When will city start reissuing red light tickets?

July 20, 2011 5:57:45 PM PDT
They're back online, but not bringing in any money. As the red light camera controversy continues to brew, when will drivers actually have to start paying the price?

The city lost millions of dollars when the cameras were turned off. The majority of voters, however, would argue that the contract shouldn't have ever been signed. But what's done is done, and the question that remains now is when the issuing of the tickets will resume.

Eleven days ago, 70 red light cameras began digitally capturing red-light runners in the act around Houston. The images are being collected, but the fines are not.

"It has not been determined whether there will be tickets issued but that data is there," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said.

Like the red light program, the data is in a holding pattern.

Last fall, more than 180,00 voters signed petitions, forced a referendum and said no to the cameras operated by a Arizona company that gave the city a cut of the fines. The cameras were turned off and then ordered turned on by the mayor when ATS went to federal court and a Houston judge ruled the election invalid.

"I've left it to the chief to decide when and whether to begin to issue those tickets," Parker said.

Each red light violation image is reviewed by an HPD officer. Now the police department is reforming the operation that was disbanded after the election. According to HPD, the management team has now been selected and review officers are being identified and transferred in. The cameras have been inspected and the lights have been timed.

According to the public affair's office, the police chief says the public will be given advance notice about when ticketing will resume.

And then there's Mike Kubosh, who helped organized the red light camera referendum.

"They could stack those videos up for months and then go back and review them and then send out the tickets," Kubosh said. "I think they're going to send out the tickets. They want the money."

It's been 11 days sine the cameras have been on. A Houston Police Department spokesman said when it's time to reissue tickets, the police chief will make an announcement.

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