Honest to goodness, I usually don’t vote for public office based on a single issue. I regret, though, that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott might have tossed at my feet the one issue that might make me vote against him.
Gov. Abbott said not long ago that the Texas Legislature needs to rescind its earlier approval for cities in the state to deploy red-light cameras at dangerous intersections to help deter motorists from running through stop lights.
If he’s re-elected, Abbot said he would ask the 2019 Legislature to pull the plug on the cameras that have been deployed in cities across the state.
To be fair, I have been looking for a reason to support Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez. The campaign for governor has been so devoid of compelling issues, I cannot commit fully to supporting the former Dallas County sheriff.
Back to Abbott … I wish he wouldn’t have ignited the red-light camera discussion. I continue to support cities’ attempts to deploy this technological ally in their effort to curb dangerous motorists’ behavior. Amarillo, where my wife and I lived until this past spring, is one of those cities.
A former city commissioner, Ellen Robertson Green, once declared that the best way for motorists to avoid getting slapped with the $75 fine is for them to “stop running red lights.” Duh!
Abbott says the cameras haven’t improved traffic safety sufficiently. He said something, too, about an increase in rear-end wrecks at intersections as motorists try to avoid running through yellow lights that turn red.
What about city officials’ concerns about the hazards created by those who continue to run through these street lights? And don’t Texas Republicans traditionally cede these decisions to local authorities, preferring to keep the state out of matters that can be decided locally?
I’m still grappling with how I’m going to go on this race for governor. I hate the idea of leaving that ballot spot vacant when it comes time to vote.
I also hate deciding an important election campaign on the basis of a single issue. However, if I must …