Do You Like What’s Replacing Red Light Cameras? Yay or Nay?
In 2006, someone came to Houston with an idea that would save lives, but simultaneously, put a little more green in the politicians’ pockets. I imagine that person came from a foreign land. While they were sitting at the fancy dinner table with the politicians, they raised the politicians’ interest and eyebrows, as they secretly spoke of this idea. I’m sure as this new idea was delivered, the messenger ate a fat steak and only raised his wine glass to ask for more.
“How do we make more money?” they asked. “Red-light cameras buddy! The easiest money made since the sale of sliced bread. This way we avoid paying a salary to a person. We just install some cameras, send the pictures to a lab to analyze data, and then the lab sends it to the individual that broke the law and demand some money!”
This is what I imagine the conversation was like. The cameras were unpopular and there were individuals that sought to make sure the cameras never entered the state. However, their efforts were hard-fought, but defeated… briefly. This idea worked out for some time but that time has come to an end. Within the city limits of Houston, the red light cameras are off. Outside of city limits, drivers have to wait for red light camera contracts to end, and then they will be removed for the rest of your life, maybe. Good idea, yay or nay?
Now comes a time where we are faced with yet another idea but this time, it makes more sense, maybe... The new idea: Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs). These are cameras that only read the license plate of a vehicle and scan the information through a state database to check if the vehicle is stolen or wanted. The image lasts for three days and then it is deleted. It was agreed upon to allow Memorial Villages Police Department to use them first with 14 units that are currently working with plans on adding six more. They are making a difference with the capture of 10 stolen vehicles and a set of stolen license plates. Other police departments such as Houston, Jersey Village, and Sugar Land have ALPRs in place with West University developing one now. Is this another gimmick or just another way to intrude on the public?
How long will it take for these readers to be simply installed where the red-light cameras once rested? Will they make the public feel safe, but others panic once again? Do you like what’s replacing red light cameras? Yay or nay?
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