In Houston, Texas alone there are around one hundred stoplights. Recently, a law has been drafted to place cameras on the stoplights and Houston and the surrounding suburbs. These "red-light cameras" or RLCs as they are called automatically take a picture of a vehicle breaking the law by running the stoplight and sends the owner a seventy-five dollar ticket. This method of ticketing is incredibly inefficient and should be removed. The camera system fails to notify the recipients of the tickets in a fair amount of time, does not take into account if the owner is driving, and according to the people of Houston should not even be in place. The current system that the red-light cameras are under is flawed and should be removed completely.
No one likes getting a ticket for running a stoplight, but what is even worse is getting a delayed ticket. If the ticket is delayed long enough, the cost of the ticket rises at least one hundred dollars in order to cover the collection agency fee. Wait any longer and you might receive another letter informing you to "pay or have the debt reported to a credit agency".(George) This situation happened to an unfortunate Houstonian who moved out of state in 2007.
Scott Robinson moved from Houston to Cincinnati in 2007. Before leaving, Mr. Robinson sold his Hyundai Santa Fe to a used car dealer in Rosenberg, Texas. Due to clerical errors at the dealer, Scott's car was sold with his license plates still attached to the vehicle. The new owner of the vehicle ran a stoplight and when the license plate was read, Mr. Robinson's information was pulled up. When he finally received his ticket, it was too late for him to protest the charges even when providing proof of sale for the vehicle.(George)
The red-light camera "problem" has stretched beyond Houston into suburbs neighboring the city. Larger, more prominent suburbs such as Sugar Land and Texas City have been following suit in Houston's idea to implement the cameras in as many intersections as possible. The residents of these suburbs strongly disagree, enough so that a petition was raised to remove the cameras.(Miller) The petition was raised by one of the city's residents, Mr. Helwig Van Der Grinten who is also the founder of the Houston Coalition Against Red Light Cameras. Mr. Van Der Grinten chose to follow the best route to try and remove the cameras. By starting a petition, he and the other citizens who did not want the red-light cameras were able to efficiently voice their opinions in a way that they were guaranteed to be heard.
Many people might argue that the cameras reduce accidents and help the safety of other drivers. This is true for some collisions such as "right-angle collisions" more commonly known as "t-boning" which is reduced by around 25 percent.(Miller) However, the cameras turn stoplights into a "guessing game where a wrong decision could either end in a rear-end collision or a ticket."(Miller) This, along with twenty other...