Let’s put the effort to ban cities from deploying red-light cameras on ice for another two years.
And then let us hope the Texas Legislature fails again to impose its will on cities who are seeking ways to prevent motorists from running through stop lights and endangering other motorists and pedestrians.
The 2015 Legislature won’t enact a statewide ban on the cameras. It fell short of efforts to take that authority away from cities, where officials — including in Amarillo — have deployed the cameras.
I happen to be glad that Amarillo will be able to maintain the cameras.
What’s more, I am hopeful the next Legislature will decide in the state’s best interest to let cities control their own traffic destiny.
Of all the arguments I keep hearing in opposition to the cameras, the one that angers and amuses me the most is that the cameras “violate the rights” of motorists. What rights? Privacy? The right to “face an accuser”? The right of “due process”?
If we’re going to accept the rights violation argument, then let’s just tell cities to disband their police departments. Let’s take down speed limit signs. While we’re at it, let’s take security cameras out of stores that protect businesses against theft; those cameras, after all, violate our “rights,” too, by watching our every move while we’re shopping.
Amarillo should be hailed for its insistence that the red-light cameras are helping deter motorists from endangering others, not to mention themselves, when they run through stoplights. Other cities haven’t demonstrated that kind of backbone.
So, for now, thanks also belong to the Texas Legislature for leaving cities alone and letting them determine what’s best for the motor vehicle-driving public.