Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a bill into law that eliminates red light cameras in the state. Red-light cameras automatically photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the traffic light has turned red, which results in the drivers receiving a $75 ticket.
Red-light cameras became legal in 2007 to make the streets safer and generate revenue for cities and the state. The highest amount of income that these tickets generated for the state was $19.7 million in the 2018 fiscal year. Critics of the cameras, however, stated that they violated the constitutional rights of drivers and caused rear-end accidents.
Up until now, state legislators have tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the use of the cameras in the state. This push gained new momentum after Gov. Abbott weighed in on the issue, citing constitutional and cost concerns in continuing to utilize the cameras.
Despite the passage of the bill, however, the legislation allows communities with existing red-light cameras to keep them in place until previously signed contracts expire. Fort Worth currently has 58 red light cameras, and its contract with its red-light camera vendor does not expire until 2026. However, some cities already have voted to remove the cameras, and other city officials anticipate ending their contracts early.
In some Texas counties, drivers with unpaid red light camera tickets cannot renew their vehicle registrations. An amendment to the bill prohibits county and city officials from refusing to renew vehicle registrations based on unpaid red light camera tickets. However, drivers may be unable to use online services to renew their registrations due to the flags previously placed on their accounts. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and explore your options. We then can help you make the decisions that are mostly like to be beneficial to you, based on your situation. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.