Speed Camera Traffic Ticketing by TxDot-Unsafe for Marble Falls but Safe for Municipalities and State Highways?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Speed Camera Traffic Ticketing by TxDot-Unsafe for Marble Falls but Safe for Municipalities and State Highways?

12 June 2007 at 2:31:04 PM

Saw the related articles via Texas Safety Forum. One of the bills Governor 39 percent just signed allows TxDOT to put federally funded speed cameras on state highways... using... wait for it... FEDERAL GAS TAX FUNDS. (Um, I'm sure ANYONE who is following the TTC debacle appreciates the smack in the face that move is). AND this is also a smack in the face to the Texas Legislature.

Despite the near-unanimous opposition in the state legislature to the use of speed cameras, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is moving forward on a proposal to deploy photo radar on state highways using federal gas tax funds. Legislation awaiting Governor Rick Perry's signature prohibited only municipalities -- like Marble Falls and Rhome -- from installing automated speeding ticket systems. It was silent on the possibility of a state-run system (read legislation).

TxDOT began searching in April for a vendor that, using federal funds, would allow the agency "to assess and evaluate all elements of an automated speed notification system." Once selected, the vendor would operate an average time speed camera test for at least six months on Interstate 10 near El Paso and State Highway 6 near College Station.

Time-distance ticketing systems use multiple cameras spaced far apart on a freeway. Each car is photographed once as it enters the first section of road. Miles later a second photograph is taken that allows the vehicle's average speed to be calculated from the time it took to travel between the two locations. In use in Britain under the trade name SPECS, these cameras are commonly referred to as "yellow vultures" and are among the most lucrative in the country.

Now, here's some real hypocrisy and weirdness re: Marble Falls, Texas (which is up 281 north of San Antonio)

The Texas Department of Transportation could face some heat from state legislators if it moves forward with plans to install a speed-camera system on highways across Texas — a move Marble Falls Mayor Raymond Whitman called “hypocritical.”

State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, who wrote the law banning cities from using camera systems to enforce speed limits, says she understands the anger of Marble Falls city officials over TxDOT’s planned six-month study into the use of speed cameras on state highways.

Marble Falls officials dismantled their speed camera system last month, after Truitt’s bill cleared the Senate. TxDOT in April also warned Marble Falls to remove the system from state right of ways, claiming it was unsafe.

“My House bill clearly does not preclude TxDOT from doing this test, but I wish it did,” Truitt said. “I feel confident that if TxDOT proceeds with this project, they’ll have some uncomfortable time in front of the (next) Legislature.”...

Oh, right. A little discomfort. Pffffttttt. Come on back to THIS planet, Ms Truitt!

Whitman denounced the state’s decision to install speed cameras, after the agency called the city’s speed van “unsafe” in an April letter demanding the system be pulled from TxDOT right of ways.

“How hypocritical is that?” Whitman said. “I have a bit of a problem with it, not because they’re using the camera, but because if it’s unsafe for us to use, how can it be safe for the state to do it?”
Truitt said sympathized with Marble Falls leaders angered by the state’s proposal.

“I don’t blame them one bit for being upset,” she said. “TxDOT told them their system was unsafe, now they tell them the state is going to install its own system.”

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