Everything's on hold
Mayor Parker to examine red-light camera program (again) after judge voidsreferendum
Voters ruled against Houston's red light camera program last fall, halting the municipal cash cow at a time when the city budget is in the red. But the controversy has resurfaced as U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled today that the November 2010 referendum that ended the camera program is invalid.
The decision derives from a 30-day deadline for reversing an ordinance within its original passage. Houston City Council passed the original ordinance to use cameras to record cars running red lights in 2004, rendering last year's vote invalid, the judge ruled. (Click here to read Hughes' decision).
In a statement, Mayor Annise Parker said, "Judge Hughes' ruling means that we have several options to consider. I will consult with City Attorney Dave Feldman and City Council members as we deliberate the future of the red light camera program in Houston. Right now the cameras continue to monitor intersections, but no tickets are being issued."
Now, the city has returned to the stalemate that it found itself in six months ago. Traffic ticket attorney Paul Kubosh, who led the campaign to remove the red-light cameras, told the Houston Chronicle he was not surprised by the ruling and that he would not give up his challenge.
Do you think the red light camera ticketing system will be reinstated? Could the issue reappear in this fall's election?