Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday signed into law a bill that prohibits the use of red light cameras by local authorities.
House bill 1631, sponsored by state state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, was approved by the House and Senate in the last weeks of the legislative session and effectively bans the implementation or operation of a “photographic traffic signal enforcement system.”
Critics of traffic cameras have stated that the use of cameras are unconstitutional, as law enforcement often contracts the camera programs out to third-party companies, where some companies are even issuing the tickets. Nevertheless, those in favor of red light cameras say they save lives and deter people from running red lights.
Amendments to the bill allow cities to continue operating the cameras until their contracts with vendors expire. Additionally, the bill prevents county and state officials from refusing to register a vehicle because the owner has unpaid red light camera tickets.
Red light cameras are under fire in several states, while seven other states have statutes prohibiting the use of red light cameras.