Red Light Cameras Routed at Ballot Box
From The Newspaper-
In fifteen public votes, automated ticketing machines have never survived.
The public rejected the use of photo enforcement in five more municipal referendum elections Tuesday. America’s fourth-largest city, Houston, Texas, was home to the most hotly contested vote. The group Citizens Against Red Light Cameras, run by brothers Paul and Randy Kubosh, gathered enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot against the wishes of the city council and in spite of a legal attack from camera operator American Traffic Solutions (ATS).
Outspent by a factor of ten to one, the group nonetheless won a majority of the 335,778 votes cast on the measure. According to campaign finance disclosure documents, ATS poured $1,746,000 into the race, in a desperate attempt to salvage one of the company’s most important accounts.
“Despite the opposition having every conceivable advantage the people saw through the hype and the emotional blackmail and saw the cameras for what they are, a money making scheme that violates our constitutional rights and risks driver safety for money,” Citizens Against Red Light Camera spokesman Philip Owens told TheNewspaper.
Another ATS account was canceled by citizens in nearby Baytown, where 58 percent voted to terminate the red light camera program.
“Despite being far outspent, sued and harassed we ultimately prevailed because the truth was on our side,” initiative sponsor Byron Schirmbeck said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the legislature will take up a statewide camera ban this next session so citizens won’t have to rip the cameras out city by city. We also urge the Baytown council to abide by the will of the people, no matter what the outcome of any future lawsuits by the camera company they partnered with… The people have spoken, bring the cameras down.”