Smile, You’re on the Red-light Camera!

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Drive Like ME

I, personally, have never liked the red light camera; and apparently, I’m not alone. In November 2010, 53.2 percent of Houston voters rejected the red-light cameras. The cameras had been used to issue well over 800,000 tickets since 2006. But before Houstonians could enjoy the freedom, a judge ruled for the cameras to be turned back on, frustrating a lot of citizens. After a series of confusing court dates and votes, city council finally voted to turn them back off. As of 12:01pm, August 24, 2011, the city stopped issuing red light camera tickets.

If you ask me, the cameras were a headache! I can say, though, one perk of the red light camera is that the ticket is a lot cheaper than if a police officer were to catch you in the act. But the good surely doesn’t outweigh the bad.

I received a red-light ticket in the mail and had no idea where it came from. After further investigation, I learned a friend was driving my car at the time of the ticket. It really bothers me that I have to pay for someone else’s mistake. If an actual cop had pulled her over, it would have been her paying her own ticket for the violation.

In another instance, I was riding with a friend. The light turned yellow and she realized she would not make it through the intersection before the light turned red, so she stopped. The front of the car entered the pedestrian crosswalk and the camera flashed! Two weeks later, she received a ticket in the mail for the violation. Whoever said “Pictures don’t lie” lied.

If you are pulled over by a police officer and given a citation for running a red light, you’re able to fight it in court or take a defensive driving course to dismiss it. If you receive a red light camera ticket, you’re able to do neither. You’re automatically guilty.

The cameras caused to much unnecessary frustration. While the battle is far from over in court, we no longer have to worry about receiving those annoying citations in the mail.

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