Politicians are almost always in a hurry to sign on with the Redflex/ATS agenda when they’re shown the money. That gravy train was destined to fall off the tracks all along and last week some Texas politicians got the message.
Like spoiled children who hate it when they don’t get their way, ATS and their metal, flashing, driver distracting red light scameras threw a 2 month long fit in Baytown, TX.
If the city of Baytown, TX wanted to drive the accident and injury count WAY up in its intersections, they picked the right way to do it: Install red light cameras.
Numbers about to be released to the local media in the city just East of Houston show an alarming increase in collisions, up to 400% in several intersections. CameraFRAUD has been sent and advance report.
Saferbaytown.com has been fighting for a November vote on banning the system outright, but with the current danger these devices pose to the public, their city council should move swiftly to have them removed before more crashes and injuries occur due to the driver distraction they pose.
Here are some of the alarming statistics from the report, compared with the previous numbers available at the Texas Dept of Transportation website (TxDOT):
|Measurement||Report 1 2009||Report 2 2010||
|Red Light related||18||20||
|Red Light T Bones||11||15||
|Rear End accidents||23||42||
Some intersections have seen a dramatically large increase in certain types of accidents, most notably three that have seen a 300%, 350% and 400% respectively.
What would you call allowing this trend to continue after being given the figures that point to sharp increases in accidents? Profit over safety? Absolutely. Gross negligence and public endangerment? There is an argument to be made.
Whatever it is, Baytown, take down those cameras! The public shouldn’t be subjected to even one more day of the danger they pose. We all know the public vote will end the program, but why wait 2.5 months to do the right thing?
This Friday 7-30-10 at 4pm at the city clerk’s office [the] Baytown Red Light Camera Coalition (BRLCC) will turn in to the city of Baytown additional signatures required to overcome the deficiency they claimed our petition had at last Thursday’s city council meeting.
Based on Allegations from the lawyers working for the camera company the city declared our petition to be 12 good signatures short of being sufficent. The city, as required by the city charter, has given us 10 days to make up the deficiency. We have overcome the entire deficiency with several hundred signatures to spare. We believe that by the time the count is complete we will have exceeded the original number of signatures we turned in originally, all in less than 10 days.
The outpouring of support from Citizens in Baytown has been overwhelming since they learned the city declared our petition to be short. We have been flooded with requests to sign the petition to make sure Baytown gets to have a vote on the dangerous and abusive red light camera program.
The people demand a vote! Residents were also outraged at a recent Baytown Sun article that detailed the fact that out of state corporations that profit from red light cameras contributed $20,000 to keep Baytown from having a vote while not receiving any donations from Baytown residents.
If the city clerk certifies our petition as sufficient it goes to the city council on 8-12-10 where they can either accept it as a new ordinance or they are required to place it on the ballot for November elections. We are allowed to turn in petitions until Monday August 2nd so we will have a petition drive over the weekend, details are at www.saferbaytown.com
- The intersection with the most cameras; Garth at West Baker. Total accidents up 11% red light running accidents up 33% and rear end accidents up 5% source; BPD TXDOT report
- Rear end accidents which put children at the most risk up 12.5% overall at all red light camera locations. Source; BPD TXDOT report
- 2008, the first full year of red light cameras was the deadliest year on Baytown streets in 20 years. source; city-data.com traffic statistics
- Total crime in Baytown up 27% since cameras were installed and we were told they would free up cops to suppress crime in other areas. source; BPD website 2007-2009
- Red light cameras net $3.4 million for city. source; Baytown Sun 3-27-10
- The Arizona camera company gets paid a bounty of 55% of each ticket collected in return for installing the cameras for free. source; Baytown Sun 3-27-10
- Red Light Camera tickets Decriminalize red light running. They only issue civil penalties, no worse than a parking ticket. source; Texas Transportation code 707.
- Failure to pay a red light camera ticket will not result in an arrest warrant, points on the violators license, insurance or credit. Although the law allows for vehicle registration to be blocked this isn’t happening uniformly. Texas Transportation code 707
- Numerous independant studies including the University of South Florida Health department, the Journal of trauma and Virginia transportation institute show an increase in accidents after cameras are installed. sources on links and resource page www.saferbaytown.com