As of midnight central time, red light scameras in Houston are back on and tickets will begin to be mailed out this week.
Prior to last November’s vote to ban red light cams in Houston, ATS used the tactic of running ads which gave the impression that there was some type of populist support for their fraud boxes and even more insidiously, that money from fines would go to “Level 1 Trauma Centers.”
Conflicts of interest are nothing new for American Traffic Solutions. Their red light camera scam in its entirety is classified as such.
What’s coming to light in Houston is a major ethical crisis involving the head of their Police Union. Officer Mark Clark, who is the Executive Director of HPOU (Police Union) was paid at least $10,000 to lobby at the state capitol for ATS and against a bill to ban red light scameras in Texas.
There is an extremely cozy relationship between American Traffic Solutions and the city of Houston, Texas. So cozy, in fact, that the mayor of the nation’s fourth largest city has no problem lying to the people she allegedly serves just to protect red light cameras.
Parker said after the election that the cameras were being shut off and wouldn’t come back on, as it was the will of the people. Well, here’s a shocker – that was a complete lie and it looks like it will cost her a chance to be re-elected, as Houstonians are now furious with Parker.
As a matter of fact, the red light scameras in Houston never really were shut off at all. American Traffic Solutions is pushing more bogus stats claiming that “more drivers are now running red lights” after tickets stopped being issued following the November election. Their stats make absolutely no sense when considering that accidents are down 16% since the flashing driver distractions were put on “stealth mode.”
How does it feel to know that ATS has been watching you and collecting data even though you voted them and their automated ticketing machines out of your city, Houston?
The collusion between ATS and the city of Houston, who clearly wanted to lose their court case is evident in the fact that they pushed for corrupt federal judge Lynn Hughes to hear the initial case. Paul Kubosh, who led the initiative to put the red light scamboxes on the ballot was quoted in the Houston Chronicle yesterday:
Wednesday’s announcement provoked the full fury of Paul Kubosh, a lawyer who helped lead the petition drive to get the cameras banned. When reached for comment, he did not even wait for a question. “Start typing!” he said, and launched into criticizing the decision.
“The mayor is going to ask for your vote in November. How can you possibly give her your vote when she does not respect yours?” Kubosh said. “She is not following the will of the citizens of Houston, she is following her own conscience.”
Kubosh repeated that the city shopped the suit in federal court in hopes of an unfavorable ruling that would compel it to turn the cameras back on.
The contract with ATS runs through 2014. Before that contract is extended, Parker said Wednesday, she intends to ask City Council to place another referendum on the ballot asking voters whether the program should continue.
“Anything she says about placating the voters is a lie. You can’t believe a word coming out of her mouth when it comes to red-light cameras,” Kubosh said. “She’s just saying that to appease the voters to try to calm them down a little bit. If she had an opponent the cameras would still be down.”
Annise Parker cannot be trusted and Houston will be rid of her in a few short months. As for British Petroleum owned Judge Hughes and his chicanery.. well his position should have been on the chopping block a long time ago.