Battle over Houston's red light cameras heads to city hall

August 2, 2011 2:11:10 PM PDT
The battle over Houston's red light cameras heads to city hall today. The cameras are back on after a federal judge invalidated the November election to take them down. Houstonians against the cameras are preparing to ask the city council to listen to the will of the voters and turn the cameras off.

The Kubosh brothers are not letting up this fight. They've led the charge in this issue.

A rally is planned for outside city hall Tuesday afternoon. What they want now is for each city council member to go on record stating their personal stance on red light cameras.

The idea, according to Michael Kubosh, is to inform constituents of city leaders' positions ahead of the upcoming November election.

A statewide study on red light cameras released by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M shows traffic accidents at Houston intersections fell by 28 percent while the cameras were in use. The same study showed crashes were down in Dallas by 38 percent. But in Corpus Christi the results showed crashes actually went up after cameras were installed.

Michael Kubosh says this fight is no longer about safety, but about the will of the people -- the vote last year and future elections. Many council members support the mayor's position in keeping the cameras on and in place. At least one of them told me he is fine with going on the record with that.

Kubosh said, "It's not up to just the mayor alone. The council voted to put them in years ago and the council needs to have a right to be on record as to how they stand on this issue. We're having an election in November. It's very important for 186,000 citizens who voted against these cameras to know where these city council members stand. "

"Let me just go on record, I'm a proponent of the red light cameras, always have been," said council member Steve Costello. "I was disappointed in the actual vote in November. I am supporting the position the mayor is taking right now in terms of leaving the cameras on while we negotiate the balance of the contract with the contractor."

Following the rally, Kubosh and others plan to speak at the city council meeting.

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