down. It's like nothing changed.

There's still tons of traffic, still plenty of people running red lights there's still a camera flash, which means the city is still playing the gotcha game with the cameras voters said no to.

It's been more than a week, and the mayor says she won't even announce her plan to take the cameras down until the vote is finalized on Tuesday.

"I understand that the cameras have to be turned off, and I am doing it with all deliberate speed," Mayor Annise Parker said.

But the mayor's city attorney told us on Tuesday the contract could keep the cameras clicking until March.

The city does have a contract with the red light camera company, but doesn't every politician have a contract with each of us?

"I have a contract with voters, as an elected official, I sure do, and they have spoken, but then we have to look at it right now. We have to look into reality too," Councilwoman Wanda Adams said.

"We're going to wait for the city attorney to let us know," Councilwoman Sue Lovell added.

"The fact that the voters decided that they didn't want red light cameras doesn't create an impossibility by the contract," KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy said. "The city should've envisioned that when they entered into the contract."

But city negotiators didn't. The contract does say that once the city gives notice that the vendor should stop working -- unless the city chooses otherwise.

So it appears to be the mayor's choice as to whether you will get tickets for four more months.

A week after voters made their camera choice clear, Mayor Parker wouldn't say what her's is.

"I understand what the will of the people is," Parker said.

Thursday on Day 9, we'll dig into that deal to find out just what it could cost Houston taxpayers to get out of it.


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