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House Bill 1631 was recently passed in the Texas Senate by a significant margin, and Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the bill into law, according to reports.

The Sen. Bob Hall-sponsored bill will make it illegal to use red-light cameras in the state. This, despite generating millions in revenue for the local government.

“Red light cameras violate the right to due process by creating a presumption that the registered owner of the car committed a violation,” Hall said.

As soon as the legislation is made official, cities will be prohibited from operating photographic traffic camera systems to catch speeders or red-light-runners and issuing them fines. Cities such as Arlington and Richardson have already stopped using said cameras, while others have opted not to install them.

, Texas Looking to Ban Red-light Cameras
A portion of revenue collected from speeding fines through the use of red-light cameras reportedly was put towards Texas’ hospital trauma centers in 2018.

However, other populous cities such as Dallas and Plano continue to use these cameras, claiming they improve public safety aside from the fact that they bring in money. Dallas, alone, earned about $5.8 million in 2018 from its $75 fine on speeding. Half of the revenue reportedly went to the city while the other half was put towards the state’s hospital trauma centers.

If the bill is signed into law, lawmakers pushing to ban the red-light cameras have committed that the state will make up the funds that the trauma centers are set to lose, particularly in cities like Dallas.

The only concern at the moment is the potential harm to public safety due to the lack of cameras. According to two studies cited by the lawmakers, red-light cameras aid in decreasing the risk of deadly T-bone crashes. This is because drivers are believed to be far less likely to run red lights when they know cameras are in place. However, there are also studies that claim the cameras can cause more rear-end collisions.

The final debate over the bill reportedly lasted for less than an hour, so Texas could be well on its way to completely banning red-light cameras in the state. Whether other states will follow suit remains to be seen.

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