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’s nowhere else to hide for Mayor Parker who has clearly chosen the interests of American Traffic Solutions over her own city.
The epicenter of spy camera funny business in the United States is officially Houston, TX. Even if you never get behind the wheel, you are being watched in the down town area by a newly installed network of over 250 cameras. Guess who picked up the tab? If you said Big Sis Napolitano and The Dept of Homeland Security, you’d be right!
DHS and the city of Houston must have never investigated the CCTV (closed circuit television) system in London which has been nothing but a huge money pit and an absolute failure to stop crime. Then again, who cares about safety records when there’s money to be made from selling and buying expensive equipment? Just ask Michael Chertoff how that little scheme works.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Houston has been fighting tooth and nail to keep their red light cameras in place at the very same time. (Un) American Traffic Solutions has their dog and pony lawyer show out in full force, suing the city of Houston for allowing the citizens to vote on a citizens initiative. Their arguments, as usual, are so repugnant that they’re not even worth mentioning here.
The problem is that the city clearly wants to lose to ATS so that the cameras stay up and the money keeps flowing in. To make matters worse, the federal judge hearing the case, Lynn Hughes, is not allowing anyone to represent the people of Houston. In effect he is an unelected judge attempting to legislate from the bench. In the end ATS and the city of Houston will fail in their attempt to work over the people, but in the process will waste a lot of money and time.
There will be much more to come next week when the court proceedings begin.