How can this be legal? TxDOT speed cameras using FEDERAL money


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CanonNinja
June 12, 2007, 12:14 AM
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/18/1800.asp

Texas DOT to Install Federally Funded Highway Speed Cameras
Despite the opposition of the state legislature, the Texas Department of Transportation proposes a federally funded speed camera test.

TxDOT logoDespite 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.

In its request for proposals, TxDOT cited success of speed cameras in the UK, which generated £120 million (US $240 million) in revenue in 2003, and in Washington, DC, which has generated $217 million in revenue with its red light and speed cameras since 1999. TxDOT's vendor will send notices -- warnings at first -- to motorists driving just 5 MPH over the limit with an accuracy level of +/- 2 MPH, meaning those driving just 3 MPH over the limit could receive a photograph and letter in the mail.

The River Cities Daily Tribune, which first reported the story last week, noted that TxDOT also ordered Marble Falls to remove its speed camera van from state highways in April citing safety concerns.

"How hypocritical is that?" Marble Falls Mayor Raymond Whitman told the Daily Tribune. "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?"

A full copy of the TxDOT speed camera request for proposals is available in a 219k PDF file at the source link below.


How can this be legal!? Opposition by the state legislature, and using FEDERAL money?!

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Bartholomew Roberts
June 12, 2007, 12:23 AM
It is legal because there is no law preventing it. The current laws only prevent municipalities from doing this. TxDOT is a state agency and isn't prohibited by that law. TxDOT was apparently smart enough to wait until the legislature had ended the session to propose this... since the Texas legislature meets every two years, this means that they won't get slapped down for awhile.

Since they are relying on federal funds, they don't need funds from the state legislature approving this.

Kentak
June 12, 2007, 01:14 AM
Federal grants to local law enforcement isn't new, is it? That's been going on for decades.

thexrayboy
June 12, 2007, 01:31 AM
Not that I would recommend anything illegal but are these cameras in urban or rural areas? It would be a real shame if some less than scrupulous low life types were to vandalize and render these inoperable.....repeatedly.


Civil disobedience can sometimes be hard on the equipment.

Frog48
June 12, 2007, 02:18 AM
It would be a real shame if some less than scrupulous low life types were to vandalize and render these inoperable

The first thing that came to mind while I was reading the article was "How long will it take for someone to get mad about a ticket, and shoot out the cameras?"

Elza
June 12, 2007, 02:28 AM
Funny, isn’t it? Speed laws (and traffic laws in general) are always touted as “making the roads a safer place”. Yet all they talk about is the money to be made by people breaking the laws?

Kind of reminds me of the evils of smoking yet look at all of tax money it brings in.

Frog48
June 12, 2007, 02:31 AM
Funny, isn’t it? Speed laws (and traffic laws in general) are always touted as “making the roads a safer place”. Yet all they talk about is the money to be made by people breaking the laws?

Bingo. Traffic laws have absolutely nothing to do with safety, they are purely a revenue generation scheme.

If the state truly cared about public safety, they'd revoke the drivers licenses of the 75 year old grandmas and grandpas that poke along at 45 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Elza
June 12, 2007, 02:38 AM
Grant48: If the state truly cared about public safety, they'd revoke the drivers licenses of the 75 year old grandmas and grandpas that poke along at 45 mph in a 70 mph zone.Bite your tongue! Those folks VOTE! And, they have the great and wonderful AARP on their side. :barf:

TheFederalistWeasel
June 12, 2007, 02:49 AM
You know what sucks about the so called automated camera systems?

They are not so automated and require more human interaction that just a patrol car and a single officer witnessing the violation.

Camera System: The camera itself and a technician to maintain it and calibrate it, a person to monitor them 24/7 and download the video to digital every 12 hours AND a cop who must sit for hours and watch each and every violation then have your tag run, write out the ticket-- TO THE CAR OWNER, NOW NOT THE DRIVER and turn it over to the court clerk who must mail it out to you.

Old Fashion Patrol Car System: The Patrol Car and the Officer operating the car, witnesses the violation, makes the stop, issues the citation to the DRIVER-- NOT THE CAR OWNER, goes back in service.

Which one seems more efficient?

aquapong
June 12, 2007, 04:24 AM
They really should call it what it is...Automated Revenue Generation System.

Caimlas
June 12, 2007, 06:00 AM
Federalist - per my understanding of these cameras, that's not how they work at all.

They take (say) 30 shots per second when motion is detected. Process that data and extrapolate speed of the car via distance traveled per frame using digital shape recognition software and/or distance sensors. Send potential violator's photos and photo information (time of photo, anything else automatically extracted from the cameras, etc.) to contracted processing center where someone verifies the images were processed correctly, and then prints and posts the ticket directly to your door (at least that's the way they work here.)

BobTheTomato
June 12, 2007, 06:16 AM
How is i legal? Easy! You are in your car which means interstate commerce so the feds can regulate it.

LawBot5000
June 12, 2007, 07:32 AM
Texas is a lot less crowded than the UK. Those cameras will be debris within a week. They will either have to put the cameras into built up areas or they will have to get used to people taking them down.

And some of you are wrong about how these cameras work. They set them apart on the freeway and measure your average speed along the entire stretch. In other words, you can't figure out where the cameras are and slow down for them. If you speed at all, even slightly, they will detect it and give you a ticket. Unless your speedometer is very very accurate, you have to drive very slow to avoid getting a ticket. Set the speed limit low enough and you can send almost everyone a ticket.

IMO, the best medicine for this is to deal with the bureaucrat who came up with the idea. I mean, it isn't a state secret who runs the Texas department of transportation. People should register their displeasure with him. I'm sure even a sustained letter writing campaign would come as a total shock.

Titan6
June 12, 2007, 07:33 AM
I don't think that these will last. Putting another layer between LEOs and society is the wrong way to go anyway. A patrol officer can determine when a warning is appropriate and when a ticket is. A patrol officer can also make take actions during a stop that may prevent another crime that a ticket in the mail a month later will not do. If there is anywhere that we need more traffic stops ElPaso would be it.

LawBot5000
June 12, 2007, 07:53 AM
Mentioning El Paso reminded me of something. The other problem with this is that it produces the exact opposite effect from what should be desired. If a car full of illegal immigrants is pulled over, they should be arrested and deported. If they are caught by the speed cameras they wont get a ticket because no one will know where to send it. This will weigh heaviest upon truckers and upon law abiding citizens.

Birukun
June 12, 2007, 01:08 PM
Gotta spend those Department of Homeland Security grants somehow!

Oh, and I guess later, when they are connected to the centralized database (think Minority Report) then we can track everyone too! What a neat side effect!

Bill in SD

springmom
June 12, 2007, 01:15 PM
Those things will be rendered inoperable within a week. In the cities, the red light cameras are pretty safe, because they're up high, and right out where nobody can get to them without being obvoius. But on the highway? Ha.

Springmom

Art Eatman
June 12, 2007, 02:20 PM
TxDOT is supposed to be in the business of building and maintaining roads, not enforcing laws. And this money reduces the amount of construction/maintenance funds.

I figure that locals will figure out where these cameras are, and the loss rate will upset some of those Austin bureaucrats...

Art

Daniel T
June 12, 2007, 02:47 PM
I don't know. Was there a loss of any of the cameras in Marble Falls? The locals there are just as apt to be the kind that get rid of the cameras as those in El Paso or the unfortunates in College Station.

thegriz
June 12, 2007, 03:06 PM
I figure that locals will figure out where these cameras are, and the loss rate will upset some of those Austin bureaucrats...

Doesn't the freedom of information act cover that? They may have to provide that information when requested because of the law. It could easily be posted to a website, maybe even with GPS coordinates.

What I want to know is whether all the cops and officials get a free pass. If nobody is exempted I will hate the system but I will take satisfaction from EVERYBODY being treated the same (well, except for criminals who drive without license or drive stolen vehicles).

HiWayMan
June 12, 2007, 03:13 PM
Can't remeber where exactly I saw it but there is a website out there showing all the damaged "yellow vultures" in the UK. Quite impressive.

dracphelan
June 12, 2007, 04:34 PM
This is another reason that I agree with a suggestion I heard a police officer make over a decade ago. He wanted to eliminate speed limits on highways and just have reckless driving. If you are moving with the flow of traffic, no problem. If you were in the middle of nowhere on a in perfect weather with no cars on the road and wanted to 110mph, no problem. It would only be when you are driving at such a speed (to low or high) that a reasonable person would consider the driving hazardous would you be pulled over.
I remember a road trip between Amarillo and Oklahoma City. A friend was driving and we got passed like we were standing still by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. We looked at the speedometer and we were going so fast that the needle was pointing at D2 on the gear shift. The speedometer went to 120. We laughed and slowed down.

modifiedbrowning
June 12, 2007, 05:07 PM
dracphelan, it used to be like that here in Montana. Unfortunately it was before I moved here.

Elza
June 12, 2007, 05:27 PM
HiWayMan: Can't remeber where exactly I saw it but there is a website out there showing all the damaged "yellow vultures" in the UK. Quite impressive.I ran across this as well. Our U.K. brethren got rather 'inventive' in way the cameras were dispatched. :)

Here is a link to one report. http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2a.htm

Do a search for "U.K. traffic camera destruction" and a bunch will show up

seeker_two
June 12, 2007, 06:03 PM
Just so we can make this gun-related.....what rifle/scope combination would be good for hunting speeding/stoplight cameras?.... :D

Elza
June 12, 2007, 06:16 PM
Well, I've never had any use for a Barret .50 up to this point. However....... :evil:

cpaspr
June 12, 2007, 06:19 PM
like paintball guns work in Europe.

Dravur
June 12, 2007, 06:19 PM
I saw a site that showed what happens to these things in Great Britain. They are targeted like Rosie Odonnel targets donuts.

Let's see.....
I really doubt these ar bulletproof
paintproof
Baseball bat proof
Javelina proof

Yeah, I can see these things lasting all of 20 minutes.

gregthehand
June 12, 2007, 08:37 PM
I passed under the one in College Station on my way home from work everyday. It's totally out in the open. Kind of silly that they put it like that. :)

Flyboy
June 12, 2007, 09:10 PM
Aquapong nailed it:
In its request for proposals, TxDOT cited success of speed cameras in the UK, which generated £120 million (US $240 million) in revenue in 2003, and in Washington, DC, which has generated $217 million in revenue with its red light and speed cameras since 1999.
That's right, folks: your government's definition of success isn't public safety, it's revenue. A quarter-billion here, a fifth of a billion there--that's real success to the government.

Huh? Lives? Safety? What?

oneshooter
June 12, 2007, 10:06 PM
Seems that these guys may be selling a LOT more product!

http://www.phantomplate.com/


Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

precisionshootist
June 13, 2007, 10:57 PM
Well unless the laws are changed I think it would have to be proved that the person issued the citation was in fact the person driving the vehicle at the time of the offense. Simple remedy is everyone who gets a ticket from one of these automated cameras elects a trial by jury. Number one, you will most likely win. Number two, jury trials will drive the cost up so high the cameras will be for sale on Ebay in no time.

roo_ster
June 13, 2007, 11:11 PM
precisionshootist:

They charge you with a civil infraction. ALL the cards are in their hands, as my wife found out when she was nabbed by a red light camera in the midst of a fubared intersection (due to construction).

I'm thinking a scoped .22LR bolt action would do the trick.

precisionshootist
June 13, 2007, 11:23 PM
"cival infraction" ? what is that? Since when is speeding two different types of violations? Even with the red light camera issue, how do they prove it was your wife driving and not you? My wife and I switch vehicles all the time. What if a friend or relective borrows your vehicle. I just don't see any way they could make this stuff stick without the picture clearly showing the driver. How did your situation turn out? Did you make a challenge in court or did they just "convice" you that they will win.

SuperNaut
June 13, 2007, 11:29 PM
I'm thinking a scoped .22LR bolt action would do the trick.

It'd be a real shame if a couple of traffic surveillance cameras were damaged too. 'Specially the ones where there isn't any traffic...

Gifted
June 14, 2007, 02:26 AM
Looks like all of the points have already been hit. Citing revenue figures as success is stupidity, tyranny, or whatever you want to call it(be creative). The idea behind speed limits is to keep people from going so fast they crash. I'll not get into how well it works, that's a whole 'nother issue.

I think that's a site I've been to before. One thing they mention is dubious placement of the cameras, and changes in speed limits and such after they're placed. The two I remember was one that was placed a few meters too far away from the curve or whatever to encourage slowing down, and the other was the speed reduction, I can't remember if it was five or ten MPH, but it was significant.

It seems that Britain, even with all those cameras, has trouble catching the responsible parties even in urban areas. Think about the Texas countryside, and the fact that we have guns. I'd imagine that there'll be a new category of long range shooting opening up if this goes into effect.

Rem700SD
June 14, 2007, 02:46 AM
How big of microwave gun would it take to scramble one of these things?

roo_ster
June 14, 2007, 07:12 AM
precision:

They do not have to prove who drove it, the owner has to prove they weren't driving it and then produce someone for the city to fine.

It was a $75 fine, if you pay it & don't squawk or assert any rights.

If you want a "preliminary hearing" by a former cop who works for the city and signs off on these charges, it costs you somewhere in the neighborhood of a extra $50 just to talk to someone about the deal. If you want to actually fight the deal in court, the accused pays court costs, which will likely exceed the original $75 ticket in and of themselves.

So, to finally get your day in court, you will end up spending more than the original $75 civil ticket.

We have two kids to take care of & can not afford the time & extra cash required to take the case (with all odds stacked against us) to court.

You can't get proper justice without paying for it, don't you know?

ServiceSoon
June 14, 2007, 07:48 AM
http://www.phantomplate.com/

and of course, that product is illegal in some states.

Daniel T
June 14, 2007, 01:13 PM
...and of course, that product is illegal in some states.

Not to mention that it doesn't work anyway. Mythbusters tested it and other products like it thoroughly.

K3
June 14, 2007, 02:07 PM
Mud works better.

Birukun
June 14, 2007, 02:36 PM
Only 75.00?

The City of Temecula, CA charges ~350.00 (can't remember the exact number)

Bill in SD

Birukun
June 14, 2007, 02:37 PM
You don't need to damage a speed camera, just make sure it takes pictures of the sky......

Duct tape is a wonderful thing too - listen to the cheering at the intersection as you climb up and slap it on!

Bill in SD

K3
June 14, 2007, 02:39 PM
You don't need to damage a speed camera, just make sure it takes pictures of the sky......

Duct tape is a wonderful thing too - listen to the cheering at the intersection as you climb up and slap it on!

Bill in SD

I'd pay to see that. :D

Gifted
June 15, 2007, 02:54 AM
Duct tape is a wonderful thing too - listen to the cheering at the intersection as you climb up and slap it on!Even better, paste a picture of the governors car in front of the camera just right, and wait for the tickets to come pouring in. I'm sure there's some creative stuff you could do with that setup.

LAK
June 15, 2007, 06:52 AM
It is not the elderly that cause accidents; it is the old and young alike that drive around with their mouths hanging open, and or distracted with other things.

The speeding ticket is a source of revenue. That is the long and the short of it.

While the TxDOT may have appeared to have pulled a sneaky by awaiting the passing of the legislative session, it is more likely that thay have simply taken the heat off the legislature on the issue. Let's see how quickly they shut down TxDOT's "sneaky" collusion with Federal funds and cameras when they meet at the next session ;)

--------------------------------------

http://searchronpaul.com
http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Double Naught Spy
June 15, 2007, 10:31 AM
If you are dumb or careless enough to get caught speeding, then you deserve to pay the fine.

LAK
June 16, 2007, 11:09 AM
jfruserThey do not have to prove who drove it, the owner has to prove they weren't driving it and then produce someone for the city to fine.

In Texas, speeding is actually a criminal offense - a crime, albeit a misdemeanor. It is not as in some states where the infraction rules apply.

In any criminal case, I believe, a statement to the effect of; "I deny having commiting the alleged crime" or " ... any crime" - followed by electing to remain silent as is one's right before a court places the burden of proof on the prosecution.

nemoaz
June 16, 2007, 01:37 PM
How is i legal? Easy! You are in your car which means interstate commerce so the feds can regulate it.

No, they aren't regulating anything and there are no federal speeding tickets (except on reservations, military bases, or in D.C.). This is basically the power of the purse. The feds can spend their (our) money on almost anything... mating habits of mosquitos and such.

roo_ster
June 16, 2007, 03:32 PM
LAK:

It was a red-light camera placed in a heavy-construction zone (Legacy & NDT when it was torn all to hades). The law/ordinance cited by the ticket-ers was a City of Plano ordinance, not a State of Texas law.

Yep, the first thing they got up after the traffic lights was the red light cameras. Even before all the pavement, markings, & such. Nice. :barf:

Sage of Seattle
June 16, 2007, 04:26 PM
If anyone is interested...

http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html


The objectives of this research was to determine the effects of raising and lowering posted speed limits on driver behavior and accidents for non-limited access rural and urban highways. Speed and accident data were collected in 22 States at 100 sites before and after speed limits were altered. Before and after data were also collected simultaneously at comparison sites where speed limits were not changed to control for the time trends. Repeated measurements were made at 14 sites to examine short - and long-term effects of speed limit changes.

The results of the study indicated that lowering posted speed limits by as much as 20 mi/h (32 km/h), or raising speed limits by as much as 15 mi/h (24 km/h) had little effect on motorist' speed. The majority of motorist did not drive 5 mi/h (8 km/h) above the posted speed limits when speed limits were raised, nor did they reduce their speed by 5 or 10 mi/h (8 or 16 km/h) when speed limits are lowered. Data collected at the study sites indicated that the majority of speed limits are posed below the average speed of traffic. Lowering speed limits below the 50th percentile does not reduce accidents, but does significantly increase driver violations of the speed limit. Conversely, raising the posted speed limits did not increase speeds or accidents.

LAK
June 16, 2007, 11:34 PM
jfruser,

Interesting that Plano is using a city ordinance to prosecute a crime covered under the universal state traffic codes. I suppose the only other avenue would be to see if local jurisdictions are prohibited from doing such things - as in the case of the regulation of firearms in the state of Texas.

pharmer
June 17, 2007, 10:46 AM
Like someone else said, they give you a civil infraction. It's just starting up here in Fla. The cameras are against the law. So to gather revenue, they take a pic of your car in an intersection at an unlawful time. Zoning department mails you a fine ($75) and you can take it to court. Minimum is $100 just to request a hearing. Add the cost of defense and you get the picture. Joe

seeker_two
June 18, 2007, 11:45 AM
And what happens if you ignore a "civil" :barf: fine?

roo_ster
June 19, 2007, 01:21 PM
I am not sure what the consequences for giving the City of Plano the finger and not paying their fines.

Here is the PPD's story on why red light cameras are wonderful:
http://pdf.plano.gov/police/docs/redlightcamera.pdf

Here is a story telling the actual results:
http://www.kcbd.com/Global/story.asp?S=5806989
After 6 months, Plano, Texas showed a 50% increase in rear-end collisions at intersections with cameras, but a similar decrease in side angle collisions.

Here is the Plano city code. Note the bolded portions, which double the fines/fees assessed if one dares to contest and loses. Also note that if one is to appeal, one has to post a bind with the city equal to the amount of the fine. Nice system if you can rig it to your advantage.
ARTICLE X. AUTOMATED TRAFFIC SIGNAL ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 12-260. Definitions.
In this article:
(1) Department shall mean the Police Department of the City of Plano, Texas.
(2) Intersection shall mean the place or area where two (2) or more streets intersect.
(3) Owner shall mean the owner of a motor vehicle as shown on the motor vehicle registration records of the Texas Department of Transportation or the analogous department or agency of another state or country.
(4) Photographic traffic signal enforcement system shall mean a system that:
a. Consists of a camera system installed to work in conjunction with an electrically operated traffic-control signal; and
b. Is capable of producing at least two (2) recorded images that depicts the license plate attached to the rear of a motor vehicle that is not operated in compliance with the instructions of the traffic-control signal.
(5) Recorded image means an image recorded by a photographic traffic monitoring system that depicts the rear of a motor vehicle and is automatically recorded on a photograph or digital image.
(6) System location means the approach to an intersection toward which a photographic traffic monitoring system is directed and in operation.
(7) Traffic control signal shall mean a traffic control device that displays alternating red, amber and green lights that directs traffic when to stop at or proceed through an intersection.
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04)

Sec. 12-261. Imposition of civil penalty for violations.
(a) The city council finds and determines that a vehicle that proceeds into an intersection when the traffic control signal for that vehicle's direction of travel is emitting a steady red signal damages the public by endangering motor vehicle operators and pedestrians alike, by decreasing the efficiency of traffic control and traffic flow efforts, and by increasing the number of serious accidents to which public safety agencies must respond at the expense of the taxpayers.
(b) Except as provided in (c) and (d) below, the owner of a motor vehicle is liable for a civil penalty of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) if the motor vehicle proceeds into an intersection at a system location when the traffic control signal for that motor vehicle's direction of travel is emitting a steady red signal.
(c) For a third or subsequent violation committed by the owner of the same motor vehicle during any twelve-month period, the amount of the civil penalty shall be one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00).
(d) A owner who fails to timely pay the civil penalty shall be subject to a late payment penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04)

Sec. 12-262. Enforcement; procedures.
(a) The department is responsible for the enforcement and administration of this article.
(b) In order to impose a civil penalty under this article, the department shall mail a notice of violation to the owner of the motor vehicle liable for the civil penalty not later than the 30th day after the date the violation is alleged to have occurred to:
(1) The owner's address as shown on the registration records of the Texas Department of Transportation; or
(2) If the vehicle is registered in another state or country, the owner's address as shown on the motor vehicle registration records of the department or agency of the other state or country analogous to the Texas Department of Transportation.
(c) A notice of violation issued under this article shall contain the following:
(1) A description of the violation alleged;
(2) The date, time, and location of the violation;
(3) A copy of a recorded image of the vehicle involved in the violation;
(4) The amount of the civil penalty to be imposed for the violation;
(5) The date by which the civil penalty must be paid;
(6) A statement that the person named in the notice of violation may pay the civil penalty in lieu of appearing at an administrative adjudication hearing;
(7) Information that informs the person named in the notice of violation:
a. Of the right to contest the imposition of the civil penalty in an administrative adjudication;
b. Of the manner and time in which to contest the imposition of the civil penalty; and
c. That failure to pay the civil penalty or to contest liability is an admission of liability.
(8) A statement that a recorded image is evidence in a proceeding for the imposition of a civil penalty;
(9) A statement that failure to pay the civil penalty within the time allowed shall result in the imposition of a late penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00); and
(10) Any other information deemed necessary by the department.
(d) A notice of violation under this article is presumed to have been received on the 10th day after the date the notice of violation is mailed.
(e) In lieu of issuing a notice of violation, the department may mail a warning notice to the owner.
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04)

Sec. 12-263. Administrative adjudication hearing.
(a) A person who receives a notice of violation may contest the imposition of the civil penalty by request in writing an administrative adjudication of the civil penalty within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the notice of violation. Upon receipt of a timely request, the Department shall notify the person of the date and time of the hearing on the administrative adjudication. The administrative adjudication hearing shall be held before a hearing officer appointed by the city manager.
(b) Failure to pay a civil penalty or to contest liability in a timely manner is an admission of liability in the full amount of the civil penalty assessed in the notice of violation, and is a waiver of the right to appeal under section 12-263(i).
(c) The civil penalty shall not be assessed if after a hearing, the hearing officer enters a finding of no liability.
(d) In an administrative adjudication hearing, the issues must be proved at the hearing by a preponderance of the evidence. The reliability of the photographic traffic signal enforcement system used to produce the recorded image of the violation may be attested to in an administrative adjudication hearing by affidavit of an officer or employee of the city or the entity with which the city contracts to install or operate the system and who is responsible for inspecting and maintaining the system. An affidavit ofan officer or employee of the city that alleges a violation based on an inspection of the pertinent recorded image, is admissible in a proceeding under this article and is evidence of the facts contained in the affidavit.
(e) A person who is found liable after an administrative adjudication hearing or who requests an administrative adjudication hearing and thereafter fails to appear at the time and place of the hearing is liable for administrative hearing costs in the amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) in addition to the amount of the civil penalty assessed for the violation. A person who is found liable for a civil penalty after an administrative adjudication hearing shall pay the civil penalty and costs within thirty-one (31) days of the date on which the administrative adjudication hearing officer entered the finding of civil liability.
(f) It shall be an affirmative defense to the imposition of civil liability under this article, to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that:
(1) The traffic-control signal was not in proper position and sufficiently legible to an ordinarily observant person;
(2) The operator of the motor vehicle was acting in compliance with the lawful order or direction of a police officer;
(3) The operator of the motor vehicle violated the instructions of the traffic-control signal so as to yield the right-of-way to an immediately approaching authorized emergency vehicle;
(4) The motor vehicle was being operated as an authorized emergency vehicle under Chapter 546 of the Texas Transportation Code and that the operator was acting in compliance with that Chapter;
(5) The motor vehicle was a stolen vehicle and being operated by a person other than the owner of the vehicle without the effective consent of the owner;
(6) The license plate depicted in the recorded image of the violation was a stolen plate and being displayed on a motor vehicle other than the motor vehicle for which the plate had been issued;
(7) The presence of ice, snow, unusual amounts of rain or other unusually hazardous road conditions existed that would make compliance with this article more dangerous under the circumstances than non-compliance; or
(8) The person who received the notice of violation was not the owner of the motor-vehicle at the time of the violation.
(g) To demonstrate that at the time of the violation the motor vehicle was a stolen vehicle or the license plate displayed on the motor vehicle was a stolen plate, the owner must submit proof acceptable to the hearing officer that the theft of the vehicle or license plate had been timely reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(h) Notwithstanding anything in this article to the contrary, a person who fails to pay the amount of a civil penalty or to contest liability in a timely manner is entitled to an administrative adjudication hearing on the violation if:
(1) The person files an affidavit with the hearing officer stating the date on which the person received the notice of violation that was mailed to the person; and
(2) Within the same period required by subsection 12-262(c)(7)b. for a hearing to be timely requested but measured from the date the mailed notice was received as stated in the affidavit filed under Subdivision (1), the person requests an administrative adjudication hearing.
(i) A person who is found liable after an administrative adjudication hearing may appeal that finding of civil liability to the municipal court by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the municipal court. The notice of appeal must be filed not later than the 31st day after the date on which the administrative adjudication hearing office entered the finding of civil liability. Unless the person, on or before the filing of the notice of appeal, posts a bond in the amount of the civil penalty and any fees,an appeal does not stay the enforcement of the civil penalty. An appeal shall be determined by the municipal court by non-jury trial de novo only. The affidavits submitted under section 12-263(d) shall be admitted by the municipal judge in the trial de novo, and the issues must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. A person found liable by the municipal court shall pay an appellate filing fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) in addition to the civil penalty and any other fees due the city.
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04; Ord. No. 2006-8-9, § I, 8-14-06)

Sec. 12-264. Order.
(a) The hearing officer at any administrative adjudication hearing under this article shall issue an order stating:
(1) Whether the person charged with the violation is liable for the violation; and
(2) The amount of any civil penalty, late penalty, and administrative adjudication cost assessed against the person.
(b) The orders issued under subsection (a) may be filed with the office of the hearing examiner. The hearing examiner shall keep the orders in a separate index and file. The orders may be recorded using microfilm, microfiche, or data processing techniques.
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04)

Sec. 12-265. Effect of liability; exclusion of civil remedy.
(a) The imposition of a civil penalty under this article is not a criminal conviction for any purpose.
(b) A civil penalty may not be imposed under this article on the owner of a motor vehicle if the operator of the vehicle was arrested or was issued a citation and notice to appear by a peace officer for the same violation of Section 544.007(d) of the Texas Transportation Code recorded by the photographic traffic signal enforcement system.
(c) An owner who fails to pay the civil penalty or to timely contest liability for the penalty is considered to admit liability for the full amount of the civil penalty stated in the notice of violation mailed to the person.
(d) The city attorney is authorized to file suit to enforce collection of a civil penalty imposed under this article.
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04)

Sec. 12-266. Traffic safety fund.
The penalties and fees collected from the imposition of civil liability under this article shall be deposited in the traffic safety fund account established by the city council. Funds from the traffic safety fund may be expended only for the costs of automated signal enforcement under this article, public traffic or pedestrian safety programs, traffic enforcement and intersection improvements.
(Ord. No. 2004-8-32, § I, 8-17-04)

roo_ster
June 19, 2007, 01:23 PM
User-generated database of camera locations.

http://www.photoenforced.com/

roo_ster
June 19, 2007, 01:28 PM
After taking a gander at the red light cameras in the Dallas area, I have come to the conclusion that CITY GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT POOR AND MINORITY SAFETY!

What other conclusion can one come to when:
1. Red light cameras are for safety
2. None are located in poor/minority neighborhoods

Obviously, our city gov'ts are racist.

Art Eatman
June 19, 2007, 01:46 PM
Actually, the crux of thematter is this opening sentence: "Despite the opposition of the state legislature, the Texas Department of Transportation proposes a federally funded speed camera test."

"Despite the opposition of the state legislature..." means that the DOT budget hearings in the next session will be "vewy intewestink". It's quite possible that some TXDOT bureaucrat will get transferred to the Division of Winds, Waves and Tides, or wind up in a west Texas survey crew in the Pecos residency. :D

It is not wise to upset legislators. They have long memories and they control the purse strings.

Art

nutty7462
June 30, 2007, 12:00 AM
The spray (www.sprayyourplate.com) does indeed work. And, it is not illegal in Texas... yet.

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