View My Stats

Thursday, June 14, 2007

TexDOT to install red light cameras for speeding, Balcones Heights awaits Governor to sign bill capping fines

L-R: Red light Camera in Balcones Heights, 1200 WOAI News reporter Jim Forsyth

TexDOT to Install SPEEDING Cameras
Will be able to tell if motorists are exceeding the speed limit
By Jim Forsyth

We already have cameras to catch us when we're running red lights. Now, 1200 WOAI news has learned that the Texas Department of Transportation is beginning a program to set up cameras to catch us when we're speeding.

Carlos Lopez, Director of Operations for TexDOT, tells 1200 WOAI news bids have been received from two camera companies, and one will be selected by the end of July to set up operations in three locations across the state.
"Its a test that would be set up in three different sites in Texas," Lopez said. "It would in effect see if people are speeding between two different points."

Two of the locations earmarked for the test are remote Hudspeth County, along Interstate 10 east of El Paso. The other is in a construction zone along SH 6 near College Station where speeding has been reported. The third site is still to be determined.

"We know, based on how far apart those cameras are, that going the speed limit, how long it will take to go from point 'A' to point 'B'," Lopez said. If it takes shorter than that to cover that distance, we'll be able to calibrate how much the motorist is speeding."

Lopez stresses that the goal of the program is safety, not money, although speed cameras, which are everywhere in the United Kingdom, generate $240 million in fines each year.

TexDOT is not authorized to conduct enforcement operations, and the Legislature would have to approve such a photographic enforcement program. Lawmakers recently outlawed municipal governments from operating their own speed enforcement programs, closing one in Marble Falls, but specifically excluded the state from the prohibition.

What would happen to people who's license plates will be photographed while speeding? "They would get a letter in the mail saying they were speeding and no tickets would be issued, anything like that."

At least not yet.

No comments: