Smile, you’re on red light camera

Since 2003, over 46 cities in the State of Texas have installed red light cameras and Houston has its fair share of red light cameras too … some 70 cameras at 50 intersections.  There’s significant debate as to whether the cameras decrease traffic accidents and save lives or if they are just a money maker for the city of Houston.  My personal opinion of what the truth is “it depends upon who is providing the answer”.  It seems very similar to if you contact four roofers and ask them if your house needs a new roof at least one of them will say “Yes”. 

red light cameras the woodlands texasWhere exactly are these red light cameras?  The Texas Tribune has a cool interactive map that shows where all the red-light cameras are located in Houston Texas and the surrounding areas. 

They also have data on a per light basis of the quantity of red light citations issued, the estimated revenue of these citations, the number of crashes, and the number of red light related crashes. 

The closest red light cameras in the Spring Texas area are located by the Willowbrook Mall (one of our regional malls).  The cameras are located at F.M. 1960 & Texas 249 Southbound and F.M. 1960 & Texas 249 Northbound. The data available for these locations was from the time period of July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. 

I have first hand knowledge of the traffic around the Willowbrook Mall area but I was still surprised with the quantity of citations issued.  At the F.M. 1960 & Texas 249 Southbound intersection 2,147 citations were issued for an estimated revenue of $112,718 and at the F.M. 1960 & Texas 249 Northbound intersection 4,121 citations were issued for an estimated revenue of $216,353.  During a 12 month period 6,268 citations were issued at these two intersections.  That’s a lot of tickets issued for running red lights.

One more thing to know about the red light cameras is you do not receive a pardon just because you performed a rolling stop before turning right on a red light.  As far as the camera is concerned stop means stop!

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