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.
Baytown, TX became one of the latest cities to ban red light cameras with a citizens vote. Strangely enough, ATS doesn’t seem to get the hint. Reports out of the Houston suburb have confirmed that the cameras are still on and flashing, but no tickets are being issued. When reached for comment, Baytown officials will only say, “the ordinance is being observed.”
What’s going on in Texas is eerily similar to what Redflex was trying to pull when their contract with Arizona DPS was terminated. You may remember that they were attempting to record speeds for data they could later manipulate.
It’s hard to say exactly when ATS plans on shipping their scamera equipment out of Baytown, but the voters who cast them out are becoming increasingly impatient.
Just follow the law and you’ll have nothing to worry about, right? Someone should tell ATS about this little maxim. Breaking signage laws and operating as a vigilante ticketing scheme in Tucson isn’t enough for ATS these days. Now they’re taking their dangerous tactics to Baytown, TX. ATS, in a fit of jealously over Redflex’s ability to shorten yellow light times in Paradise Valley, has been using the same tactic in Baytown, TX.
By shortening the yellow interval at several intersections, they are violating Texas state law TXDOT 707, but that doesn’t concern a criminal organization. However, it should concern the citizens of Baytown. Recently the same illegal and dangerous shortening of yellow times was caught in League City, TX. That city was forced to pay back 1,700 tickets.
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?